Gun control is a controversial topic and one that every candidate in any election will have a developed opinion on. For many voters, it is a crucial part of their decision. The rise in gun violence and mass shootings in the U.S has sparked a heated debate between Republicans and Democrats, where the former favors loosened gun restrictions and the latter favors more restrictions and barriers. The state of Minnesota is in a bipartisan battle, as both Democrat and Republican politicians have proposals leading into the November election.
The Minnesota Republican-controlled Senate has been preparing a set of pro-gun proposals regarding self-defense protections and the ability to conceal a firearm without needing a permit. These proposals sharply contrast the measures that Democrats have prepared, which heighten background checks for obtaining a gun. Another proposed set of laws coined “red flag” laws could allow courts to remove guns from those who pose a threat to others or themselves.
The proposed bill by the GOP on self-defense is similar to several other states’ “stand-your-ground” laws. This contrasts with Minnesota’s current rules that only consider the use of deadly force in self defense as a means of last resort defense. Many pro-gun rights advocates want to enact the right to carry without the government’s decision on assigning permits.
A hearing between both parties is scheduled on January 21. It will take place in Hibbing. Senate Republicans see this as an opportunity to protect the support for their goal of loosening restrictions on gun access.
The Judiciary Committee does have doubts that the Democratic-backed proposals regarding gun control will continue to be blocked by the Senate.
As a state, Minnesotan generally favors stronger background checks for obtaining guns. The Star Tribune reported that more than 80 percent of Minnesota voters are for an expansion of background checks for private sales of firearms, including gun shows and online sales.
Whether or not laws surrounding gun control are made this legislative session, it will have significant implications in the outcome of the incoming election. Gun control is a sensitive topic that invokes emotional responses. What is to come is uncertain as this is a battle between the Democratic-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate.
Montemayor, Stephen. “Clash over Minnesota Gun Laws Kicks off in Hibbing.” Star Tribune, Star Tribune, 21 Jan. 2020, www.startribune.com/clash-over-minnesota-gun-laws-kicks-off-in-hibbing/567146842/.