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Minnesota public safety committee approves four gun control bills

Public safety committee approves four gun control bills
Public safety committee approves four gun control bills 02:30

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota lawmakers are one step closer to passing several new gun control bills.

Four made it through a public safety committee Friday. With Democrats in control at the Capitol, there's a real chance for these bills to become law.

One proposal requires permits and background checks for all gun sales - not just those at licensed dealers. Sellers would also have to submit records of transfers. Penalties would increase for false information too.

The next pitches are a red flag law - once a petition to remove a weapon is in, the court must hold a hearing within two weeks. A no-weapon order would last six months to two years. The bill gives police and DAs immunity if they choose not to file a petition against someone who later commits a crime.

Another bill is about safe storage, which would require someone buying a firearm to also buy a lock or secure case for it. The bill imposes stiff sentences if any unsecured gun is later used in a violent crime. The law, if passed, would also apply to ammunition.

The last bill would require gun owners to report a lost or stolen firearm within two days. The gun owner would not be liable for breaking the safe storage law if they report the weapon being stolen.

Debate Friday in the committee hearing lasted more than four hours with emotion and pain not limited to one side of the debate.

Monica Jones' son, Da-Qwan Jones-Morris, was accidentally shot and killed by a teenager who found a gun.

"The gun that killed my son was last or stolen and it wasn't reported, and that person still has not been held accountable," said Jones.

Doug Taylor's son, Doug Taylor Junior, died by suicide at age 31.

"I don't think there should be any reason to take the gun away. I think you should get the person help," said Taylor.

This is only the second time in 30 years one party has control of the government - democratic governor, democrat-led House and democrat-led Senate.

That doesn't make the process any easier. From this committee, it goes to other committees and then the full House. Then the Senate, then Governor Tim Walz's desk.

The DFL-led House had passed similar bills, but they never made it through the Senate when Republicans controlled it last session.

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