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As Burnsville reels from first responder killings, Minnesota Legislature considers gun control measures

MN Legislature considers gun control measures after killings of Burnsville first responders
MN Legislature considers gun control measures after killings of Burnsville first responders 02:30

MINNEAPOLIS — In the aftermath of the tragic killing of three first responders last week in Burnsville, proposed gun control bills are getting a second look at the Minnesota Legislature.

Among the bills being considered: tougher storage laws, mandatory reporting of stolen weapons and several proposals that would ban assault weapons.

In Talking Points, Esme Murphy looks at the odds of these proposals becoming law and what gun rights advocates are saying.

The Burnsville killing of three first responders has some progressive lawmakers revisiting gun control measures at the Capitol. Last legislative session, DFL representatives in the House and Senate passed both a red flag law and an additional background checks law. Both were strongly opposed by gun rights advocates. 

Leftovers from last year are two measures that were never voted on. They include tougher gun storage laws and penalties and a bill requiring immediate reporting of all lost and stolen guns. Also this session, there are at least two bills that would ban assault weapons. Under one of those bills, existing semiautomatic weapons would be grandfathered in but could not be sold or transferred. That assault weapons ban is being sponsored by DFL Rep. Leigh Finke of St. Paul. She was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning at 10:30 a.m.

Rep. Leigh Finke talks gun control legislation 05:07

"Gun violence is the second most common issue that I hear about from my voters, on the doors. People are tired of what we are seeing, it's a public health epidemic and I believe that we need to do everything that we can to solve it. Gun violence is the number one cause of death for our children and it's just simply unacceptable," she said.

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus is against all of these measures. Rob Doar, the vice president of the caucus, gave WCCO this statement: "We support measures that protect Minnesotans and uphold the law, but these proposals miss the mark. They not only clash with constitutional precedents but also fail to address Minnesota's unique safety challenges without infringing on the rights of peaceable citizens." 

And while these bills had been introduced before the Burnsville tragedy, some Republican representatives are accusing Democrats of trying to take advantage of the Burnsville killings. 

DFL leaders are also urging caution. This is an election year with the entire Minnesota House up for election. The DFL leaders fear that gun measures that go too far would hurt some of their candidates in swing districts.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Adam Del Rosso every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

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