Walz Open to Calling Special Session to Address Gun Control

 

Gov. Tim Walz has called on the Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate to hold hearings on gun-control measures during a “mini-session” scheduled for the fall or even as early as next week.

“I will make the call once again, pleadingly, can we at least have a hearing? Can we at least discuss this?” Walz told reporters Monday, according to The Star Tribune. “I just think the deafening silence of not doing anything, of rejecting the call to hold a hearing, it simply can’t go on any longer.”

Lawmakers reportedly will be returning to St. Paul next week to hold hearings on the turmoil at the state’s Department of Human Services, and Walz suggested that they “stay a little longer and do insulin and guns.”

According to The Duluth News Tribune, Walz said he’s open to calling a special session if legislators can agree on the bills ahead of time.

He reiterated those claims in statement posted to Twitter Monday night.

“The deafening silence of not doing anything cannot go on any longer,” he wrote. “That’s why I’m calling on the Senate Majority to hold hearings on commonsense gun violence prevention measures, like universal background checks and red flag laws.”

As of now, it’s unclear when (if at all) exactly those hearings will take place, and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) seems to remain opposed to the idea.

“Most gun purchases already require background checks,” Gazelka said on Twitter. “Universal background checks on sales to relatives and friends have not proven to eliminate deranged murderers from killing innocent people. We will focus on mental health issues, and tougher penalties when thugs use guns.”

The Minnesota House, controlled by the DFL, passed a background checks bill and a red-flag law during the most recent legislative session, but they didn’t receive hearings in the Senate.

“This year, Democrats in the Minnesota House passed universal background checks and a red flag law in response to senseless gun violence and mass shootings. There’s no reason Republicans in the Minnesota Senate can’t do the same. We join Governor Walz in calling on them to act,” the Minnesota House DFL wrote on Twitter.

DFL legislators will be joining gun-control activists at the Capitol Wednesday night for a “rally against mass shootings and the daily toll of gun violence.”

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to anthony.gockowski@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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