MN Gun Control Bills Placed on Back Burner

By KBJR News 1

May 2, 2013 Updated May 2, 2013 at 4:46 PM CST

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Leaders in the Minnesota House and Senate say this session's hotly debated gun control bills are being shelved.

Each side of the legislature says the other won't budge.

House Speaker Paul Thissen told The Star Tribune on Wednesday that a gun bill would not be heard on the floor this session.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) later told Minnesota Public Radio that if the House won't act, the Senate won't either and added the National Rifle Association has been effective in its lobbying efforts.

Several different measures tackling gun control were making their way through the legislature.

One bill in the House aimed to close loop holes in background checks at Gun Shows.

Another, in the Senate, called for Universal Background Checks.

But despite the numerous hearings and debates, at times contentious and emotional, it now sounds as if any action on the bills will have to wait until next session.

"These (bills) did not take care of a problem, they were a grab at by those who oppose the second amendment, a grab at trying to close down the Second Amendment and take away the rights of gun owners," Rep. Tony Cornish (R-Good Thunder) said.

"I'm very disappointed and angry. In exchange for weakening my original bill, the Speaker agreed that we would have a debate and vote on background checks. This didn't happen. No discussion, no debate, no votes. This is what makes the public cynical about politicians and the political process," Rep. Michael Paymar (DFL-St. Paul) said in a statement Thursday.

Rep. Michael Paymar spearheaded the first set of gun control hearings in the House early on in the legislative session.

The Minnesota Gun Violence Prevention Coalition responded to what they call a failure on the part of the Legislature.

"This extremely popular and effective measure is being derailed by a small group of out-of-touch legislators, and there is no excuse for that," said Heather Martens, executive director of Protect Minnesota: Working to End Gun Violence.

The group will hold a news conference at the State Capitol on Friday to provide a community response.

Monday night on the KBJR 6 & Range 11 News at Ten, we'll take a closer look at the controversial debate involving gun rights versus gun regulation.

Kevin Jacobsen
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