Minnesota's First Lady joins fight for gun control

Two bills have passed the DFL controlled House, but have not yet been scheduled for hearings in the GOP controlled Senate. 

Susie Jones
March 13, 2019 - 2:58 pm

Minnesota's First Lady Gwen Walz took the stage without her husband Governor Tim Walz, and joined hundreds of others in the rotunda at the State Capitol in St. Paul where she called on lawmakers to take up two gun control bills. 

"Do you mean to tell me, after all the votes that have been taken, after all of the conversations that have happened, after all the work that has been done, do you mean to tell me that the Senate is going to stand in the way of democracy?" 

RELATEDHouse committee moves one gun control bill forward after five hours of emotional testimony

One of the bills would require background checks on all guns sales, the other would allow family members and law enforcement officer to get an "extreme risk" protection order, temporarily restricting a person's access to firearms when there is evidence that they pose a threat to themselves or others. 

The two bills have passed the DFL controlled House, but have not yet been scheduled for hearings in the GOP controlled Senate. 

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka recently told a gun rights group that he will not support them. 

Some political experts say that there is growing support for gun control measures, and that it was a factor in why Republicans cannidates lost in suburban districts in the November elections after several mass shootings last year. 

First lady Walz has a message to Senators who are up for election in a year and a half. 

" I have a message, because if they do not put it up for a vote, there are seven senators, sitting in seats where Tim Walz won, and they are Republicans, and we are coming," she said as the crowed erupted in applause. 

She said at a recent Governor's Association Meeting she talked with the Governors of both Florida and Arizona about gun control measures. Both states have already passed similar legislation. 

"Minnesota that has always led in our country is surpassed by Florida and Arizona? I mean, no offense but come on."

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus organized an event in the rotuna last month, which drew people of all ages from across the state, along with a slew of legislators and activists.

They say that bills are too broad and lacking due process.