DFL leader not interested in banning semi-automatic rifles or high-capacity ammo clips

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Unless the federal government intervenes, it appears guns of this sort will remain legal in Minnesota for the time being.
During three days of House hearings on possible gun control measures earlier this month, representatives kicked around the idea of banning semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity ammo clips.

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But yesterday, the chair of the gun control hearings happening in the Senate this week -- Sen. Ron Latz, D-St. Louis Park -- said he's not interested in discussing legislation that would make certain guns or types of ammunition illegal in Minnesota.

"I want to focus on what we can accomplish this year," Latz said, according to a Pioneer Press report. "Assault weapons bans and high-capacity magazine restrictions are much more divisive and frankly I think they're must better suited to be dealt with at the federal level."

Latz said he wants to focus instead on tightening mandatory background checks for those trying to purchase guns.

"Law enforcement does have broad consensus in favor of universal background checks, closing loopholes in existing statutes," Latz added, according to the Star Tribune. "I want to focus on what has broad public support."

Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder and arguably the Legislature's staunchest gun rights advocate, said he isn't surprised by Latz's stance.

"We always suspected this was the strategy from the minute this started, " Cornish said, according to the Strib. "I don't think [the DFL] thought they had the votes."

Cornish is opposed to universal background checks for gun buyers. He's worried they could lead to the creation of a gun-owner registry that would make it relatively easy for the government to confiscate guns in the event Congress does eventually ban certain types of firearms.

As we blogged about last week, it's unclear how many lives a ban on semi-automatic rifles would save here in Minnesota in the first place. In 2011 -- the last year for which numbers are available -- only three Minnesotans were murdered with a rifle of any type. By comparison, four died in fist fights. Twelve were killed by knives and 51 by handguns.

Gun shop owners have reported that in the wake of Obama's post-Newtown pro-gun control speech, there's been a "feeding frenzy" for military-style weapons.

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10 comments
Frank Derpa Lerpa
Frank Derpa Lerpa

Just buy a 3D printer and you will be able to side step any law they put on the books. Ho, I can buy mags? K, just make one.

webcelt
webcelt

The background checks are the most important item. The large magazines are extraordinarily lethal when they're used and clearly should be banned, but handguns are the biggest problem. Cornish has his tin foil hat on too tight to have a problem with registration. It should be obvious something that's deadly when used as intended ought to be registered at least.

After background checks, the biggest change we need is to end the gun industry's immunity from lawsuits. Nobody else gets that. They clearly lack the incentive now to keep their products away from criminals.

Yankee Doodle Pablo
Yankee Doodle Pablo

Some in the DFL are bright enough to understand the overwelming majority of voters in outstate Minnesota don't support more gun laws and have acute memories come re-election time.

Austin Radish Kenworthy
Austin Radish Kenworthy

This is exactly correct. If I wanted tough issues ignored I'd tell a 14 year old it's part of his weekly chores right after mowing the lawn. Instead we pay these "officials" to figure out what's best for all of us by tackling tough issues.

A Nunnayabidness Lopez
A Nunnayabidness Lopez

Good. These semi-autos don't kill people, bad people kill people whether they have firearms or not.

Tyler Chip Moody Suter
Tyler Chip Moody Suter

It's too divisive, so let's ignore it? This illustrates the biggest issue with our political system. We elect these officials to make the difficult decisions.

Frank Derpa Lerpa
Frank Derpa Lerpa

how about we have a topic on the drone laws that are being made right now or about the CCTV's that are all over or cities and how much they cost tax payers to install/use? should we let our govt./cops fly unmanned air craft over our cities and document everyday life? if there is nothing to fear than where is the need for that kind of spending. if you see something, do something.

uradumbass
uradumbass

@webcelt why should high capacity mags be banned? their use in crime is statistically insignificant. registration? what purpose would that serve? you think criminals won't be able to get guns? background checks? what about people who buy guns for criminals? here's the thing genius: criminals get their hands on whatever they want. they're criminals, they don't care. If you want to save people from getting shot, prosecute gun crimes. don't plead them down. but first, figure out what the hell you're talking about. 

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@webcelt : you think it's "the gun industry's" responsibility to keep guns out of the hands of criminals...?

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