Sen. Ron Latz Reintroduces Gun Legislation
Minnesota’s gun laws are back on the front burner at the state capitol. Senator Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park) is behind the effort to foster changes that he says are common sense steps to save lives.
Latz has tried to get similar bills approved in the past.
The first one is the extreme risk protection orders bill. This lets law enforcement and family members get a court order to restrict someone’s access to guns if there are red flags in their background.
The second bill extends the criminal background checks to most private sale gun sales, gun show markets and online transactions.
A Case for Tougher Gun Laws
“If you are a law-abiding gun owner and you don’t have a prohibitive criminal history, you really have nothing to worry about from these bills,” Latz said. “60 percent of guns sold in Minnesota already go through a background check because they go through licensed dealers. Unfortunately there’s a loophole right now.”
At the news conference in St. Paul, Latz and other DFL lawmakers presented their case for tougher gun laws.
They cited a nationwide study from 2009 through 2016 where approximately 42 percent of mass shootings produced evidence that the gunman displayed warning signs before carrying out the attack.
Gun proponents against changes
Thursday was also Gun Owners Lobby Day at the Capitol. A group of them showed up to hear about the proposed changes.
They say these ideas won’t do any good.
“Legally we need to work with the mental health issues and that seems to be the basis of a lot of it,” said NRA member Owen Miller. “The other thing is, it’s a breakdown in families. When you put those two things together you rebuild families and work with the mental health, then you solve the problems.”
According to a Minneapolis-Star Tribune poll, in 2018 nine out of 10 Minnesota residents supported criminal background checks on all private firearms purchases.
The poll sampled people from both political parties. Those in rural and urban areas, and gun owners and those who don’t own guns.