NATIONAL NEWS

Democrats in the Minnesota Legislature poised to pass contentious gun control measures

May 12, 2023, 1:02 PM

The "electrolier" is lit in the Minnesota State Capitol dome in St. Paul, Minn., Thursday, May 11, ...

The "electrolier" is lit in the Minnesota State Capitol dome in St. Paul, Minn., Thursday, May 11, 2023, to mark Statehood Day, Minnesota's 165th birthday. The electrolier," an old term for "electric chandelier," is over 100 years old, dating from when electricity was new. It measures 6 feet in diameter, contains 92 light bulbs and hangs over 140 feet above the floor in the Capitol Rotunda. It's lit only on special occasions, such as the annual Statehood Day or on the first days of legislative sessions. (AP Photo/Steve Karnowski)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Steve Karnowski)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Democratic Minnesota senators, holding firm despite only a one-vote majority, were poised Friday to pass gun control legislation strongly supported by the governor that would align the battleground state with others nationally that have taken steps to keep guns out of the hands of people in crisis and criminals.

The proposals include a expanded background checks for gun transfers.

“What we are going to be providing — finally — is a path forward for families and law enforcement who know that someone’s exhibiting signs of crisis and danger,” said Democratic Sen. Rob Latz of St. Louis Park, chairman of the Senate public safety committee. “And it will give them lawful tools to separate people in crisis from the firearms that are around them.”

Nineteen other states have some kind of red flag laws, Latz noted at a news conference, including several red states.

Across the country, record-setting pace for mass killings in the U.S.

The overall package survived an initial test vote when all Democrats voted down a Republican motion to send it back to a House-Senate conference committee for more work.

Some rural Democratic senators had long been on the fence. But a key moment came Wednesday when one of them, Sen. Grant Hauschild of Hermantown announced that he would support the overall bill. The two gun measures were not part of the public safety budget bill that the Senate passed earlier. But they were added Wednesday in the conference committee that negotiated the final version, providing some political cover to holdouts by wrapping them into a much bigger public safety package.

The debate was expected to last well into Friday evening. Leaders of the Republican minority signaled ahead of time that they were upset with several non-firearms provisions that were added to the public safety bill in conference committee that weren’t in the original Senate-passed version of the bill.

Democrats who have a more comfortable majority in the Minnesota House scheduled the package for debate late Friday night on the presumption that the Senate would pass it first. The House had already passed the gun measures as part of its original public safety bill. Democratic Gov. Tim Walz has repeatedly said he will sign the legislation.

The package also includes tougher restrictions on the use by police of no-knock warrants. While it stops short of a ban, it allows only very limited exceptions.

GOP leaders objected to how the final version of the 522-page bill wasn’t posted until around 2:30 a.m. Friday. Members can vote only up or down on a conference committee report. They can’t amend it. And Republicans were upset at their voices being shut out of shaping the final version, which they oppose on Second Amendment and other grounds.

“This bill is actually what bad legislating looks like,” Republican House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth of Cold Spring said at a separate news conference. “Democrats have full control, but a very small margin.”

The Minnesota Legislature is rushing to complete work on the major budget bills of the session before the May 22 adjournment deadline. Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman of Brooklyn Park told reporters Thursday that she wants to adjourn early — either next Thursday night or early next Friday morning. Senate Democratic leaders, however, have not agreed to that.

National News

FILE - Balloons are hoisted to the ceiling in the Forum ahead of the 2024 Republican National Conve...

Associated Press

When does a presumptive nominee become a nominee? Here’s how Donald Trump will make it official

WASHINGTON (AP) — Monday 12:01 AM Nearly 2,500 delegates are gathering in Milwaukee this week for a roll call vote to select a the Republican presidential nominee, formally ending the presidential primary. It will be a moment lacking in suspense: Former President Donald Trump has already been the presumptive nominee for months, having clinched a […]

12 minutes ago

FILE - Actor Clint Eastwood speaks to an empty chair while addressing delegates during the Republic...

Associated Press

Floor fights, boos and a too-long kiss. How the dramatic and the bizarre define convention history

WASHINGTON (AP) — In 1948, the Republican and Democratic parties did something unthinkable in today’s climate of ferocious political animosity: They not only held their national conventions in the same city, but shared some of the props. Both gathered in Philadelphia, largely because its Municipal Auditorium had already been fitted with the wiring needed for […]

17 minutes ago

FILE - Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally, ...

Associated Press

The RNC’s first day will still focus on the economy. Here’s what to know about Trump’s plans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump goes into the Republican National Convention with bold promises about the U.S. economy, but he has sketched out notably few details about how his plans would actually work. The convention’s first day is still expected to focus on the economy even after Saturday’s shooting at a Trump rally in Pennsylvania […]

18 minutes ago

FILE - Wayne LaPierre arrives at court, Jan. 24, 2024, in New York. The second phase of the civil t...

Associated Press

Second phase of NRA civil trial over nonprofit’s spending set to open in NYC

NEW YORK (AP) — The second phase of the civil trial against the National Rifle Association and its top executives is set to begin Monday in Manhattan, with New York Attorney General Letitia James seeking an independent monitor to oversee the powerful gun rights group. The Democrat also is seeking to ban Wayne LaPierre, the […]

25 minutes ago

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares are mixed as China reports its economy grew 4.7% in last quarter

Asian shares began the week trading mixed as China reported that its economy expanded at a slower-than-forecast 4.7% annual pace in the last quarter. Markets seemed to take in stride a shooting at a rally for former President Donald Trumpin Butler, Pennsylvania that is being investigated as an attempted assassination of the presumptive Republican nominee. […]

27 minutes ago

FILE - Chickens stand in their cages at a farm, in Iowa, Nov. 16, 2009. Four more people, all Color...

Associated Press

US health officials confirm four new bird flu cases, in Colorado poultry workers

Four poultry workers in Colorado have been diagnosed with bird flu, health officials confirmed Sunday. The new cases bring the U.S. total to nine since the first human case of the current outbreak was detected in 2022, also in a Colorado poultry worker. Eight of the nine were reported this year. Their illnesses were relatively […]

40 minutes ago

Democrats in the Minnesota Legislature poised to pass contentious gun control measures