Activists rally for gun control measures as end of legislative session nears

Local activists spent Saturday at the State Capitol pressuring lawmakers to pass new gun control measures before the session wraps up. 

“This is the people’s house and the people of Minnesota are demanding action now,” said one gun control advocate. 

As the end of the legislative session nears, gun control supporters returned to the State Capitol to push for change. 

“This is their last chance to change lives, they still have 36 hours to pass bills that they’ve been reading for two years now,” said Rev. Nancy Nord Bence, an activist for stricter gun laws. 

Coming off the heels of the school shooting in Texas that left 10 people dead, there is yet again a new sense of urgency. 

“No other developed nation accepts this level of gun violence and we shouldn’t either,” said one woman. 

While lawmakers have been focusing on funding school security improvements, activists were pressing legislators to resurrect two gun control bills that stalled in the House. One calls for expanded background checks. Another measure would make it easier to take guns from people deemed a threat to themselves or others. 

“It is frustrating to be here at the Capitol all legislative season and not see anything done,” said Steve Young, who is a father. “Despite the fact that we have a real problem in this country with our kids being mowed down everywhere with guns.” 

“I think it’s really important that we all be involved and that we all come and show lawmakers that we’re not going away,” said Sally Young, who attended the rally with her father Steve. 

As time runs out on this legislative session, emotions run high. 

“Our message is that they still have time, they can get this done and if they don’t we will hold them accountable for it in the fall,” Bence said. 

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