DFL lawmakers unveil new plan to address gun violence

Democratic senators at the Minnesota State Capitol Monday called for the passage of a group of bills aimed at both making schools safer and reducing gun violence. 

The newest bill would give schools more leeway in funding security enhancements on their campus. It joins bills calling for expanded background checks and raising the minimum age to buy certain guns to 21.

So far, none of the bills have a committee hearing scheduled. 

The announcement comes just days after the largest nationwide protest against gun violence in United States history. On Saturday, an estimated 200,000 people, including many students from Minnesota, took part in the March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C. The rally included many students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School calling for more background checks and bans on assault weapons. 

Sister marches were held across the country, including in St. Paul. Nearly 20,000 people marched from Harriet Island to the state Capitol urging lawmakers to take action.

Students who had just returned from Saturday's march at the nation's capital joined the lawmakers at the Capitol, rejuvenated in their cause, but frustrated by what they say is a lack of action. 

“This is great, the protests are great, but ultimately, we're not just seeking to get attention, we're here to change laws,” students told the crowd at the press conference. 

Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus Political Director Rob Doar says there may be bipartisan support for school safety measures, but gun control is another story.

"When we only focus on the gun, we are missing a whole wide array of other potential threats our students may face,” Doar said. 

But, the students say their fight is not over. 

“Being here, we’re saying we’re not going to go away and we’re not going to stop until something happens,” they told the crowd at the Capitol.