Minnesota House passes red flag, background check bills

Gun control advocates rallied at the Capitol while lawmakers debated over the gun control bills. (FOX 9)

Two gun control bills are headed to the Minnesota Senate after close votes in the House Thursday night.

On the floor, Minnesota lawmakers squared off over background checks and red flag laws.

“They’re criminals,” said Kurt Daudt (R-Crown). “They’re not following the laws right now and they’re not going to follow them if you pass this. What this is going to do is infringe on the rights of law abiding citizens.”

“You’re right, criminals are not going to obey the law, but we don’t just throw in the towel and just give up,” said Jack Considine (DFL-Mankato).

As the lawmakers debated, a few hundred gun control advocates rallied outside the House chambers.

“We recognize this is an epidemic,” said Kate Havelin of Protect Minnesota. “We want them to face the issue and do something about it.”

The two gun control bills passed the House floor with all Republicans and a handful of Democrats from northern Minnesota voting no. 

Both sides say these votes will play a role in the 2020 election.

“We really have – and I’ll call it out – we have a tyranny of some small special interests who are really muzzling the voices of Minnesotans,” said John Choi, Ramsey County Attorney.

“Tyranny of small special interests? Let me tell you my constituents, constituents in Wright County, would disagree strongly,” said Rep. Marion O'Neil (R-Maple Lake).