School shootings bookend 2018 Minnesota legislative session

The 2018 legislative session began in the wake of the deadly Parkland, Florida school shooting, where 17 people were gunned down on Valentine’s Day, and will end just two days after yet another school shooting took more innocent lives, this time in Santa Fe, Texas. 

During those three months, Minnesota lawmakers were unable to pass any gun safety measures. 

“They have until midnight tonight [Sunday] and we’ve been asking them, we’ve been contacting them, we’ve been meeting with them and they don’t really have much to show for it,” said Erin Zamoff with the Minnesota chapter of Moms Demand Action. 

Zamoff was part of a last ditch rally Saturday at the State Capitol in hopes of resurrecting two gun control bills that would expand background checks and make it easier to take guns away from people who could hurt themselves or others. 

Since the Florida tragedy, nine states—Illinois, Florida, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington—have enacted some sort of change to gun laws, from raising the age to purchase firearms, to banning bump stocks. 

Rob Doar with the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus said there’s broad bi-partisan support for funding several ways to make classrooms safer. 

“Increasing access to mental health resources for schools and having school security assessments done by professionals to identify where some potential weaknesses are on some school campuses that they need to fortify [are two examples],” Doar said. 

Governor Mark Dayton indicated he wanted a school security bill on his desk to sign into law right away. 

"It's one thing to prevent somebody from coming into a school, which is vitally important, it's another thing to prevent them from getting their hands on a gun when they shouldn't have it,” said Dayton during a press conference Friday.