Where Minnesota’s federal lawmakers stand on President Biden’s proposed gun restrictions
(FOX 9) - Ahead of President Joe Biden’s primetime speech on addressing gun violence, FOX 9 asked all nine of Minnesota’s members of Congress for interviews on what they would like to see done.
Only one federal lawmaker, Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, agreed to an interview Thursday.
"There are just so many solutions out there, and we can't continue to throw our hands up blaming each other for inaction. We have to come together as legislators, entrusted by our constituents to make life better for them," Omar told FOX 9.
On Thursday night, Biden called on Congress to pass stricter gun laws, including a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, as well as raising the age to purchase guns from 18 to 21.
"For God's sake, how much more carnage are we willing to accept? How many more innocent American lives must be taken before we say ‘enough’?" the president asked.
Republican Rep. Michelle Fischbach is on the House Judiciary Committee, which took up many of the proposals the president is calling for during a hearing Thursday. The stricter gun measures, including raising the legal age to buy certain guns to 21, passed along party lines.
In a statement, Fischbach called the proposal a "publicity stunt for Democrats to try to capitalize on a national tragedy" that will not effectively stop mass shootings.
Fischbach’s statement continued: "[The bill] was about furthering a blanket anti-gun agenda. This was evident when they voted against an amendment that would provide funding for more school resource officers to protect children. Democrats also voted against amendments to ensure that people engaging in gun crimes are prosecuted under existing law. There are steps we can take to protect people from the actions of evil people, and they can be taken without stripping the rights of law-abiding gun owners."
GOP Reps. Tom Emmer and Pete Stauber did not respond to Fox 9’s interview request.
The offices of Democratic Sen. Tina Smith and Democratic Reps. Dean Phillips and Angie Craig said they were unavailable for comment Thursday.
Congresswoman Betty McCollum said in a statement she will hold a series of listening sessions in June during Gun Violence Awareness Month. McCollum echoed calls to pass "commonsense" gun measures, including raising the age to purchase guns and safer firearm storage.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office referred FOX 9 to the statement she made after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. It said, in part, "It has been nearly a decade since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary and yet federal gun safety legislation has been repeatedly blocked … Thoughts and prayers are not enough. Only action will begin to solve this deadly crisis."