ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - The horrific shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children dead inside a school classroom, has again sparked calls for lawmakers to take action on gun control.
Thursday, Minnesota Democratic lawmakers and gun control advocates gathered to push for change.
"We have to face, straight up, the incredible power of death and destruction that modern weapons have," said State Rep. Carlos Mariani.
"It’s time for our elected officials to start giving an explanation," added Emilia Gonzalez Avalos with Unidos. "Why is this not being solved?"
The groups say the most recent mass murder at the Texas school is another wake-up call for Republicans in the state to act on reforms that have sat in limbo.
"We have to fight for our freedoms of right now," said Paula Cole with the Richfield Board of Education. "Not to protect an amendment that was written at a time when we didn’t have the rifles that we have right now."
Two years ago, the DFL-controlled House passed two bills: One for expanded background checks and a "red-flag" law, allowing court orders to take weapons when family members fear a threat. The legislation has gone nowhere in the Republican-controlled Senate. Critics of these types of laws say are ineffective. Governor Walz takes issue with that argument.
"Those who say it won’t fix everything, here’s my response," said Walz, "if it fixes one and that was last Tuesday, well that’s good enough for me."
The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus pushed back. In a statement calling the shooting a "horrendous terrorist attack." The statement goes on to says that "calls for the same failed gun-control measures" and "fundraising emails" are "shameful and exploitative."
They say the better focus is mental health and school safety. But gun-control advocates argue it’s just too easy to get guns.
"We’re not talking about taking away guns, we’re talking about safety, common-sense measures," said Mariani. "Let’s start there."