Legislation calling for more gun background checks in Minnesota appears to be off the table for the year.
DFL House Speaker Paul Thissen says he’s shelving the bill after Democrats could not reach agreement on the best plan to prevent gun violence.
Several Democrats, mostly in the metropolitan area, were pushing for increased background checks for gun purchases but that legislation faced opposition from gun rights groups and rural Democrats.
Thissen says he decided to shelve the bill because neither side was willing to budge.
“Both sides of the issue are still not willing to come to a reasonable middle ground so I don’t think there’s a bill that can pass the Minnesota House of Representatives this year.,” Thissen said.
DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says the Senate won’t vote on a bill now that the House has decided not to act. He says the NRA and other gun rights groups were effective in their lobbying efforts.
“Public opinion would seem to support doing something on background checks,” Bakk said. “But I think when you measure the e-mail that many members receive, that public opinion didn’t weigh out in what their constituent contacts were. It was quite the contrary.”
Bakk says it’s possible that the Legislature could take up the issue again next year when lawmakers aren’t as focused on passing a two-year budget.