The leading advocate for gun control in the Minnesota House says Speaker Paul Thissen broke his promise to allow a vote on expanded background checks.
Thissen said yesterday he’s shelving the gun bill because it didn’t have the votes to pass in the House. Rep. Michael Paymar, DFL- St. Paul, sponsored the background check bill.
He said Thissen told him earlier that there would be a vote.
“He promised that we would have a debate and a discussion on the bill and that we would have a vote on the bill on the House floor and that didn’t happen,” Paymar said. “I’m upset about that. I think this is the kind of situation where the public gets very cynical about politicians and political parties and the state Legislature.”
Thissen acknowledged that he told Paymar to get the bill to the House floor but disagreed about the need to push gun legislation that would either be defeated or sent back to committee. He also said he disagreed with Paymar’s contention that citizens needed to see the vote to know where their legislators stand on gun control.
“Most representatives have been very clear with their constituents about where they stand on the issue,” Thissen said. “I don’t really see the need of having a vote to prove where someone stands on a particular issue. I’ve been very clear with my constituents that I support universal background checks and I don’t need a vote on the House floor to prove that.”
Thissen said he’s hopeful that lawmakers can pass gun legislation next year.