Students press MN lawmaker for gun bill hearings

Sen. Warren Limmer talked to high school students who showed up at his office to demand hearings on three gun bills. Tim Pugmire | MPR News

Updated: 4:15 p.m.

A group of high school students confronted a key Minnesota lawmaker Monday to demand action on three gun control bills.

The students want Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, to schedule hearings on the measures in the Senate judiciary and public safety committee that he chairs.

The bills are related to gun purchase background checks, creation of a stolen gun registry and protective court orders for gun owners posing a danger.

“We need these bills to be heard for our own safety,” said Josh Groven, a student at the School of Environmental Studies in Apple Valley who organized the demonstration at Limmer’s office.

Limmer, who chairs the Senate judiciary and public safety committee, told the students who crowded into his office that the emphasis this session is on school security improvements, not gun restrictions. He was noncommittal about hearings.

“I’m not going to entertain far right or far left solutions to this. I want solutions that work,” Limmer said. “I want solutions that will keep our kids safe.”

Limmer noted that bills to fund safety improvement in school buildings have advanced from other Senate committees.

The student protesters were not satisfied with the lawmaker’s response. They contend that school security and gun control issues are intertwined and should not be separated.

Groven said they planned to stay outside Limmer’s office for the rest of the day.

“I’m pretty upset,” he said.

Later Monday, Groven was among a group of high school students that disrupted a Senate committee hearing on an unrelated bill.

Limmer briefly paused the hearing while Groven and others were escorted out.

  • Cat

    Typical tone-deaf response by a Republican. Don’t they realize how many threats have been received by schools in Minnesota alone over the past month? The youth (and little elementary kids, too) are the very people on the front line to be harmed here by someone with a gun and a grievance. Minnesotans favor the legislation that’s being promoted by these high school students. I certainly hope that every student eligible to vote in the mid-terms does so, remembering the brush-off given to their efforts.

  • Logman

    These high school students do not write policy. Pure and Simple. They need to understand you cannot legislate evil out of our society. I am shocked by the naiveté of these kids and wonder what influence their parents have upon them. I assume the Parents are liberal minded and hence you have what you have. If you are concerned with harm coming to the students…then arm the teachers or have police on campus. We do not need more gun control….it is not the guns.

  • Rob Kelley

    High school students proposing common sense gun legislation are promoting “far left solutions”?