GOP leader says he won't stand in the way of gun safety debate

Gov. Walz wants the issue included in hearings later this month

August 06, 2019 - 9:51 am

Senate Republican leader Paul Gazelka says it's up to committee chairs to begin discussions of gun safety laws.

Gov. Walz is calling on the GOP to add what he calls "common sense" gun laws to hearings that begin at the capitol later this month. 

"I put out some suggestions dealing with access to firearms, but I'm more than willing to listen," said Walz, speaking not long after last weekend's mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

For now, those hearings are scheduled to focus on controversy surrounding the Minnesota Department of Public Service.

Gazelka told Dave Lee on the WCCO Morning News that it would be up to the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"Hearings tend to bring out a massive of people on both sides of this issue, they're fairly chaotic," Gazela told Dave Lee on the WCCO Morning News. "But I'm definately not stopping them."

Gazelka said that focusing on mental health can make a difference when it comes to passing gun safety measures.

 "I do think things will come forward for next session," he said, adding that he'd like to see those gun debates center on mental health.

"That's the area that, I think, we can make a difference, rather than just some laws that wouldn't have stopped any of the gun shootings that we've heard about lately," Gazelka said.

Walz said gun safety is an issue that no longer can be set aside.

"I just think the deafening silence of not doing anything, of rejecting a call to hold a hearing, simply can't go on any longer." said Walz.


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