Daudt Says No to Gun Control, Pushes for School Safety After Texas Shooting

"We're not giving people with mental health problems the help they need"

Adam Carter
May 18, 2018 - 1:48 pm

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Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt says he's hopeful a school safety measure will become law in the final days of the legislative session, as he reacted to Friday's school shooting in Texas.

Daudt joined WCCO's Chad Hartman just hours after a 17-year old reportedly killed nine fellow students and a teacher at Sante Fe High School outside of Houston.  He said Republicans plan to focus on their  $50 million dollar proposal to give schools funds for safety upgrades — Republican leaders now plan to present it as a stand-alone bill instead of including it in the omnibus spending bill.

"We are working on school safety legislation, making our schools safer, and giving our schools the resources," Daudt said.

On the issue of gun control, Daudt said Minnesota already has some of the stiffest gun laws in the country.

"We are already requiring a background check on every sale that we believe we could administer a background check on," he said. 

Update: In a press conference Friday, Governor Mark Dayton called the lack of gun control measures in the Republican school safety proposal a "serious omission." 

Daudt says they need to look at legislation that would actually prevent these types of shootings from happening.  He says one way to do that is to tackle the mental health crisis.

"We're not giving people with mental health problems the help they need," he said. 

Daudt believes the media should play a role in preventing school shootings by not reporting the names of school shooters.

"I almost think that the reason these shooters do it is for some sort of infamy," Daudt said. "They've decided they're going to take their own life, so why not go out with a bang and make sure everybody knows why I did this."

Gun control measures forwarded by Democrats this session have not advanced in the Republican-controlled legislature.

Editor's note: This report is based on a radio interview and as such reflects the perspective of the person interviewed and not that of all potential stakeholders.  We're publishing it here so it's on the record and easily accessible. 

Listen to the full audio here: