(USNewsMag.com) – Democratic senators in Minnesota passed legislation for gun control involving instituting red flag laws and expanding background checks May 12. After debating for nine hours, the bill passed the Minnesota state Senate in a party-line vote of 34-33.
The bill includes adding a red flag law. Red flag laws, which 19 states currently have, allow authorities to get “extreme risk protection orders” from the courts, allowing the authorities to temporarily take away guns from people if they are deemed to be an imminent threat to themselves or to others.
Background checks for some gun transfers would be expanded by the bill. The bill would put more restrictions on the use of no-knock warrants by police. It would not ban no-knock warrants but allows them to be used in limited instances. The gun control pieces of the legislation are part of a larger public safety package that involves the criminal justice system’s policy as well as spending.
Republicans made a motion to send the bill back for more work from the House-Senate conference committee as the two gun control items were added in the conference committee May 10 to an overall public safety budget bill passed earlier in the Senate. In making the motion, Republicans were criticizing how the measures were added to the 512-page bill. However, that proposal was voted down by the Democrats.
The bill now moves back to the Minnesota state House where the Democrats hold more of a majority than in the state Senate. The House postponed debate on the bill, which had been scheduled for May 12. The House had already voted on the bill that included the gun control measures. Gov. Tim Walz, who is a Democrat, has said he would sign the legislation.
The Minnesota Legislature adjourns for the session May 22, though the House Speaker Melissa Hortman has said she would like to adjourn early.
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