UPDATE: Rep. Erin Maye Quade ended her 24-hour sit-in around 11:40 a.m. Wednesday.
Original store is below.
A DFL state lawmaker frustrated with the Minnesota Legislature’s inaction on gun control proposals began a 24-hour sit-in on the floor of the state House on Tuesday.
Rep. Erin Maye Quade of Apple Valley was joined Tuesday afternoon by a handful of other DFLers and one Republican, Rep. Dario Anselmo of Edina, as she shared the stories of people affected by gun violence — and called for her fellow lawmakers to pass measures requiring universal background checks on gun purchases and the reporting of lost or stolen firearms.
Maye Quade said she came up with the idea for the sit-in on Monday evening, as she considered the ongoing wave of student activism prompted by the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.; last week’s anniversary of the 1999 school shooting in Columbine, Colo.; and a recent Star Tribune poll that found that a large majority of Minnesotans support background checks and mandatory reporting of stolen guns.
She said her round-the-clock presence in the House chamber is a way to show students and other activists that lawmakers are listening to their concerns.
“I want to let them know that we feel their urgency,” she said.
The poll taken earlier this month found that 90 percent of poll respondents believed that Minnesota should require criminal background checks on all gun sales, and 86 percent believed it should be mandatory to report lost or stolen guns to the police.
A handful of gun control bills have been offered during this year’s legislative session, but they have stalled out in committees before reaching the full House or Senate for a vote.
Maye Quade said she knows the Republican majorities in both chambers of the Legislature are unlikely to support restrictions on gun ownership.
“I am not unaware of the feeling of the majority party on this, but it doesn’t mean we can’t still try,” she said.