A DFL state lawmaker concluded a 24-hour sit-in on the floor of the state House on Wednesday morning, urging gun-control advocates to keep pushing lawmakers to tighten gun laws in Minnesota.
Rep. Erin Maye Quade of Apple Valley spent the night in the chamber, sometimes joined by other DFL lawmakers. Early in her protest, she was also joined by one Republican member of the House: Rep. Dario Anselmo of Edina. Maye Quade said she was frustrated by the Legislature’s inaction on proposals on background checks and the reporting of lost or stolen guns, among other gun-control measures — particularly because a recent statewide poll showed wide support for such ideas.
As she stood up and walked off the House floor around 11:45 a.m., Maye Quade was met with applause from gun-control advocates who had gathered outside the chamber and upstairs in its public gallery. Speaking through tears, she told her supporters that she was proud of them for showing up at the Capitol and urged them to keep up the pressure on their elected officials.
“You have to keep doing what you’re doing,” she said. “Keep calling your legislators, keep marching, keep writing letters.”
Earlier, Maye Quade said she wanted to show student activists and other Minnesotans that she’s been listening to the concerns they have raised in recent weeks following the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., and other incidents of gun violence. She said she was also inspired by the recent results of a Star Tribune Minnesota Poll that 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.
Gun-control measures introduced during this year’s legislative session have stalled in committee hearings. Senate DFLers said on Wednesday that they plan to make another push for several new gun-control measures during a scheduled Senate floor session on Thursday.