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Dayton defends gun laws as debate rages nationally

Posted by: under Gov. Mark Dayton Updated: December 17, 2012 - 2:30 PM

In the wake of last week's Connecticut school shooting, Gov. Mark Dayton defended the right to own firearms but said he would consider possible gun-control measures in the coming legislative session.

“My reading of the constitution is that it provides a complete permission for any law abiding citizen to possess firearms, whichever ones he or she chooses, and the ammunition to go with that,” Dayton said Monday. “Now if the Supreme Court rules otherwise, then we will all know how we can proceed.”

Dayton was not sure whether the state could impose measures to restrict access to firearms, ammunition or clips designed to carry multiple bullets. He did not embrace calls for tougher mental health screening for firearm owners.

“At this point, I don’t think we have an option under the Second Amendment to do what some people are advocating,” Dayton said. “There’s a limit on what society can do to protect people from their own follies.”

Dayton, who has owned several firearms, said he is willing to talk with legislators who have ideas to toughen state gun laws.

“I know there are a whole variety of views on this and I believe we should have a public debate,” he said.

The governor said he is determined to take action this next legislative to ensure school’s have the best readiness plans in case a similar incident were to happen in Minnesota.

“We will do everything we possibly can,” Dayton said. “The safety of our school children and the educators who teach is paramount and parents should have that assurance of every bit of guarantee we can provide.”

Dayton dismissed talk of arming teachers or school officials, saying it would be dangerous and cumbersome to implement.

“You just increase the danger,” Dayton said “To have weapons in classrooms defies common sense.”
 

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