Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk likes guns.
Asked Friday if he owned any guns like the type some lawmakers have contemplated banning, Bakk said: "Well, I don't know. I don't own an AR-15. I own a lot of semi-automatics. The first one I bought when I was in 11th grade. It's a Remington 308. It's the one I use for deer hunting. I own a lot of semi-automatic weapons and if some people think those are assault weapons, then I have some. But I don't own an AR-15."
How many guns does he have? Bakk, DFL-Cook, couldn't count.
"I don't know. I know I can't buy any more because my gun safe is full. I either need to buy a bigger gun safe -- and it's not big..." he said, laughing.
Bakk, who lives far closer to Canada than St. Paul, then waxed nostalgic.
"I have some, several actually, that my dad gave me. I didn't buy all of them. And that's what I think people are going to learn is that fathers and grandfathers turn their gun cache you might say, over to their grandkids. And my dad has done that. I have some of his. Both of my sons have some of the guns that he bought back in the 40s and 50s and they're cherished family heirlooms almost that grandparents, oftentimes, pass on to their kids...Many of them actually come with a story," Bakk said, traveling down memory lane about the first deer his father shot with his ".30-30" he bought at the co-op. "People get very emotionally connected."
The Minnesota House had a week of committee hearings this week about gun legislation. The Minnesota Senate is expected to hold its gun week starting Feb. 18.