The debate over whether expanded background checks will help limit gun violence resumes in the Minnesota Legislature this week.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled debate on a universal background checks bill at its meeting on Thursday evening, said the committee sponsor, Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park.Latz said he expects the issue to come up for a vote.
That would be the first such vote this year after lengthy debate and public hearings.
The Senate Judiciary Committee meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Room 15 of the state Capitol.
The bill got a boost Tuesday from leaders representing communities of color, who held a Capitol news conference to support background checks and oppose a measure advanced by Rep. Deb Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center. They said Hilstrom's bill creates new felony penalties that would disproportionately affect minority communities, while failing to address the background check issue.
"A lot of people can get a gun quicker than they can get a job," said Nick Muhammad of St. Paul.
A Duluth native who just barely lost Virginia's GOP gubernatorial primary said that politicians have not gone far enough in condemning the left for violence during a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville. "I think that the left is going to try to use this as an excuse to crack down on conservative free speech," said Corey Stewart. "I think they're going to try to use this as an excuse to remove more historical monuments."