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Latz: Gun Control Debate Adds Controversy to Commonsense Proposals

The Senate Judiciary chairman and local legislator said his five-point plan to keep guns from people who shouldn’t have them would sail through if it weren’t for the larger debate on guns.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Ron Latz (DFL-District 46) said gun control proposals like his are only generating controversy because of the larger debate about how to regulate firearms in the wake of the Newtown, CT shooting.

In an interview with Senate Media Service’s Capitol Report last week, Latz pitched his five-part package as a commonsense approach that’s simply intended to keep gun from people who shouldn’t have them.

“This is not an attack on gun rights,” Latz said. “That’s already well established in the Constitution and by the Supreme Court. This is simply what form of regulation we should use for a lawful but dangerous product.”

Latz, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and St. Paul Rep. John Lesch (DFL-District 66B) are pushing for a bill that would:

  1. Add domestic abuse by strangulation and felony domestic abuse to the list of violent crimes that keep people from owning guns;
  2. Make it a felony for juveniles to have guns in certain cases;
  3. Classify giving or selling a gun to a known felon as aiding and abetting;
  4. Extend the ban on felons owning guns to include ammunition, as is the case in federal law and
  5. Clarify that people whose commitments are stayed can’t carry guns.

Latz—whose district includes Golden Valley, Hopkins, Plymouth and St. Louis Park—said proposals like those would pass with almost no dissent in a less divisive political climate.

“Too much around here has people locked into doctrinaire positions, and they’re not even willing to listen to the alternative viewpoint—let alone adjust theirs a little bit to make some progress on areas—and this is the kind of legislation that has traditionally caused a lot of dissension among people,” Latz said. “I’m hopeful in the approach that I’m taking is that we can find that common ground.

But the Legislature has numerous gun-control proposals—about dozen in the House and five in the Senate. Many of those bills go well beyond the measure Latz is pushing. Vernon Center Rep. Tony Cornish (R-District 23B) told Capitol Report that makes gun owners skeptical of proposals like Latz’s five-point plan.

“Gun control advocates lied to us. They said, ‘We’ll never come after your long guns. We’ll never go after registration.’ Here they are. A bill we have today is not only registering it, but agreeing to inspections by the police to see if you’re compliant and then when you pass on, turning it back in to the government,” said Cornish, the Republican lead on the House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee. “That just scares the heck out of some of us gun owners, so we have to have more trust they’ll do what they say before we sign on to any bills.

Click play on the YouTube video above to watch the full interviews. Latz’s interview starts at 10:40. Cornish’s interview starts at 16:35. Share your thoughts in the comments below when you're done.

jim lindsey February 13, 2013 at 06:50 PM
Obama praised Germany last night in his address the nation. That would be the last country I compare the US to. Didn't Hitler come from Germany? Be aware America.
Joshua February 13, 2013 at 07:40 PM
Did you even watch or read the address? He mentioned Germany because there a high school diploma is the equivalent of a junior college degree. It had nothing to do with firearms, which you're obviously trying to correlate.
jim lindsey February 13, 2013 at 08:51 PM
No I am saying Obama and Hitler may have something in common where did you get the limitation of firearms I think something much more evil is at play in that mans heart than just disarming a nation but I guess that would be the first step to conquest.
Joshua February 13, 2013 at 09:04 PM
Because you posted your comment on an article page about firearm regulations, that's why. And there's a lot of anti-Obama rhetoric floating around the internet claiming so as well. I cannot believe the BS people reiterate about our commander-in-chief. How can you possibly say that he has evil in his heart? Are you really that delusional? Now, it's your right to have an opinion, but if you are being truthful, God save America. No, I'm not worried about an "evil" president with evil intentions. My greatest concern today is another American Civil War.
jim lindsey February 14, 2013 at 04:32 AM
Did you understand why the civil war happened? Do you know what lessons our forefathers learned? If so why would you support any man who's actions by nature would leave a nation unable to defend themselves? Furthermore the purpose of Federal government purpose was infrastructure only. The fact that they attempt to rule by executive orders. That's Communism at its finest.
Michael Hindin May 02, 2013 at 07:49 PM
This has nothing to do with defending our nation. The American military is well trained, equipped and staffed by patriotic Americans to defend us. The standard hunter's shotgun and other legal hunting weapons are perfectly adequate to defend our homes. Why is it OK for shoppers at gun dealers to undergo background checks and the questionable neighbor down the road to go to a gun show and buy any weapon for sale? Why would you defend giving or selling a gun to a know felon? Why do you want felons to own guns? Why would you want someone who tried to strangle your mother, wife, daughter, or sister be abel to possess a gun which makes murder even easier? Taking President Obama's speach out of context is just to cloud the safety issues that Senator Latz is trying to address.
Nancy E Gertner May 03, 2013 at 03:23 AM
Hitler was a Homo Sapiens, so I guess any human has that "commonality" with him. BMWs, Audis, Mercedes, and Volkswagon are from Germany, and many people aspire to have one or more in their garage, and do not run away from German engineering. So when I think of Germany, I do not focus on one individual that died there over 65 years ago.
Nancy E Gertner May 03, 2013 at 03:29 AM
I do not have any children in school, but I have been to the funeral and burial of my friend's child that was murdered in her classroom, so I appreciate that Senator Latz is looking out for the children of Minnesota that are too young to vote, and are unlikely to contribute to his campaign for re-election. Support for background checks is reported to be around 90 percent of the population, and will probably grow higher as more people continue to have family members that die from gun violence.

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