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(VIDEO) Latz: Gun Control Will Wait Until After Budget Discussions

The Senate Judiciary chairman—whose district includes Hopkins, Golden Valley and St. Louis Park—declined to back any specific gun control measure.

Gun control discussions will take a back seat to setting the state’s budget, Senate Judiciary Chairman Ron Latz (DFL-District 46) told Senate Media Services in an interview published Friday.

“Our first job is to deal with the budget—and to deal with the jobs and economy in Minnesota,” Latz said. “And this is a budget year. So this is the year that the Legislature will set the budget for the next two years. That’s our first task.”

Watch the full video in the player above. Latz's interview starts at the 3:36 mark.

Latz—whose district includes Hopkins, Golden Valley, Plymouth and St. Louis Park—said his committee is starting this year’s session by examining funding for the Judiciary, the Department of Corrections, public defenders and other groups under his committee’s purview.

He stressed that the odds of a school shooting are small. While he said there are still improvements to be made, he added that students and parents shouldn’t worry about their safety at schools—even without a change in the law.

Latz declined to back any specific gun control measure, although he did say he was uncomfortable with proposals to arm teachers.

“But beyond that, I don’t have any particular proposal that I’m going to be out advocating for,” Latz said. “But our committee is the committee with the jurisdiction over the topic, and I tend to lean in favor of control over access to guns—certainly certain types of guns, assault rifles, the multiple magazine guns, as well, like the Bushmaster that was used in the Connecticut shooting.”

He also pushed back against Rep. Tony Cornish’s quote in a MinnPost article that Cornish isn’t sure “there’s any interest in the DFL to be known as the party who took away gun owners’ rights.”

Countered Latz: “I don’t think it’s about gun owners’ rights. I think that they’re already established in state law—lots of rights for people to own guns—but it is a regulated access and that’s just the nature of it, just like driving cars is regulated. The question is what are the appropriate regulations and where do we draw that line.”

Michael January 11, 2013 at 07:25 PM
Like you shouldn't even have to think about putting on your seatbelt? or looking both ways when you cross the street? or never talk to strangers? It is the DUTY of the citizenry to be vigilant regarding public safety. The police rarely STOP crimes... they show up and collect evidence to be used in judicial proceedings. We should ALL be thinking about these potentials. It is a naive, (pompous & privileged) attitude to believe that you are above thinking about the safety of yourself, or your loved ones.
MN Freeman January 13, 2013 at 04:08 AM
27 minutes. That's how long it took the Police to show up to a MURDER IN PROGRESS at the signage factory in Minneapolis. Facts are facts. The Police have no legal obligation to protect you. Since the Permit to Carry statute was passed (which was written as one of the most rigorous and thorough pieces of legislation in MN), crime has been reduced significantly. Rapes, murders, and armed robbery are all down since Permit to Carry was signed into law. The fact of the matter is that the DFL have nothing to gain by banning guns in MN. To argue banning the 2nd Amendment is equal to arguing the 1st. Being in Ron's district I would hope that he would focus more on the budget and the economic situation than firearms. We already have armed police officers guarding and securing the schools. We dont need to arm the teachers.

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