ST. PAUL, Minn. – On opening day of the Legislative Session, the people are helping set the tone for the new year.
The organization Moms Demand Action filled the rotunda on Tuesday, asking for tougher gun laws in order for better protection.
"My concern for my grandchildren really,” Sherry Anderson, of Cannon Falls, said. “I did not have to worry for my children about being shot in school."
"We experience shooter drills, we walk down the streets, we have friends, and we're just people like everyone else,” Maya Sprenger-Otto, with Students Demand Action, said. “This is a cause that affects everyone."
Last session, the legislature passed a measure that was vetoed by former Gov. Mark Dayton. This session, lawmakers plan to revisit it.
“I know that this is an incredibly charged issue,” Gov. Tim Walz said, “but to move a couple pieces of legislation that have data supporting that they make our communities, our schools, our workplaces safer; and at the same time, having no impact on the ability of lawful gun owners to purchase firearms seems like the right thing to do.”
Some lawmakers expect finding common ground to be difficult.
“You know the simple, more background checks thing, we're already doing background checks,” Sen. David Senjem, of Rochester, said. “What more do we want? It's one of those things though that'll get a lot of discussion and we'll see, perhaps by the end of session, how it shakes out.”
The Minnesota Legislature is the only divided assembly in the nations with Republicans controlling the Senate, and the Democrats in the majority in the House.