Minnesota lawmaker stages sit-in, wants stronger gun laws

A Democratic lawmaker is holding a 24-hour sit-in on the Minnesota House floor to protest the lack of action on gun legislation this year.

Posted: Apr 25, 2018 11:53 AM
Updated: Apr 25, 2018 2:51 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Hoping to pressure colleagues to vote on gun-control legislation that has stalled in the Minnesota Legislature, a first-term lawmaker staged a 24-hour sit-in inside the House chamber, rising occasionally to read stories of people killed by gun violence.

Rep. Erin May Quade, a Democrat, ended her sit-in on Wednesday to the cheers of supporters. She vowed that the movement against gun violence will "continue, and it'll continue to grow stronger" if Republicans who control both the House and Senate don't allow votes on the bills.

Democrats and a handful of suburban Minneapolis Republican are calling for stronger background checks for gun buyers and so-called "red flag" laws, which give families and police a legal path to temporarily remove guns from people who are a danger to themselves or others.

"There has been a movement happening in this country for gun violence prevention for a long time," she said, recalling that she was in middle school 19 years ago when the Columbine High School shooting happened in Colorado. "This is another part of that movement."

Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt said Wednesday that some lawmakers were working on tweaks to gun legislation that could draw enough support to pass this year. Daudt previously mentioned potential changes to background checks, but he stopped short of the universal background-check policy that Democrats have called for.

Maye Quade said that's not enough.

"There is no conversation. If it's behind closed doors, it's not happening," she said. "This is the people's house."

Gun laws have fallen under scrutiny nationwide since February's deadly school shooting that killed 17 students and staff members at a Florida high school. A handful of states, including Florida, have approved "red flag" laws, while others have expanded rules on who can buy guns.

But efforts to move similar bills in Minnesota have foundered.

With less than a month left in the legislative session, gun control bills haven't reached full House or Senate floors for a vote. The proposed changes face stiff odds with both Republicans and rural Democrats.

The overnight protest by Maye Quade, who's from the Minneapolis suburb of Apple Valley, drew the attention of several dozen gun control supporters, who gathered outside the House chamber and chanted, "We represent the 90 percent," in reference to a recent statewide poll showing 90 percent of respondents favor tighter gun laws.

As Maye Quade stood up and walked out of the chamber, she was greeted by their cheers. Her protest, which began Tuesday morning after the floor session ended, didn't disrupt the business of the House.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 592750

Reported Deaths: 7376
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1226641731
Ramsey51369875
Dakota45906452
Anoka41713438
Washington26899283
Stearns22238222
St. Louis17758304
Scott17275124
Wright16034140
Olmsted1324298
Sherburne1170887
Carver1049145
Clay815792
Rice8056107
Blue Earth750441
Crow Wing665089
Kandiyohi655783
Chisago599751
Otter Tail574978
Benton570297
Goodhue478072
Douglas467875
Mower465732
Winona454550
Itasca437556
McLeod423659
Isanti421364
Morrison419260
Nobles407748
Beltrami395559
Steele388315
Polk384168
Becker380253
Lyon360651
Carlton345254
Freeborn341729
Pine328622
Nicollet326143
Brown305440
Mille Lacs304553
Le Sueur291723
Todd282132
Cass272828
Meeker256340
Waseca236222
Martin230632
Roseau209019
Wabasha20533
Hubbard189341
Dodge18493
Renville180243
Redwood174337
Houston171816
Cottonwood164923
Fillmore156310
Wadena155922
Pennington153619
Faribault152319
Chippewa152238
Kanabec144626
Sibley143510
Aitkin134936
Watonwan13279
Rock128219
Jackson121812
Pipestone115426
Yellow Medicine114120
Pope11026
Murray10639
Swift105218
Stevens91311
Marshall88117
Clearwater86816
Koochiching83315
Wilkin81512
Lake81119
Lac qui Parle75322
Big Stone6004
Lincoln5813
Grant5768
Mahnomen5499
Norman5399
Unassigned50093
Kittson48622
Red Lake3967
Traverse3705
Lake of the Woods3253
Cook1640

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 367061

Reported Deaths: 5938
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57642625
Linn20869335
Scott20044241
Black Hawk15813308
Woodbury15132228
Johnson1448383
Dubuque13374208
Dallas1118298
Pottawattamie11122168
Story1061748
Warren577988
Clinton555693
Cerro Gordo540389
Sioux514474
Webster512293
Marshall483075
Muscatine481199
Des Moines457166
Wapello4301122
Buena Vista424840
Jasper419272
Plymouth401280
Lee375855
Marion362575
Jones298957
Henry291837
Carroll285952
Bremer284560
Crawford266140
Boone264834
Benton256655
Washington253750
Dickinson248443
Mahaska230351
Jackson222142
Clay215625
Kossuth215364
Tama209771
Delaware209641
Winneshiek196934
Page192722
Buchanan191332
Cedar190023
Hardin185643
Fayette185141
Wright184637
Hamilton179949
Harrison179673
Clayton169556
Butler164934
Madison162319
Mills162222
Floyd160942
Cherokee158938
Lyon158041
Poweshiek154734
Allamakee151451
Iowa148824
Hancock148234
Winnebago142431
Calhoun138513
Cass138554
Grundy136333
Emmet134340
Jefferson132435
Shelby131037
Sac130319
Union128333
Louisa128149
Appanoose127949
Mitchell126342
Chickasaw124116
Guthrie121530
Franklin120521
Humboldt119126
Palo Alto112823
Howard104622
Montgomery103338
Clarke100124
Unassigned9740
Keokuk95931
Monroe95129
Ida90335
Adair86532
Pocahontas85522
Davis83024
Monona82730
Osceola78716
Greene77710
Lucas77223
Worth7478
Taylor66012
Fremont6229
Decatur6089
Ringgold55824
Van Buren55818
Wayne53923
Audubon51010
Adams3384
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