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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.

Confirmed Cases: 26273

Reported Deaths: 1126
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin8867641
Ramsey3252140
Stearns205014
Nobles15625
Anoka148878
Dakota141464
Washington68034
Olmsted67211
Kandiyohi5111
Rice4833
Scott4602
Clay44129
Mower4062
Wright3392
Todd3361
Sherburne2482
Carver2322
Benton1823
Steele1670
Blue Earth1480
Freeborn1420
Martin1325
St. Louis11814
Pine930
Nicollet8811
Lyon811
Winona8015
Cottonwood790
Watonwan780
Crow Wing774
Unassigned7511
Carlton750
Otter Tail730
Goodhue715
Chisago641
Polk612
Itasca5610
Dodge530
Chippewa521
Morrison480
Le Sueur461
Meeker460
Douglas450
Becker430
Jackson420
Murray400
McLeod390
Isanti360
Waseca270
Pennington230
Rock230
Mille Lacs231
Faribault200
Swift190
Beltrami180
Wabasha180
Fillmore171
Sibley160
Brown162
Norman150
Pipestone120
Marshall120
Kanabec121
Wilkin113
Cass112
Aitkin110
Wadena100
Pope100
Koochiching90
Big Stone80
Redwood70
Renville70
Mahnomen61
Lincoln60
Yellow Medicine60
Grant40
Traverse40
Red Lake40
Lac qui Parle30
Clearwater30
Roseau30
Hubbard30
Houston20
Kittson10
Lake10
Stevens10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 20767

Reported Deaths: 583
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk4541137
Woodbury283737
Black Hawk177548
Buena Vista9971
Linn97179
Dallas94025
Marshall91218
Wapello62814
Johnson6189
Muscatine56541
Crawford5472
Tama41029
Scott38010
Dubuque35521
Louisa34911
Pottawattamie31110
Sioux2980
Jasper26917
Wright2120
Washington1958
Warren1661
Plymouth1462
Story1261
Allamakee1204
Mahaska9912
Poweshiek928
Henry722
Bremer706
Boone700
Des Moines671
Clarke660
Clinton651
Taylor640
Webster621
Hamilton610
Guthrie543
Cedar491
Benton431
Monroe415
Shelby370
Cherokee370
Jones370
Jefferson350
Marion350
Osceola340
Clayton343
Cerro Gordo331
Iowa330
Dickinson330
Buchanan330
Madison292
Lee290
Fayette280
Sac280
Davis280
Harrison260
Monona250
Clay250
Lyon240
Winneshiek240
Emmet240
Lucas222
Hardin210
Grundy200
Mills200
Delaware191
Humboldt191
Floyd191
Franklin170
Appanoose173
Hancock160
Butler161
Ida150
Greene150
Pocahontas150
Page140
Kossuth140
Keokuk140
Audubon131
Jackson130
Carroll130
Chickasaw130
Howard120
Cass120
Winnebago110
Montgomery91
Adair90
Union90
Van Buren90
Adams70
Palo Alto70
Calhoun60
Ringgold40
Mitchell40
Fremont40
Worth30
Wayne10
Decatur10
Unassigned00
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