Bills that would restrict gun access are coming up for a sudden vote before a Minnesota House committee, after a Democratic state representative used an obscure parliamentary rule to force the Thursday hearing in the House Public Safety Committee.
In the aftermath of the school shooting in Florida last month, many have asked why reports that 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz was possibly mentally ill and violent weren’t fully investigated. Mankato State Representative Jack Considine said one of the two bills that have languished in the House Public Safety Committee for more than a year would address that because it, “Basically said that if family, friends report that somebody is having a mental health crisis then you can go in and remove the guns until an assessment’s been done.”
And if it’s proven that nothing is wrong with the gun owner’s mental state, Considine explained, “Once the assessment’s been done, if the person is found to be okay they get their guns back.”
The other bill would expand background checks to all gun sales and transfers. Both bills face a steep climb in the Republican-controlled Legislature, but efforts to address gun violence and firearm access are gaining steam nationwide after the latest school shooting in Florida.