In an abrupt change, Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka has told the Star-Tribune the Senate will hold hearings on two major gun safety bills if passed by the Minnesota House, the newspaper reports:
“It hasn’t been a priority of ours but what I will say is if the House passes universal background check and red flag laws off the floor, I am committed to giving those bills and other gun bills a hearing in the Senate,” Gazelka told the Star Tribune in an interview.
The Nisswa Republican has previously said he would “do everything in my power” to block new gun control measures this session.
Two Minnesota House committees have already passed HF 8, which would broaden criminal background checks on gun sales, and HF 9, a Red Flag bill, after hearing supportive testimony from Minnesota law enforcement leaders.
Polling conducted in 2018 by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune found that nine in 10 Minnesotans support criminal background checks on all gun sales. Additional polling last year found 87 percent of Minnesotans support the concept of Red Flag laws.