Savick: Gun background checks unlikely to pass House committeePublished 11:17am Thursday, March 21, 2013
Firearm bill no longer on target
The House Public Safety Committee chairman dropped a plan to expand background checks to virtually all gun sales that was set for a vote Tuesday evening. District 27A Rep. Shannon Savick, DFL-Wells, who is on the committee and supports background checks, said they may be scratched from the bill entirely.
“The background checks, I’ve been told, are not going to be on the bill,” said Savick, adding that gun shows, which are currently exempt from checks, still would be.
Savick said she surveyed residents of her district to gauge their thoughts on background checks, and the results ended up being about 50-50 between those in favor and those against the checks.
She also received a lot of mail from people elsewhere in the state, including from residents in the National Rifle Association.
“I got a lot of emails from all over Minnesota to vote no on background checks from NRA members,” Savick said, adding she had seen another survey that said 75 percent of NRA members actually supported background checks.
Savick said checks are important for public safety.
“I think we need background checks to stop people that are either a danger to themselves or a danger to others from getting guns,” she said.
While it may not include background checks, Savick said, the bill is changing by the day and will likely look to increase the punishment for felons who buy guns illegally, as well as for felons who have another person carry or buy a gun for them.
Lawmakers said the new bill needs to be ready for a committee hearing sometime this week to meet deadlines.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.