DFL State Senators are proposing a comprehensive plan to address gun violence. It focuses on school safety, research and gun safety. Senator Matt Klein of Mendota Heights says students demanding action blame lawmakers from both parties for current school safety and gun violence failures and adds “they hold us all responsible and I understand this is an issue with strong believers on both sides, but if we can’t discuss this acute and excruciating tragedy in the committee rooms of the state legislature, then why did they bother to send us here?” Ben Jaeger, a junior at Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis, spoke at Saturday’s rally at the State Capitol and reiterated today that “there are students as young as six who are worried about getting shot in their school right now and it’s only happening right here and to me that is an absolute failure of the people who have been in power until now to allow that to continue.” Jaeger says students are planning to be at the State Capitol every day to demand action and keep pressure on lawmakers until change occurs. Part of the plan introduced today would allow school districts to bond for security equipment. DFL Senator Jason Issacson of Shoreview says he’s hearing Minnesota students’ calls for action and “today as Senators, we’re really standing on the student’s shoulders as they are helping drive the issue, and I want to follow them where they go, because I think that our student leaders are empowered and they want to let their voice be known, and I think it’s important that we respect that.” The DFL proposal introduced today–which is a reworking of several measures already proposed earlier this session–calls for research on trauma resulting from gun violence and background checks on all firearm transfers.
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