St. Paul Latest City to Request Stricter Gun Laws

Updated: 01/08/2013 7:17 AM KSTP.com By: Katherine Johnson

From shotguns to hunting rifles, guns are a part of Minnesota culture and tradition. But city leaders are now asking legislators to consider banning the sale of certain kinds of guns before another tragedy becomes a part of Minnesota history.

"How many more people have to die?  How many more mass shootings do we need to have before we say enough is enough?" said St. Paul City Council Member Chris Tolbert.

Tolbert is leading the charge as the St. Paul city council asks the state legislature to ban semi-automatics and high-capacity magazines from sale in the state.

"They're for wars.  They're not for people to have in their houses in St. Paul."

But there are other bills on the table this legislative session pushing just the opposite.

"The worst thing you can do is disarm your citizens or keep guns from citizens hands so it's just - it's a crazy idea," said State Rep. Tony Cornish.

Representative Tony Cornish plans to introduce a law to allow teachers to carry guns in school.

"These things are going to happen.  You can't stop evil of this type with gun laws," he said.

People we spoke to in St. Paul stand behind their city council's request, specifically asking for stricter background checks.

One thing everyone agrees on - something has to change.

"They should be going after the mental illness problem and not a gun problem," said Rep. Cornish.

"We continue to have people shooting at police officers, firefighters, and shooting at innocent people and with Sandy Hook, to shoot at children, which is the epitome of good and purity, is the most evil thing you can think of," said Tolbert.

The incoming chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Ron Latz, sent us a statement, reading, "Recent events have sparked an important discussion across the country, and for our part we'll be ready to hear from concerned citizens, law enforcement, and other experts on the issues to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep our schools and neighborhoods safe."