Updated: 02/06/2013 7:55 AM KSTP.com By: Tom Hauser
The Minnesota legislature will consider a wide range of gun control proposals this week, and there were packed crowds for both the morning and evening hearings.
The first hearing Tuesday attracted hundreds of Minnesotans who either support or oppose new gun legislation. There were so many people who showed up that two overflow rooms had to be opened to accommodate people who watched the proceedings on television. It was more of the same at the 6pm meeting, some in attendance were at both meetings.
Deann Liefschultz from Orono is a gun owner, she uses it for protection. For her, it was important to be there because she said she, "feels it is really important to support our rights."
The bills considered Tuesday included measures ranging from stricter background checks to mental illness to stiffer penalties for people who possess a firearm on school property.
The chair of the House Public Safety Committee, Rep. Michael Paymar, (DFL) St. Paul, says there won't be any votes taken this week, but he wants to hear what ideas people have.
Several dozen people spoke out Tuesday night on both sides of the issue. North Minneapolis Pastor Gene Martin says he felt violence first-hand when his son's mother was murdered in 2006. Martin testified, "Someone had gone in there and put a shotgun or something to her head and just blew the side of her head off."
Two of the most controversial gun-related bills of the session are expected to be debated Wednesday. They include a ban on military-style semi-automatic weapons, and a limit on ammunition clips to 10 rounds.
We also have exclusive new KSTP/SurveyUSA poll results on several gun control issues.
KSTP Reporter Chris Egert contributed to this report.