Law Enforcement, Leaders React to Gun Proposals

Posted at: 01/16/2013 7:00 PM
Updated at: 01/16/2013 7:09 PM

"We have a problem. Everyone recognizes something needs to be done," said St. Louis County Sheriff Ross Litman.

But not everyone agrees on what to do about gun safety.

Litman said he believes that things like high capacity magazines do need to be part of the discussion and solution.

Another sheriff, further south in Pine County, doesn't believe banning weapons is constitutional. Sheriff Robin Cole said he will not enforce a federal ban, and that it's his jobs to enforce state laws.

Itasca Co. Sheriff Vic Williams said people tend to zone in on the tools of the trade, rather than the motivation. "The majority of crimes in Itasca County do not involve these types of firearms," he said.

Litman said the same thing. "We rarely confiscate illegal firearms, such as automatic weapons. What we do encounter is people possessing firearms who are prohibited from doing so," he added.

Police Chief Gordon Ramsay, of Duluth, said he agreed with President Obama's ideas about background checks and mental health.

Chief Jim Denny, of Grand Rapids, said he also agreed with changes to background checks and closing the loophole at gun shows.

As for lawmakers, David Dill of Crane Lake said that blaming firearms, mental health, or video game solely is wrong.

Governor Dayton's office said he will be looking at the President's proposals carefully.

On the federal level, Senator Al Franken said there are reasonable steps we can take to reduce gun violence, while honoring Second Amendment rights.

His counterpart, Amy Klobuchar, said the President's recommendations are important for public safety.

And Wisconsin's newest senator, Tammy Baldwin, said she is hopeful that we can move forward with a balanced approach to take action that protects the Second Amendment and saves lives."