Posted at: 01/30/2013 6:18 PM
Updated at: 01/30/2013 10:48 PM
By: Travis Dill
Senators from Minnesota made some of their first comments on Wednesday in the controversial gun control debate.
President Obama will need the help of Democrats in states with strong gun cultures like Minnesota.
The first congressional hearings on gun control took place on Wednesday, and comments from Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar show where they stand on the issue.
Franken and Klobuchar said they want to take steps on gun control, but they said they are conscious of Minnesotans' rights.
“I come from a hunting state. The last thing I want to do is hurt my uncle Dick in his deer stand, and I want to make sure what we do works,” Klobuchar said.
She is worried about background check loopholes. According to testimony at the hearing, 40 percent of gun sales happen outside the background check system. Experts said that happens at gun shows or in private sales.
But those sales are not a source of crime according to the vice president of the National Rifle Association.
“Where criminals are getting guns is on the black market, they're stealing them. They're not getting them through gun shows,” Wanye LaPierre said. “I just don't think law abiding people want every gun sale in the country to be under the thumb of the federal government.”
Meanwhile Franken said his opinions came from talks with hunters, school officials and law enforcement.
“We can honor the Second Amendment and we can honor Minnesota's culture of responsible gun ownership while taking some basic measures that will make our kids and communities safer,” Franken said.
To do that he has cosponsored several Senate bills, like a limit on clip size and a ban on assault weapons.
Minnesota may have a strong gun culture, but comments from state senators showed support for the controversial gun control.