ST. PAUL, Minn. - Day two of the gun hearings at the State Office Building brought in hundreds more as the debate between public safety advocates and gun owners continues at the capitol. The venue this week is the House's Public Safety Committee, but where will the legislation go next, and will the massive crowds follow?
"This crowd will continue in each committee," Joseph Olson, a Hamline Law Professor and President of the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance said.
The Public Safety Committee gets first crack at the bills proposed. "We will assemble a bill based on all of the bills that we've heard," Committee Chair Michael Paymar, a DFLer from St. Paul, explained. The Representative says that will happen in 3 or 4 weeks, and he notes there will surely be several amendments along the way. Paymar believes the Judiciary Committee will be the bill's next stop, if it passes.
"It could have a quick trip to the floor if we can make it happen, but it has to get out of this committee," Paymar said. "Clearly Minnesotans are favoring more gun control," he added.
"These people feel personally attacked," Olson said after the Wednesday's hearing. He's hoping that if a plan advances, it'll go through several committees. "When the 'right to carry' bill went through the house it had seven hearings, in seven committees."
Olson plans on attending every hearing from here on out. "We will be here, you bet!" he exclaimed.
Getting a bill from committee, to the full House and Senate, and then on to the Governor, isn't an easy process and Representative Paymar says that's a good thing. "It takes a lot to get a bill passed and it should. It should be hard," he concluded.
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