ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The final day of Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on guns is in the books. Now lawmakers will sort through the bills they heard before they are either scrapped, sent to another committee, or make it to the Senate floor. A similar process is also underway in the House.
There were plenty of people interested in speaking their minds on the topic.
Friday began with a press conference hosted by Organizing for Action; a group advocating President Obama's call for universal background checks. Mary Streufert delivered the most emotional message at the event. "It's time to do something. My daughter, Carin Streufert, killed 21 years ago, deserves a vote," she told the assembled media.
Carin was kidnapped, raped, and killed in Grand Rapids. She was a few weeks shy of her 19th birthday. Two men are serving life sentences as two parents continue to advocate for more gun control. "It feels like, many times, we're slogging through the mud, but this is the most hopeful that I've been," Mary Streufert told KARE 11.
Meanwhile, a large group of people fighting for what they called their continued 2nd amendment rights assembled outside the Senate Hearing Room. "I'm here to protect the 2nd amendment," wife and mother Julie Zappa said, standing next to her son. "So I try to get our here and say don't be scared (there's) another good guy with a gun. Not all guys with guns are bad. The bad guys are going to have guns no matter what we do. Let's let the good guys keep their guns," she said.
Andrew Rothman with Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance says the bills discussed add up to civil rights violations. "Each bill has a number of separate infringements that together would add up to a significant impediment of the constitutional right to bear arms," he said before the hearing.
"A system that requires a background check for every gun sale is common sense and it works," a retired ATF agent told the committee.
The Senators were in the room to listen on this snowy Friday. Dozens and dozens of Minnesotans, on both sides of the issue, had their strong voices heard.
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