After hours-long hearings on gun violence in both chambers this month, Rep. Michael Paymar has released a package of policy changes that focuses on expanding background checks and stepped up penalties for gun crimes, but tosses out proposed bans on assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazine clips.
The St. Paul Democrat and chair of the House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee rolled out his “Gun Violence Prevention Act” at a press conference on Thursday. It includes his proposal to expand background checks and closes the so-called gun show loophole. The bill would also increase penalties for gun crimes and illegally selling firearms.
Paymar excluded a highly controversial ban on certain assault weapons. Some of his rural Democratic colleagues said they wouldn’t support that proposal.
Paymar was joined by Dave Pecchia, executive director of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, and Dennis Flaherty, head of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association.
Sen. Ron Latz, chairman of the Senate Public Safety Committee, is currently drafting a similar omnibus gun proposal.