Poll results: Gun law reform in Minnesota

[anvplayer video=”5176409″ station=”998130″]

When the Minnesota house and senate vote on the final public safety bill, they’ll be voting on two controversial gun control laws. A conference committee added the two measures, one calling for background checks for private gun sales and the other creating a “red flag” law.

The issue of gun control has long been the third rail of American politics. The same is true in Minnesota where gun rallies and legislative hearings have been commonplace, but with little action.

“Background checks are extremely popular with Minnesotans including gun owners like me,” Karl Kaufman of the National rifle association said. “They’re just common sense.”

“My opposition”, he added, “is mostly that this is an infringement upon the 2nd amendment.”

According to our new KSTP-TV/SurveyUSA poll, opposition to background checks for private gun sales is eroding in Minnesota. 74 percent of Minnesotans we surveyed across the state approve of that proposal. 21 percent disapprove and six percent are not sure.

There’s a similar result regarding a “red flag” or “extreme protection” law that would allow guns to be taken from people deemed a danger to themselves or others. 65 percent say they approve. 26 disapprove, with eight percent not sure.

It’s possible the increasing frequency of mass shootings with almost daily news coverage is having an impact.

Carlton College retired political science professor Steven Schier said it sensitizes people to the issue. “It makes it more salient to them in their daily lives and people want safe environments. If they believe government can provide that through regulations they will support the regulations” he said.

Despite poll results and legislation, the gun control debate will continue.

“According to data from the department of justice, less than nine percent of firearms acquired by criminals come from person-to-person sales and most of those are from family members who are actually exempted under this bill”, Rob Dorr from the MN gun owners caucus told the committee.

Dr. Laurel Ries from the Minnesota medical association also addressed lawmakers saying, “Just because we can’t do everything doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do what we can.”