Northlanders Weigh in on Proposed Gun Bills

Ryan Juntti
Updated: January 21, 2020 06:46 PM

Passionate views on both sides of the gun control debate filled the Crown Ballroom in Hibbing on Tuesday afternoon. A Senate committee is considering six firearm bills from both sides of the aisle.


The bill that got the most attention was one that would expand background checks for everyone, which was certainly an emotional topic for many in the audience. 

Those in support of expanding background checks feel it would go a long ways towards stopping gun violence.

"Lives will be saved. Gun deaths are going up in Minnesota. They're going up nationally. We need to save lives. Why wouldn't we? Why wouldn't we pass measures that would save lives?," said Joan Peterson, who is the regional chair for the Northland chapter for Protect Minnesota. 

Peterson lost her sister to gun violence, so the issue is personal for her.

However, those against expanding background checks say this won't stop criminals from being able to obtain guns. Some are worried about a possible trickle-down effect it could have and what will happen if expanded background checks are enacted.

"The gun laws are going to slowly take the guns away from the law-abiding citizen, incrementally. Maybe not on these laws but down the road they will," said Cory Pylkka, who lives near Gilbert.

Lawmakers didn't vote on any of the bills on Tuesday. They will now take the feedback gathered back to St. Paul to help them decide what to do moving forward.


Ryan Juntti

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