State Watch

Minnesota governor rips lawmaker for saying gun control backers should be ‘run over’

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Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) on Sunday denounced a GOP state lawmaker for saying that gun control proponents needed to be “kicked to the curb and stomped on and run over a few times,” arguing that the language endangers communities.  

“Encouraging violence endangers our communities and undermines our democracy, particularly when the statement is made by an elected official,” Walz said in a statement, according to The Pioneer Press. “While heated debates are a healthy part of the political process, this type of language is unacceptable and demands condemnation from people of all political parties.”

{mosads}The comments from Walz came just a day after state Rep. Cal Bahr (R) called on people to push back against groups advocating for tougher gun laws in the state.

“There’s a lot of us in this room that have had enough, and it’s time to start riding herd on the rest of these people that want to take your rights away from you,” Bahr said during the Minnesota Gun Owner Caucus rally. 

He added that advocates calling for gun control would “not go quietly into the good night.”

“They need to be kicked to the curb and stomped on and run over a few times,” Bahr said.

Minnesota is preparing to debate multiple gun control proposals during this year’s legislative session, according to the Pioneer Press. One of the bills would mandate universal background checks for firearm purchases, while another would allow police to confiscate guns from individuals determined to be dangerous. 

The Minnesota state House public safety committee is expected to hold hearings on the proposals this week, The Pioneer Press noted. 

In addition to Walz, Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman (D) called Bahr’s comments “reprehensible.”

“Encouraging violence is irresponsible and dangerous,” she said.

Bahr has accused the lawmakers of taking his comments out of context in an effort to discredit his opposition to the gun control measure.

“They used one sentence from a six-minute speech and it was taken out of context,” Bahr told ABC 5, a local affiliate in Minnesota. “I would not advocate for killing people. Why would I advocate for killing people?  But, this is a very bad policy idea that needs to be killed–a policy idea that needs to be killed.”

Bahr did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill. 

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