Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
- Member for
- 5 years 6 months
ST. PAUL -- So-called assault weapons are nothing more than fancy hunting rifles, gun supporters told a Minnesota House committee today. A federal ban on the guns that expired in 2004 did not work, Chris Rager of the National Rifle Association told the House public safety committee. “This firearms ban, it’s a failed policy.” But John Egelhof of Bemidji, a former FBI agent, said the semi-automatic rifles being discussed should be banned for all but military, police and competitive shooters.
ST. PAUL — The two sides of Minnesota’s gun debate began laying out their arguments today during first of a series of legislative meetings. This morning’s packed House committee meeting, with two other rooms full of people watching on television monitors, was the first of five meetings planned this week, with Senate gun meetings beginning later this month.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota lawmakers are pulling the trigger on gun-related legislation. Hours of gun-related committee hearings are scheduled Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the House, with senators planning similar meetings later in the month. Bills still are being introduced, and probably will be for the next several weeks, so a full picture of what state legislators will debate is not clear as President Barack Obama plans a visit to Minneapolis today to promote his anti-gun violence proposals.
ST. PAUL — President Barack Obama will tell select Minnesotans today about his plan to reduce gun violence by increasing gun-buyer background checks, outlawing assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips and strengthening programs to prevent the mentally ill from becoming mass shooters. But he is not coming to a state that will offer its full support to such actions.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota officials started planning a state Capitol renovation project in 1984, and chances are improving that serious work could begin in 2013. But work would begin only if politicians can agree on a plan and spending level. “This has been a decades-long effort with very little to show for it,” state Administration Commissioner Spencer Cronk told representatives Thursday.
ST. PAUL — Genny Hinnenkamp travels the Duluth area, picking up proceeds from pull-tab games, with profits destined for the charity she represents and the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. At the same time she dreams about getting more money as electronic pull-tab games spread and statewide electronic bingo is added. But she is realistic about how fast the money will come. “Everybody’s got to be patient,” Hinnenkamp said, counseling customers and legislators alike.
ST. PAUL — A 1-ton, 6-foot-wide ball of light is back home inside the Minnesota Capitol dome. Hundreds of spectators attended a Thursday ceremony to watch the chandelier rise. The event included early 1900s music that visitors would have heard when the chandelier was first lit. The chandelier has 48,000 crystal beads and hangs from a massive chain. A motor hauled it 142 feet up to his home, and when it arrived and its 92 electric bulbs turned on.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Gov.