In the state, Obama hopes to find a perfect storm of political forces from which to launch a gun control movement. Minnesota has both a long history of gun ownership and state-instituted gun safety laws.
President Barack Obama is expected to kick off a campaign-style push for his gun control agenda this afternoon, making his first-out-of D.C. appeal on gun safety to voters in Minnesota.
In the state, Obama hopes to find a perfect storm of political forces from which to launch a gun control movement. Minnesota has both a long history of gun ownership and hunting and state-instituted gun laws. There have also been recent efforts to amplify these laws and polling shows there’s a majority support for assault-weapons ban, too.
Minneapolis, where the president will speak, has worked in recent years to shed the moniker ‘Murder-opolis’ and has credited city gun laws for much of their successful stemming of gun violence. City politicians have clamored for wider state and federal gun restrictions to support their local laws.
“We have done so much, and we’re committed to doing more,” Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, a Democrat, told USA Today. “But there is also only so much you can do at this level to prevent illegal guns from getting into the hands of kids, the mentally ill and people who shouldn’t have them.”
Like so many other communities, there’s also a recent tragedy from gun violence in the state–a dismissed employee killed four employees and wounded four others before killing himself in September in one of the deadliest attacks in Minnesota’s recent history.
Minnesota’s elected officials also represent the uphill political battle the president faces: the National Rifle Association backs all four Republicans and two of the Democrats who represent Minnesota in the House of Representatives – and one Obama hopes to use popular support from voters to combat. Even the state’s two Democrats have shown just lukewarm support for the reinstatement of the state’s
The president will likely make the case to Minnesotans for his gun control agenda, which includes requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales, including private sales and gun shows, and banning so-called assault weapons.