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Rally by gun-control advocates didn’t change Thissen’s mind

“I just don’t see how that’s productive,” the House speaker said of forcing a vote on a bill that won’t pass.

House Speaker Paul Thissen: "I want to take votes on the House floor that are actually going to get something done to prevent gun violence, and I have less of an interest of doing a symbolic vote that is going to fail."
MinnPost photo by James Nord

House Speaker Paul Thissen reaffirmed this week that the House will not take up gun-control legislation this session, even though advocates stormed the Capitol on Friday to demand a vote on the contentious issue.

A coalition of groups advocating for so-called “universal background checks” and other tightened firearms restrictions protested Thissen’s decision to drop the controversial legislation on the grounds that it wouldn’t be able to pass in the House.

DFL Rep. Michael Paymar, who sponsored the legislation, has criticized the House speaker’s change of heart as a “breach” of a commitment to get a gun-control bill to the floor.

“It seems to me that Speaker Thissen is trying to protect the caucus,” said Sami Rahamim at the Friday press conference. His father, Reuven Rahamim, was killed in the Accent Signage shooting last year.

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But Thissen said on Monday that he wants to tackle issues where he can make headway.

“I want to take votes on the House floor that are actually going to get something done to prevent gun violence, and I have less of an interest of doing a symbolic vote that is going to fail and, in fact, may set back the cause of trying to reduce gun violence in a negative way,” Thissen said. “I just don’t see how that’s productive.”

“No” was the short answer when asked if the anti-gun violence press conference/rally changed his mind.