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Savick is on House committee at center of gun control debate

Published 9:22am Wednesday, February 6, 2013

District 27A Rep. Shannon Savick said she is keeping an open mind as she listens to testimony this week at a series of hearings about gun control.

Savick, DFL-Wells, is a member of the House Public Safety Committee that kicked off three days of hearings Tuesday on new proposed limits on firearm ownership.

Shannon Savick

“I’ve been getting lots of emails from all over the country on this issue,” she said. “It’s a very emotional issue on both sides of the aisle.”

On Tuesday, the hearings were standing-room only, as police chiefs, gun control supporters, National Rifle Association representatives, mental health advocates and reporters filed into the room.

Each proposed bill was discussed for about an hour — with 20 minutes to present the bill including witnesses in favor, 20 minutes for people to testify against the bill and 20 minutes for other people in the audience to testify.

Testimony Tuesday came from police chiefs and sheriffs who argued the state wasn’t doing enough to protect against gun violence, stating they backed background checks for all gun purchases.

Representatives from the National Rifle Association opposed the bills.

“I think we need to do a better job of the database for background checks,” Savick said. “A lot of people who have had emotional or mental health problems, they’re not in that database.”

She said it is also difficult to get a complete background check on someone who has just moved into the state.

The hearings went for two hours Tuesday morning and had been slated to start again at 6 p.m. They continue today and Thursday.