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DULUTH - Despite the cold temps, the gun control debate heated up outside of the DECC on Saturday as protestors from both sides took to the streets as the gun show went on inside.
Signs read, “Background checks save lives,” as protestors showcased their opinion written on picket signs, outside of the Duluth Gun & Knife Show at the DECC.
“If you look at other countries who have strict, strong gun control laws, they have very few gun deaths. Access to guns make a difference…We have people who shouldn’t have guns, who has access to guns and that is making a difference,” Joan A. Peterson of Protect Minnesota said.
A counter protest took place only a few feet away with signs that read, “Founding Fathers said no to gun control.”
“We’re treating the effect instead of the cause here. Background checks and bans and stuff don’t work. It’s like trying to ban cars because of drunk drivers. It just doesn’t make any sense,” Kim Ellerman, a gun show attendee, said.
“It’s actually about defense. Should I be able to have a gun to defend myself if I’m in a situation where people are attacking me. The answer is yes,” Joe Sayers, a gun show attendee, said.
However, supporters of gun control said they aren’t against the right to bear arms, they’re protesting the lack of background check on gun sales in Minnesota.
According to Protect Minnesota, private sellers, like those at today’s gun show are not required to conduct background checks.
“We want to make sure we can prevent these violent acts from happening by making sure people who couldn’t pass a background check need to pass a background check to get a firearm. It seems like common sense, like a person who intends to commit a violent act shouldn’t be armed,” Leroy Lionel Duncan of Protect Minnesota, said.
The Minnesota House of Representatives will hold hearings next week on bills that regulate gun purchases in the state.