March 12th, 2018 - Senator Jensen speaks at press conference with Senators Little, Anderson, and Kent introducing his gun control legislation

Senator Jensen held a Press Conference on “Legislation to Reduce Gun Violence” along with co-authors Senator Matt Little, Senator Paul Anderson, and Senator Susan Kent.

Some key comments from Senator Jensen with video links.

So to me, when I say that I can support this piece of legislation regarding universal background checks, I say, my stars, we do this for our Sunday school teachers. I do this before I hire someone that’s going to draw your blood in my office. What does a background check really look for? It looks for six things specifically, other than some demographic information and they don’t even insist on your social security number. We look for criminal convictions that would call for a sentence of longer than one year in prison. We look for juvenile delinquent convictions. We look for mental health records in regards to involuntary commitments. We look for protection orders, such as stalking. We look for warrants outstanding for your arrest and we look for drug addictions that have hit the legal system. We also do some things like checking citizenship. And if you renounce your citizenship in the US, you’re not going to get an instant quick pass through. But the fact of the matter is more than 90% of universal background checks go through quickly and expeditiously.


Senator Scott Jensen, Carver County. In Carver County, we take a little bit of a rock ’em sock ’em approach to a lot of issues. There’s not a whole lot of call for groupthink and lockstep. So I’m prepared to have the discussion with my colleagues, whether they be Republicans or Democrats. I’m confident that we’ll have a robust discussion, and it’s not going to be just one or two phone calls based on what the phone’s been doing this morning.

I don’t think I’m going to lose my seat over this issue. But if I do, que sera.

Senator Jensen comments that he doesn’t carry a firearm and doesn’t support Constitutional Carry:

Because in Carver County, as a general rule, I think you’d find a lot of NRA members and people like that. And I am a member of the NRA, and I have a permit to carry. I don’t dare trust myself. I think I probably shoot my foot off, but I do have the ability to do it because I wanted to learn what you have to go through in order to have a permit to carry. And I very much respect the Minnesota laws, and I object to the constitutional carry because I don’t want other states doing an end around. We’ve got good strong standards if you’re going to get a permit to carry. I want to see those preserved.

Senator Jensen, one of the gun groups [the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus] is already saying that you’ve betrayed them and you lied on the form that you filled out during your campaign that you said you had posed these types of background checks. Do you want to respond?

That’s a great question. I appreciate the opportunity. I think being in the Senate is an incredible experience and the intensity with which yous come at you. Absolutely, I may have changed what I wrote on a form two years ago before I’d ever had a public debate. How many shootings have taken place since then? Am I a person that will try to take in the data and feel the rhythm of life around me and let that influence how I view the world? For sure. I don’t think I betrayed anybody. I think we’ve set the stage for a good, robust discussion. And as a previous question you had asked, my conscience is my guide.



Watch the Press Conference at the MN Senate website.