State Changing Gun Laws

State Changing Gun Laws Click to Enlarge Photo:

Mar 6, 2013 at 12:45 pm

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KNSI) - The Minnesota House has secured a clear majority to modestly revise the state's gun laws.

The bill, released today, includes 73 co-sponsors from both major parties.

The bill is designed to tighten the state's current background check system, add to the parameters of who cannot legally own a gun and help county attorneys crack down on illegal gun owners. It won't, however, include mandated universal background checks for gun purchases.

St. Cloud representative Zach Dorholt says the revisions seem to be more in line with what the people of Minnesota want.

"Guns mean different things to different people in different districts," Dorholt says. "The metro area faces much more gun violence, and it hits closer to home than it might here in greater Minnesota. So I'd like to see something a little more scaled-back."

Dorholt says his office was flooded with calls on the gun issue early in the session. Since then, the public response has quieted down in his office as the debate moved to the senate side.

The bill is sponsored by Brooklyn Center Democrat Debra Hilstrom, who says her bill is the Legislature's best bet at passing some laws to prevent some gun violence while still respecting Minnesotans' right to own guns.

Advocates for tighter control say that Minnesotans overwhelmingly support expanding background checks, and that Hilstrom's bill ultimately won't have much of an impact on gun violence.

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