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MN – GUN POLITICS – Minn. Republicans bring gun bills meant to build ‘consensus,’ again clash with gun control advocates

Minnesota Senate leaders on Tuesday, March 9, put forth a slate of proposals aimed at curbing violence in the state, which they said could withstand the scrutiny of the divided Legislature. The bills would require additional enforcement of existing firearm laws, add additional offenders to the list of those ineligible to carry a firearm and boost funding to units that investigate violent drug crime in Greater Minnesota. A hearing on many of the proposals Tuesday comes about two months after lawmakers traveled to Hibbing to discuss several proposals ranging from requiring background checks for firearm purchases and transfers to allowing qualified firearm owners to carry without a permit. “The overriding theme is we want to protect Minnesotans and we want to convict criminals,” Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, said. The Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee on Tuesday took up several of the bills after attempts to amend them to include the red flag and background checks proposals failed. And while some of the Republican measures picked up bipartisan support, Democrats and gun control groups said the proposals didn’t go far enough or, in some cases, were aimed at creating a divide between rural and urban Minnesotans.  [full article]

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