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News, State/Region — March 6, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Minn. lawmakers unveil new gun bill; won’t impose universal background checks

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota — A clear majority of the Minnesota House is backing a new plan to modestly revise the state’s gun laws.

Rep. Debra Hilstrom, a Brooklyn Center Democrat, unveiled on Wednesday a bill with 73 cosponsors from both parties. Her bill would 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 impose universal background checks for gun purchases.

Hilstrom 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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