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Associated Press, Published February 21 2013

Gun buyer checks argued at Minn. Senate hearing

ST. PAUL — The debate over gun control measures at Minnesota's Capitol is increasingly pivoting around a proposal for universal background checks on gun purchases.

Senators reviewed that and other gun bills at a Thursday hearing of the Judiciary Committee. Police and sheriff groups and some prominent political leaders want all gun sales subject to background checks, not just those made through federally licensed dealers. But the National Rifle Association and its allies say that could lead to federal gun registration.

The committee's Democratic chairman reaffirmed that proposals to ban any types of gun or ammunition are off the table, a major concession to pro-gun activists. And a proposal to toughen various penalties for convicted felons who commit further gun crimes won the backing of Minnesota's Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance.

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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.