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Danielle Killey, Forum News Service, Published March 19 2013

Minnesota gun control bill set for Tuesday vote

ST. PAUL – A House committee is poised to take a vote on a gun control bill tonight.

As it stood when the committee recessed just before noon, the measure included expanded background checks. But amendments tonight could dramatically change the bill.

“There is no easy answer,” author Rep. Michael Paymar, DFL-St. Paul said, “This bill is only part of the answer.”

A major objection to the bill has been the expansion of background checks to cover virtually every gun purchase, including those at gun shows.

“This bill is a nightmare for gun owners,” Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, said. He said he does not think the proposal has any Republican votes in the committee.

“The centerpiece of this bill is universal background checks,” Paymar said.

A Senate committee passed a similar bill last week.

The House committee discussed the plan this morning and will return tonight to further discuss the bill and take a vote. There still could be changes made to the bill.

Another bill without the background checks but with other provisions such as stronger penalties for illegally possessing firearms and purchasing them for those who are not allowed to have them has been introduced and backed by the National Rifle Association.