Gun Background Check Bill Progresses 22 Mar 13

A controversial bill requiring criminal background checks on sales at gun shows passed a Minnesota House committee Thursday night, and now awaits a vote on the House floor. Backers didn’t have the votes for universal background checks so they’re moving forward with a scaled-back bill. But Vernon Center Republican Tony Cornish says opponents have the votes to stop any form of background checks. He says that less than 3% of the guns used in crimes come from gun shows and other legal purchases. Supporters of the bill say that the NRA and certain gun groups don’t want anything, but the majority of Minnesotans want some kind of background checks on weapon sales. The bill also includes provisions to improve information the state sends to a national background check database and help county attorneys crack down on illegal gun owners. Gun discussions will likely now be on pause for a few weeks at the Capitol as legislators’ attention turns to the state budget.