The Latest: Minnesota House panel ends 5-hour gun hearing

Published 02-28-2019

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Latest on a Minnesota House committee considering two gun control bills (all times local):

12:15 p.m.

A Minnesota House committee has wrapped up a five-hour hearing on a pair of contentious gun control bills.

The public safety committee voted 9-7 Wednesday night to approve a bill to require universal criminal background checks for gun purchasers.

The panel then began considering a bill for a "red flag" law to allow families and police to seek court orders to temporarily confiscate guns from people judged to pose an imminent threat to themselves or others. But the committee didn't finish before the midnight deadline and put off a vote until Thursday night.

Leaders of the new Democratic majority in the House predict floor approval of both bills, and Democratic Gov. Tim Walz supports them. But Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka has vowed to block the legislation.

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10:05 p.m.

A Minnesota House committee has voted to require universal criminal background checks for gun purchasers.

As the Legislature took up the contentious issue of gun control for the first time this session, the House public safety committee approved the bill on a 9-7 vote Wednesday night. The bill next goes to the Ways and Means Committee.

The committee then b

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10:05 p.m.

A Minnesota House committee has voted to require universal criminal background checks for gun purchasers.

As the Legislature took up the contentious issue of gun control for the first time this session, the House public safety committee approved the bill on a 9-7 vote Wednesday night. The bill next goes to the Ways and Means Committee.

The committee then began considering a bill for a "red flag" law to allow families and police to seek court orders to temporarily confiscate guns from people judged to pose an imminent threat to themselves or others.

Leaders of the new Democratic majority in the House predict floor approval of both bills, and Democratic Gov. Tim Walz supports them. But Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka has vowed to block the legislation.

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7:10 p.m.

A Minnesota House committee has opened a hearing on the contentious issue of gun control.

More than 300 people pa

A Minnesota House committee has voted to require universal criminal background checks for gun purchasers.

As the Legislature took up the contentious issue of gun control for the first time this session, the House public safety committee approved the bill on a 9-7 vote Wednesday night. The bill next goes to the Ways and Means Committee.

The committee then began considering a bill for a "red flag" law to allow families and police to seek court orders to temporarily confiscate guns from people judged to pose an imminent threat to themselves or others.

Leaders of the new Democratic majority in the House predict floor approval of both bills, and Democratic Gov. Tim Walz supports them. But Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka has vowed to block the legislation.

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7:10 p.m.

A Minnesota House committee has opened a hearing on the contentious issue of gun control.

More than 300 people packed the hallway outside a Capitol hearing room Wednesday night ahead of the event. Supporters of the bills before the public safety committee wore red for the group Moms Demand Action or Orange for Protect Minnesota, while opponents wore black T-shirts from the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus.

The first bill on the agenda would require universal criminal background checks for gun purchasers. The second would let families and police petition the courts to temporarily remove guns from people judged to pose an imminent threat to themselves or others.

The bills are expected to pass the committee and the full House, but leaders of Senate's GOP majority have vowed to block them.

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4:55 p.m.

Leaders of the Democratic majority in the Minnesota House say the time has come for the Legislature to pass two gun violence prevention bills and make them law.

The first bill before the House public safety committee Wednesday night would require universal criminal background checks for gun purchasers. The second would let families and police petition the courts to temporarily remove guns from people judged to pose an imminent threat to themselves or others.

The House Democratic leaders told reporters they expect the committee to pass both bills, but that the hearing will go late into the night.

Leaders of the narrow GOP majority in the Senate have vowed to block the bills. Senators who support the proposals say they're ready to use procedural moves to force votes if necessary.

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8 a.m.

The Minnesota Legislature is bracing for its first hearing this session on the contentious issue of gun control.

The House public safety committee hearing is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Capitol. It will hear testimony on bills to require universal criminal background checks for gun purchasers, and to let families and police petition courts to temporarily remove guns from people judged to pose an imminent threat to themselves or others.

The committee chairman, Rep. Carlos Mariani, says he intends to pass both bills Wednesday night but will take them up again Thursday evening if necessary.

The two bills are a top priority for the new House Democratic majority's agenda. But it's not clear if they'll get anywhere in the GOP-controlled Senate, where Republican leaders have expressed opposition.

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