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Minnesota House lawmakers pass 2 gun bills after hours of debate

Updated: February 27, 2020 10:48 PM

The Minnesota House of Representatives passed two bills related to firearms on Thursday, but they're unlikely to go very far once they're handed over to the Senate according to GOP state senators.

Emotions ran high as lawmakers debated the bills for hours. They were passed by margins of six and seven votes in the DFL-controlled House. 

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One of the bills would expand criminal background checks for gun sales and transfers by people who are not licensed dealers. Right now, state law requires a transferee permit for everyone who wants to purchase a pistol or "semiautomatic military-style assault weapon." The new bill would expand that to all firearms.

The other bill that passed Thursday would enact a so-called "red flag law," which would allow a judge or court to prohibit people from possessing a gun if they are deemed a present threat to themselves or others.

Republicans, who hold a majority in the Senate, have vowed to block both bills from reaching the governor's desk.

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Richard Reeve

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