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Minn. Senate OKs watered-down gun bill

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After a long battle over gun control this session in the Minnesota Legislature, the state Senate approved a measure that had the support of pro-gun groups, although it's not clear the House will vote on it.

The measure fills gaps in databases currently used in gun background checks by including older court records, the Associated Press reported.

The proposal underwent revisions, and ultimately any language that could be construed as requiring expanded background checks was removed, the AP reported. The Star Tribune reported the bill sponsored by Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park, involves a quicker transfer of fingerprints, mental health records and some criminal background information to the National Instant Background Check System.

Stripped from the bill was a section that would have put more "crimes of violence" on a state list of offenses that would disqualify someone from buying a gun, the AP reported.

Efforts by DFL lawmakers to seek wider background checks and other new regulations collapsed when the efforts did not get support from rural-district Democrats.

House Speaker Paul Thissen has said that the House would be willing to consider no-controversy gun law changes, although the Legislature is rapidly approaching its May 20 adjournment.

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