For the first time this legislative session, lawmakers signed off on further gun restrictions. The Star Tribune reports the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a measure that requires background checks for gun buyers. The committee voted along party lines. The bill now goes to the full Senate for a vote.
It also faces another hurdle in the House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee, which is scheduled to hear a companion bill next week, MPR reports. The measure's chances in that committee are uncertain.
The legislation would require background checks even for sales between individuals and applies to handguns and semi-automatic military-style weapons but not to hunting rifles. The universal background check provision puts the entire measure's chances of success in doubt. The Pioneer Press quotes NRA lobbyist Chris Rager saying the bill creates a "regulatory scheme that only burdens the law-abiding citizens." Still, the committee's approval comes a month after a KSTP/Survey USA poll showed three-quarters of those asked support universal background checks for gun buyers in Minnesota.