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Dayton vows a veto – but Senate OKs gun suppressors anyway


Gov. Mark Dayton vowed to veto any bill that crosses his desk legalizing the use of gun suppression devices Thursday afternoon.

Hours later, the DFL-controlled state Senate passed a measure legalizing silencers (something the Republican-controlled House did last week), setting up a potential showdown between the governor and senators.

Dayton's and the Senate

"Nowhere in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution does it refer to a right to bear a silencer," Dayton said, according to ABC 6. "To allow gunshots to be silenced increases the danger to law enforcement officers, and to innocent bystanders."

The governor reportedly sent a letter to lawmakers outlining his position, which he reiterated publicly Thursday.

That suddenly puts the Democratic Dayton at odds with his fellow DFLers in the Senate.

Just a few hours after he made his comments, the chamber approved an amendment to a larger bill, that would legalize suppressors (often referred to as silencers), the Associated Press reports.

Also tacked on to the bill were a handful of other gun-related measures, the Star Tribune says, including one that would not require licensed gun owners to notify the State Capitol before bringing their firearm into the building.

The bill passed by a 39-22 vote.

Dayton, of course, has the option to veto. But doing so could come with a big political cost, potentially upsetting lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

What does a suppressor sound like?

Supporters of the suppressor bill argue the devices are designed to reduce damage to gun users' ears, and that they are not the assassins' tools as they are popularly portrayed in movies and on television.

But gun control advocates have described them as devices "designed to let people commit murder and get away with it," while there were concerns from police leaders that suppressors could affect "shot-spotter" technology.

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