Gun control debate tests Minn. rural Democrats

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A battle over gun control has begun to unfold in Congress and state Capitols nationwide, but it is also on clear display in three rural Minnesota congressional districts where DFL Reps. Tim Walz, Rick Nolan and Collin Peterson represent constituents who are traditionally resistant to new curbs on access to weapons, the Star Tribune reports.

"I've got to live with myself on these things," Walz, who gets high marks from the gun lobby group the National Rifle Association, told the newspaper. "There's a point where I've got to say, how do I want to wake up tomorrow?"

President Barack Obama's ceremonial inauguration is Monday, and among his top domestic agenda priorities is a push for a number of new gun control measures that he outlined last week, NBC reports.

Top Democrats in Congress are optimistic that the time is right to pass new gun control legislation, Fox News says. Democrats in the U.S. Senate have a 55-seat majority, but a number of them from right-leaning states are not eagerly embracing Obama's proposals. Among them is newly elected Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, National Journal reports.

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