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House approves 4 bills loosening MN gun restrictions, including suppressors

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A quartet of bills aimed at loosening gun laws in Minnesota was passed by the state's House Thursday – ranging from the legalization of suppressors (often referred to as "silencers") to clarifying out-of-state purchasing laws.

They were all approved by the Republican-controlled chamber, the tightest by a margin of 42 votes.

However, all of these bills would have to get through the Democrat-controlled Senate, and then be signed by DFL Gov. Mark Dayton – which by most indications doesn't appear likely.

Dayton has said he isn’t interested in changing the state’s gun laws, the Associated Press reports.

Here's a look at each of the bills.

Suppressors

A bill legalizing the sale and use of suppressors in Minnesota passed 89-40.

Currently, 39 other states allow suppressors. A federal background check would be required in order to purchase one.

The Associated Press called it the "most controversial" of the bills passed.

Many of the same arguments made Thursday (both for and against) are the same as what was debated last month.

Proponents say it prevents ear damage, isn't "silent" like portrayed in the movies, and wouldn't lead to a rash of unsolved shootings. Opponents though argue suppressors could make ShotSpotter technology less effective, and increase crime.

Bringing guns into the Capitol

Right now, someone wanting to carry a firearm into Minnesota's Capitol building has to let the Department of Public Safety know beforehand they're coming in while carrying.

A bill passed 92-38 by the House Thursday nixes that requirement, saying the fact that the firearm is already legally registered means the department is, in essence, notified.

Purchasing in other states

Minnesotans who are legally allowed to buy a firearm would be able to do so in any of the 50 U.S. states under a bill passed by the House 110-19.

Currently, Minnesotans can only buy guns and ammunition in Minnesota and a select few states. Allowing them to be purchased in all states brings Minnesota's state law in line with the current federal regulations.

This is the only one of the four gun-related bills that has a DFL sponsor in the Senate.

Seizing weapons during state of emergency

In a declared state of emergency, public safety officers would not be able to take a firearms from an individual unless "immediately necessary" to protect those nearby, in a bill passed 88-42 by the House.

Even in that case, the weapon could only be seized temporarily, and must be returned when the individual it was taken from is released.

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