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New compromise on gun bill to be unveiled

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Minnesota state lawmakers on Wednesday plan to unveil a new gun bill that is being touted as a compromise between gun rights activists and those who seek new gun control measures.

The legislation may be the most likely bill yet to win enough support for passage this year, the Pioneer Press reports. Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center, was scheduled to talk about her bill Wednesday morning, the newspaper reports.

The National Rifle Association has been seeking a more modest bill than a more aggressive measure introduced by gun control advocate Rep. Michael Paymar, DFL-St. Paul. The new bill is expected to address some mental health issues, add rules related to who cannot legally own a gun and include measures that would assist county attorneys who are trying to pursue illegal gun owners, the Associated Press reported.

The bill is not expected to include an assault weapons ban and won't require universal background checks for gun purchases.

"These are the proposals that have bipartisan support and geographic support," Hilstrom told MPR.

The alternative legislation effectively sets up a duel between those who back the new measure, including the National Rifle Association, and those who seek more aggressive measures, MPR reports.

House Speaker Paul Thissen and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk say that the new bill has a better shot of passage, even though some favor tighter gun control and seek bigger changes, the Associated Press reports.

Paymar is not retreating, MPR reports.

"The cornerstone of my bill is universal background checks. The majority of Minnesotans support that. The majority of law enforcement supports that," he told MPR.

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