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Poll: Minnesotans support background checks for gun purchases

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A solid majority of Minnesotans support background checks for all gun sales, the Star Tribune Minnesota Poll has found.

The poll revealed that more than 70 percent of respondents, including 60 percent of gun owners and 64 percent of Republicans, back universal background checks, the newspaper reported. Only 25 percent opposed such a broadening of background checks, the poll found.

The survey results were released as Minnesota lawmakers are debating gun control. Some in the Capitol believe that aggressive proposals to ban assault weapons do not stand a real chance of passage, but a recent Senate panel hearing focused on background checks.

The Associated Press reports that a compromise between gun rights activists and gun control advocates is taking shape, and centers on background checks and straw purchases, among several other issues.

The legislation, expected to be unveiled this week with bipartisan support, would require background checks for anyone buying firearms from non-licensed dealers and other private transactions, the AP reports.

The Minnesota House and Senate have hosted days of debate on the contentious issue.

Congress is also debating background checks and other new federal gun control proposals being advocated by President Barack Obama. The national debate was rekindled after the shooting Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that left 26 dead.

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