Minn. House committee votes 10-8 to close gun show loophole - KMSP-TV

Minn. House committee votes 10-8 to close gun show loophole

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

A last-minute meeting came together in a Minnesota House committee on Thursday to take-up a bill from Rep. John Lesch (DFL-St. Paul) to close the so-called gun show loophole.

The Public Safety Committee voted 10-8 Thursday on a compromise bill that removed a universal background check provision but kept an amendment to require background checks between private party sales at gun shows. 

Democratic Rep. Michael Paymar's universal background check bill failed get enough support Tuesday night. Paymar eventually withdrew his bill and said he would work with other lawmakers to find a consensus instead.

Lesch's bill was retooled with provisions to appeal to Republicans and more conservative Democrats. Not only does it require background checks for gun show sales, but it also expands the list of crimes that will make a person ineligible to own a firearm or ammunition.

The universal background checks Paymar sought would not have applied to family members selling a gun to one another, but all other private sales -- from pistols to semi-automatic rifles -- would have required sellers to bring the gun to a federally-licensed dealer for a background check and license transfer fee costing $25.

The bill is faced stiff opposition from Republicans and the National Rifle Association. Both argue the measure would infringe upon a constitutional right.

Lesch's version of the bill is now headed to the floor of the House of Representatives, where Republican Rep. Tony Cornish -- a vocal NRA supporter and gun control opponent -- has promised vigorous debate.

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