Universial Gun Background Check Bill Dead in House.

By KBJR News 1

Universial Gun Background Check Bill Dead in House.

March 19, 2013 Updated Mar 19, 2013 at 10:39 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - No vote Tuesday on a gun bill requiring universal background checks for purchases, that after more than an hour delay.

The Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee laid the bill over after an hour-long discussion outside the committee room between members.

The author of the bill, Representative Michael Paymar of (DFL-St. Paul) said he's moving to a plan that would expand background checks to sales at gun shows, but not to private sales or transfers.

Earlier in the day, lawmakers heard testimony on the measure known as the Gun Violence Prevention Act Tuesday morning.

Testimony from the public mirrored what's been seen and heard during prior hearings this session.

Opponents of Paymar's bill say the goal should be crime control, not gun control.

"I believe, and the majority of Minnesotans believe, that if we're serious about reducing gun violence, background check strengthening is really the center piece for all gun related legislation introduced this session," Dennis Flaherty, with the Minnesota Police & Peace Officers Association said.

"In addition to waiting periods, and fees, it does nothing to improve gaps in reporting of information to strengthening background check system," said Chris Rager with the National Rifle Association. "It does nothing to help reporting of mental health judification that prohibit someone from possessing a firearm. That's Unfortunate. Those are provisions in the Ortman, Hilstrom bill."

That bill aims to fix gaps in the current background check system, has 70 co-authors and support from the NRA.

The House Committee was expected to vote on Rep. Paymar's bill during the second part of the panel's hearing Tuesday night.

Kevin Jacobsen
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