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Published March 01, 2013, 11:23 AM

Top Minnesota Democrat doubts expanded gun checks can pass

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says a proposal to require background checks on all firearm purchases probably lacks support to become Minnesota law.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says a proposal to require background checks on all firearm purchases probably lacks support to become Minnesota law.

Bakk, a Cook Democrat, said Friday that opposition from Republicans and fellow rural Democrats will make it "tough to get the votes to pass that."

Bakk says he supports requiring background checks for firearm purchases at gun shows, but doesn't think the same should be required of personal transfers.

Rep. Michael Paymar, a St. Paul Democrat, has unveiled a bill to reduce gun violence. The bill's background check proposal only exempts relatives from being required to get a permit to transfer weapons. It does not include bans on assault weapons or high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Republicans say his bill won't have the votes to pass.

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