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Published July 03, 2013, 10:05 PM

Heitkamp supports Senate’s gun background measure rejection

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Senator Heitkamp says she stands by the Senate's rejection of comprehensive background checks.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Senator Heitkamp says she stands by the Senate's rejection of comprehensive background checks.

She was one of four Democratic Senators to oppose the bill. Heitkamp was asked to meet with Giffords today, but declined.

Heitkamp was in town today for scheduled meetings with Veterans about healthcare. And while she declined a visit with Giffords, she says they have spoken about this issue before in Washington, D.C. and she remains unwavering on gun control.

Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp is standing by her decision to break party ranks in the gun control debate. In April, the freshman Senator joined three other Democrats and most Republicans to oppose expanding background checks during commercial gun sales.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, (D) North Dakota: "I haven't seen anything that is going to change my mind."

Heitkamp was in Fargo for scheduled meetings with veterans, falling on the same day former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords made a visit to promote stricter background checks. She was asked to meet with Giffords but declined.

Heitkamp says a recent Department of Justice report, which came out after the vote, further solidifies her stance.

Heitkamp: "They found through surveys at penitentiaries that fewer than 1% of illegal gun owners got their guns at a gun show."

Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly, expressed hope that Heitkamp would change her vote the next time this issue comes up. But while Heitkamp does support legislation preventing trafficking of firearms, she doesn't see herself changing her mind any time soon.

Heitkamp: "I think that is something that we could get behind if we can get some compromise but I don't see this thing coming up again."

According to a poll commissioned by Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun violence prevention group Giffords and Kelly founded, 79% of North Dakotans support background checks on all gun sales.

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