Dayton expresses support for universal background checks before showdown vote
March 18, 2013 — 3:38pm
Gov. Mark Dayton gave a vote of confidence to a universal background checks bill that faces a showdown vote this week.
"I support universal background checks -- I have since I was in the U.S. Senate," said Dayton Monday morning. He spoke at an impromptu media gathering after he addressed a Capitol gathering on drug courts.
Dayton said he believes the specifics of the bill -- requiring private parties to have their sale conducted through a licensed dealer -- "seems a bit cumbersome to me."
"But, frankly, it's not enough to overcome the real advantages of that legislation, which is that everyone has to be subject to a background check before they can purchase a firearm," the DFL governor said.
"If you're a criminal and know you can't get a gun through a licensed dealer, where are you going to go? You're going somewhere where you're not going to have a background check."
He said the idea of extending checks to private sales is "common sense... The polls show the public overwhelmingly supports it, because they know it's common sense."
"It's meant to protect lives, and we should be doing everything we possibly can to protect lives in Minnesota," Dayton said.
The universal background checks bill was approved in a Senate committee last week.
It is scheduled for a vote on Tuesday in the House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee, where the outcome is uncertain.
It is opposed by the National Rifle Association, whose supporters back a rival bill that would focus on improving current background checks and increasing penalties for felons who illegally possess weapons.
Rep. Michael Paymar, DFL-St. Paul, committee chairman and sponsor of the universal background checks bill, said Monday he would prefer to see a compromise between the two sides. He has notified committee members that late amendments will be accepted, waiving the usual 24-hour deadline and making it possible for a last-minute agreement to be taken up by the committee.
Amid reports that Donald Trump was in danger of not getting on Minnesota's presidential ballot, the Trump campaign says everything is in order and voters will have a chance to cast their ballot for him in November.
The Vikings released the statement after the quarterback left Winter Park by ambulance. Asked earlier if Bridgewater would play again this season, coach Mike Zimmer said, "It doesn't look good right now."
The State Department says about 30 emails that may be related to the 2012 attack on U.S. compounds in Benghazi, Libya, are among the thousands of Hillary Clinton emails recovered during the FBI's recently closed investigation into her use of a private server.
In a turnabout, Minnesota gun rights advocates are lining up modest revisions to the state's gun laws as a way to fend off more serious restrictions and give lawmakers the chance to make some progress on a politically charged issue.