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“What [Thissen’s decision] means is we are going to need to work hard on it and make sure that all of the Legislature is aware of how overwhelming the support is for improving our background checks and protecting our right to be safe in our communities,” Martens said.
A Star Tribune poll this year found that more than 70 percent of Minnesotans — including a majority of gun owners — favored background checks.
Protect Minnesota joined the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, which represents the state’s officers, in working to expand background checks, while the National Rifle Association and the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance worked against the measure. Protect Minnesota began running a radio ad this week urging legislators to act, while the NRA has been encouraging its members to contact House members to sink the limited background checks bill.
Thissen said he hasn’t given up entirely.
“We just need more time to work out something that’s going to work to prevent gun violence,” he said. “People come at this issue very different perspectives. I still believe there could be a reasonable common-sense middle ground, but we’re not going to get there this year.”
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