Checks on all buyers at gun shows rejected

  • Updated: March 10, 2010 - 8:51 PM

A proposal to require background checks on all persons buying firearms at gun shows in Minnesota failed to clear its first hurdle Wednesday before a House committee.

The House Crime Victims and Criminal Records panel defeated the proposal 5-3, leaving its future in doubt. But Rep. Michael Paymar, DFL-St. Paul, the bill's author, said he may at some point resurrect the proposal before this year's legislative session ends. "It's not over [at the Legislature] until, you know, the gavel comes down in May," he said.

The legislation, favored by anti-gun groups, aimed to close what supporters said was a legal loophole that allowed persons attending a gun show to sell a gun without requiring the buyer to undergo a background check. While many gun dealers at gun shows are licensed and required to make sure background checks are conducted, many gun sales take place without background checks, Paymar said.

But gun-rights groups said Paymar and others had not been able to show that guns bought at gun shows without background checks were a significant factor in crimes.

MIKE KASZUBA

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