The debate over whether expanded background checks will help limit gun violence resumes in the Minnesota Legislature this week.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled debate on a universal background checks bill at its meeting on Thursday evening, said the committee sponsor, Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park.Latz said he expects the issue to come up for a vote.

That would be the first such vote this year after lengthy debate and public hearings.

The Senate Judiciary Committee meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Room 15 of the state Capitol.

The bill got a boost Tuesday from leaders representing communities of color, who held a Capitol news conference to support background checks and oppose a measure advanced by Rep. Deb Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center. They said Hilstrom's bill creates new felony penalties that would disproportionately affect minority communities, while failing to address the background check issue.

"A lot of people can get a gun quicker than they can get a job," said Nick Muhammad of St. Paul.






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