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As Gun Measures Stall, Rural Democrats Hold Key

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gabriel amadeus, Flickr

ST. PAUL (AP) — Rural Democrats’ opposition to changing Minnesota’s gun laws casts doubt on what legislation, if any, will pass this year.

A group of at least eight House Democrats from outstate Minnesota are standing firm against virtually any expansion of the state’s background check system. Together with Republicans, that’s enough votes to shape — or sink — any gun legislation.

Lawmakers quickly abandoned proposed bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and a push for universal background checks was whittled down to apply just at gun shows.

Rep. Jason Metsa, a Virginia Democrat, says he and other rural members would rather not vote on any background check bills.

Senate legislation for universal background checks is in limbo as top Democrats there wait to see what happens in the House.

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