ST. PAUL (AP) -- Republicans in the Minnesota House have put on hold a pair of Democratic-backed bills meant to restrict guns.

The House Public Safety committee voted Thursday to table bills that would have expanded background checks and allowed family members or police to temporarily take a gun from someone suffering a crisis.

Nearly every Republican voted to table the legislation as gun rights advocates argued they would violate constitutional protections.

Thursday's hearing was sudden, triggered by a St. Paul Democrat who used an obscure parliamentary procedure to force a vote. But hundreds flooded into the Capitol, filling overflow committee rooms and nearby hallways during the nearly three-hour hearing.

Efforts to curb gun violence and gun access have gained momentum nationwide
after the shootings last month in Florida that killed 17 students and teachers,
but they face stiff opposition in Minnesota's GOP-controlled Legislature.