ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota Legislature is bracing for its first hearing this session on the contentious issue of gun control.

The House public safety committee hearing is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Capitol.

It will hear testimony on bills to require universal criminal background checks for gun purchasers and to let families and police petition courts to temporarily remove guns from people judged to pose an imminent threat to themselves or others.

The committee chairman, Rep. Carlos Mariani, says he intends to pass both bills Wednesday night but will take them up again Thursday evening if necessary.

The two bills are a top priority for the new House Democratic majority's agenda. But it's not clear if they'll get anywhere in the GOP-controlled Senate, where Republican leaders have expressed opposition.

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