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Background Check Bill Dead, But Gun Debate Continues

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WOODBURY, Minn. (WCCO) – What happened in Boston this week has made many think twice about personal safety. And for some, it makes them think about guns.

This week, the senate killed a bill that would mean people need to get background checks before buying firearms.

Gander Mountain in Woodbury is having a grand opening of what it calls a “firearm super store,” stretching the length of a shopping center. They carry shotguns, rifles and pistols.

This is good news for Mallory Lemay of Maple Grove, who’s eyeing her first pistol.

“I have a small child, so it’s more for to protect her rather than me,” Lemay said.

Vietnam-vet Keith Langfeldt is an outdoorsman and gun owner.

“I like hunting, I like being up in a tree stand,” Langfeldt said. “I like being in nature.”

As he filled out the store’s required information, Langfeldt talked to WCCO about the bombing in Boston, and the manhunt to find the killers.

“If there’s a person on the loose and he may go into somebody else’s house, you gotta have a right to be able to defend yourself,” he said. “Since he had a weapon, I’m gonna have a weapon.”

Across town, Heather Martinez was talking about Boston too.

“Watching that whole thing unfold is something that…it was horrifying,” Martinez said.

She is a local gun safety advocate and says the suspect, like many others, had easy access to weapons. She says even though a bomb was used, it’s important to remember that a gun was used to kill an officer.

“Once somebody has a gun, the result is more likely to be deadly than if they don’t have a gun,” she said.

Martinez says she’s disappointed that the new background check laws didn’t pass. She added that it’s not about taking guns from people, but about giving them to the right ones.

What they all agree on is that they wish they didn’t have a new reason to bring up and old debate.

The U.S. Senate voted down a bill that would toughen background checks, but a broader bill on improving school safety is still alive.

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