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Reality Check: Minnesota Following Trend On Gun Laws

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Legislature won’t be voting on tougher gun laws after all.

On Thursday, Democratic House Speaker Paul Thissen abruptly canceled an expected vote on the issue, after calculating there aren’t enough votes to pass it.

Minnesota, like many states, made a push for stricter gun laws after the murders in December 2012 of 20 children at a Newtown, Conn. elementary school.

After Newtown, many states introduced strict gun measures, like assault weapons bans, background checks and magazine limits, but only four states passed them: Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland and New York.

Many more, however, went the opposite direction, loosening gun laws.

It’s TRUE. Fifteen states made it easier to get a gun, carry it or use it, including Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.

Those states passed laws allowing gun owners to obtain and carry guns in previously restricted areas: In church, on snowmobiles, in courtrooms, parking lots, liquor stores, on campus, across state lines and more.

At least 15 states introduced bills making it illegal to enforce tougher federal gun laws. None of these bills became law, however.

Thirteen Republican-controlled legislatures passed looser gun rights legislation while two Republican statehouses defeated some pro-gun legislation.

Minnesota is one of three Democratic-controlled legislatures that failed to pass new gun limits. The others are Washington and New Mexico.

IN FACT, like Minnesota, many states appear to be doing little to add new gun restrictions.

Support for stricter gun control is waning, according the CBS News/New York Times Poll. But 86 percent still support background checks on all gun purchases.

Meanwhile, gun violence is not subsiding.

Since Dec. 14, 2013, when 26 children and teachers were were murdered in Newtown, about 3,803 people have died from gun violence, including suicide. That’s about 28 people a day.

Reality Check Sources
Pew Center/Stateline: State by State Gun Laws
Wall Street Journal Analysis of Gun Laws
Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Slate.com: Tally of Gun Deaths, with Citations
States Slow to Embrace New Gun Laws
CBS News/ New York Times Poll
Nat’l Conference of State Legislatures Grappling With Gun Laws
National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action
CBS News Poll: Support for Stricter Gun Control Wanes

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