MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Hundreds of people for and against tougher background checks on gun sales were in St. Paul Tuesday.

Beginning Tuesday morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing in the Senate Office Building for two bills from DFL Senator Ron Latz.

One bill would require a criminal background check for all firearms to include gun show, individual and Internet sales.

The bill’s author said 40 percent of gun transfers in Minnesota don’t get a criminal background check. However, he said this legislation does not expand gun laws.

Latz said the bill does not create a registry of guns at the state or federal level, nor does it take away anyone’s guns.  Additionally, he said it does not restrict the kinds of guns an individual can buy or own.

Latz also cited a recent poll that found 82 percent of Minnesotans support having universal background checks on all gun sales

A group calling itself “Everytown for Gun Safety” said it’s too easy for people to get guns, including domestic abusers and the mentally ill.

The National Rifle Association said this bill would criminalize common place practices of law-abiding gun owners who hunt, engage in recreational shooting sports and exercise their Second Amendment for self-defense.

The other bill being talked about Tuesday is a gun violence protection order bill.

This bill would allow law enforcement and family members to ask a court to prohibit people from having guns if they pose a significant danger to themselves or others.

The NRA said that bill could leave victims of domestic violence unable to defend themselves.

The public was allowed to testify on these bills. But it was limited. Four people from each side were randomly chosen from the list of people who signed up Tuesday morning to testify.

They were each be given two to three minutes to testify.

Latz said his bills wouldn’t stop people from getting guns but would make it more difficult, and it would help prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.

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