By Pat Kessler

ST. PAUL, Minn.(WCCO) — A Minnesota House committee put on hold Thursday two bills that would have added new restrictions on guns.

The bills would expand background checks and allow police to take away guns from people suffering a mental health crisis.

Hundreds of people showed up at the Capitol to watch the debate. They spilled out into hallways and hearing rooms.

Gun rights supporters wore buttons reading “due process” and labelled one measure the “Guilty Until Proven Innocent Bill.” Some lawmakers called it unconstitutional.

Despite high emotion, both sides were unusually friendly.

Two protesters arrived on opposite sides, but found common ground.

“We are both against violence,” Robert Stewart, of Lakeville, said. “We’re both against school shootings.”

The vote by Republicans to stop the gun measures means both bills are likely dead for the year.

Gun safety advocates here said they expect to make it a big issue in the 2018 election.

Other gun-related bills are waiting for debate at the Capitol. They include an assault weapons ban and one on school security.

Pat Kessler