Democrat forces sudden hearing on gun legislation

Hundreds gather in the State Capitol rotunda during a rally Feb. 22, 2018, in St. Paul.

Bills that would restrict gun access are coming up for a sudden vote before a Minnesota House committee.

Democratic St. Paul Rep. Dave Pinto used an obscure parliamentary rule to force the Thursday hearing in the House Public Safety Committee. One bill would expand background checks to all gun sales and transfers. Another would give family members a legal way to temporarily restrict a loved one’s firearm access.

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Both bills face a steep climb and frosty reception in the Republican-controlled Legislature.

But efforts to address gun violence and firearm access are gaining steam nationwide after the latest school shooting in Florida. Seventeen students and teachers were killed during the Feb. 14 mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school.

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