Overflow crowd returns for day 2 of gun hearings

11:14 AM, Feb 6, 2013   |    comments
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ST. PAUL, Minn. - The State Capitol is always a bustling place during session, but the red-hot issue of gun control has drawn an overflow crowd to a hearing room as lawmakers listen to testimony on two bills that would limit the type of guns allowed in Minnesota.

State Rep. Alice Hausman of St. Paul has introduced the two most controversial gun bills so far this year, the last of eight heard over the past two days.  

The first, House File 241, would ban sale of new semi-automatic military-style assault rifles. The current law lists all the brands and models of assault rifles that are legal in Minnesota. Hausman's bill would get rid of that language and instead define assault rifles by their characteristics, such as detachable ammo clips, protruding grip, folding telescoping stock, etc.

Her bill would also require that people who currently own these weapons register them with the state, so authorities can track the guns as they're sold from person to person. 

Hausman began her testimony by comparing the number of gun deaths in the U.S. versus other industrialized nations in Europe and Japan.

She believes the founders did not intend for a well armed militia to match the fire power of the US military.

Hausman's second bill, House File 242, would limit the size of ammunition magazines, or clips, to 10 rounds. Gun rights supporters say that 10 rounds is actually a small clip for many of the semi-automatic rifles and handguns sold today, and are more difficult to find.


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