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How they voted: North Dakota, Minnesota senators on gun bill

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FARGO -- The handful of bills the U.S. Senate voted down Monday, June 20, would have expanded gun background checks and moved to bar people on terrorism watch lists from being able to buy weapons.

Democrats said the measures put forth by Republicans fell short, while Republicans say Democrats’ aims threaten the rights of gun owners.

The four amendments all failed to reach the required two-thirds majority vote to pass.

  • Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, wanted better communication by government agencies to improve the background check system and a study by the attorney general on the sources and causes of mass shootings.

Of North Dakota and Minnesota’s senators, only John Hoeven, R-N.D., voted for Grassley’s amendment.

  • Sen. Chris Murphy D-Conn., sought to require a background check for every gun sale in the United States, broadening the federal requirements for checks by licensed dealers.

Senators were split on Murphy’s amendment, with Al Franken, D-Minn., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., both voting in favor, while Hoeven and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., voted against, breaking ranks with her Democratic colleagues.

  • Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, would’ve put in place a 72-hour waiting period for those on terrorism watch lists wanting to buy a gun, which could give the feds time to investigate to find probable cause.

Hoeven was the only one of the senators to vote for Cornyn’s amendment.

  • Lastly, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., sponsored an amendment that would let the attorney general ban anyone on terror watch lists from buying guns.

Franken and Klobuchar voted in favor of the amendment, while both Hoeven and Heitkamp voted against.


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