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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Firearm storage bill highlights latest MN gun safety efforts

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Wednesday, May 8, 2024   

The end date for Minnesota's legislative session is less than two weeks away. One of the remaining debates is gun safety and supporters of a safe firearm storage bill hope lawmakers finish the job.

Earlier in the session, a bill addressing so-called "straw purchases" of guns received heavy focus and eventually won House approval. The House also has advanced a measure that says if a gun isn't within reach of the owner, it has to be unloaded and equipped with a locking device, or kept in a safe storage unit or locked room.

Susie Kaufman, chapter lead for Minnesota's Moms Demand Action chapter, said it's a reasonable way to block access to guns to those who shouldn't be picking them up.

"Storing a gun on the top shelf of a closet or underneath a seat cushion - both of which are places that guns have been stored in Minnesota - where children have gained access to them with deadly consequences," she explained.

House Republicans were loudly critical of the bill, saying it places severe limits and creates confusion for homeowners who want to protect themselves in case of an intruder. But supporters say it aligns with standard practices of responsible gun owners. It's not clear yet if these plans will clear the Senate.

Kaufman pointed to research from the advocacy group Everytown that says rates of unintentional shootings were 78% lower in states with safe gun storage laws. She feels the right to protect yourself and your loved ones should be paired with commonsense gun ownership.

"And I would also suggest that guns can be stolen," she continued. "There have been very well reported incidents in Minnesota where guns have been stolen from homes where they were not properly secured, and then used in crimes. "

Exceptions were added to the bill, including situations for hunters. This proposed measure and the straw purchase bill are expected to be signed by Gov. Tim Walz if they reach his desk. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn May 20.


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