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Morning headlines: Wednesday, April 4, 2012

(via Flickr/Cast a Line)

Republican presidential contenders to speak at NRA meeting in St. Louis

Thousands of gun enthusiasts will get a chance to hear from three of the four Republican presidential contenders next week when the National Rifle Association hosts its annual meeting and exhibit in St. Louis.

An NRA spokesman says more than 60,000 people have already registered for the convention that runs April 13-15 at the America's Center convention center, but that number is expected to grow with late registrations.

GOP presidential contenders Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are scheduled to be among the speakers at the NRA Leadership Forum on April 13.

The NRA says Ron Paul was invited but did not respond.

Several other Republican politicians – three governors, two senators and two congressmen - will speak at the forum.

Proposal to limit teen use of tanning beds divides Mo. House

Legislation by Republican Rep. Gary Cross, of Lee's Summit, would require parental permission for anyone younger than 18 to use a tanning facility. His bill was amended Tuesday by Republican Rep. Jay Barnes, of Jefferson City, to also forbid anyone younger than 15 from using tanning equipment.  

Supporters cited concerns that excessive tanning causes cancer. But some other Republicans said the bill represents excessive government intrusion on individual freedoms.

The legislation was set aside Tuesday without receiving a vote. More than 30 states have laws requiring parental consent for teens to use tanning beds and more than 10 states forbid tanning beds for teenagers of certain ages.

Baseball regular season starts today

The St. Louis Cardinals are set to open the regular season tonight against the Miami Marlins.

Cardinals right-hander Kyle Lohse will take the mound against Miami counterpart Josh Johnson. The new-look Marlins are also opening their new ballpark.