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Minnesota Moves to Adopt Gun-Safety Laws

By News May 16, 2023 | 2:52 PM

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Minnesota is on the verge of adopting new gun-safety laws.

A public safety bill containing two gun control measures has passed through the legislature and will head to Governor Tim Walz for his signature in the near future.

One provision would establish extreme no-risk protection orders, where someone deemed a threat to themselves or others, would be temporarily blocked from having access to firearms.

Another expands background checks for gun shows and private gun sales.

Molly Leutz, Minnesota chapter lead for the group Moms Demand Action, says the proposals are not “knee-jerk” reaction laws.

“There is evidence from these laws being in place in other states that they have efficacy in reducing gun violence,” says Leutz.

University of Michigan researchers say protection order laws appear to be an effective tool in preventing firearm incidents, such as mass shootings.

Johns Hopkins University said states without universal background checks have 30% higher levels of seeing guns eventually getting into the hands of criminals.

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus contends the provisions will burden lawful gun owners without reducing firearm crimes or suicide rates.

Maggiy Emery, interim executive director of Protect Minnesota, echoes sentiments from others, saying these are worthwhile strategies based on how they’ve been applied elsewhere.

She said there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to reducing gun violence, but the measures are important solutions to build on.

“These bills represent the bottom-line, common-sense, should-have-been-done-years-ago things that Minnesota is behind on,” says Emery. “And once we get these over the finish line, that’s really going to open up an opportunity for us to think about what else can we be doing here that’s going to be really effective in saving lives.”

Federal data show suicides make up a majority of firearm deaths in Minnesota.

Emery feels the protection order provision could be very effective in preventing those situations.

(Mike Moen/Minnesota News Service)



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