Gun violence prevention advocates find innovative ways to have their voices heard

Gun violence prevention advocates held a virtual rally this week, finding new ways to organize as the CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health is recommending that people practice social distancing and avoid large gatherings.

Advocates were encouraged to text, email, call, and contact their elected officials over social media and ask that the Senate pass gun violence prevention measures, including expanded background checks and emergency risk protection orders.

A recent Star Tribune poll shows that 9 out of 10 Minnesotans support expanded background checks. In states that require a background check before every handgun sale there are nearly half as many suicides by gun, women shot to death by their domestic partners, police officers who die by handgun fire, incidents of trafficking, and mass shootings.

Emergency risk protection orders equip law enforcement and family members with necessary tools to step in before warning signs spiral into tragedies.

In a nationwide study from 2009 to 2016, roughly 42% of mass shootings produced documentation that the attacker displayed dangerous warning signs before shooting. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention acknowledges environmental factors, including access to firearms, as a risk factor and contributor to death by suicide.

More than 100 Minnesotans participated in the virtual rally. Senate DFLers are hard at work for their constituents in these uncertain times and appreciate the innovative ways constituents are reaching out to ask for gun violence prevention measures. We are committed to a conversation focused on gun violence prevention that works and keeps Minnesotans safe. (SF 434, SF 436)