Allow Department of Health to collect gun violence information

An amendment was to the supplemental budget that would allow the Minnesota Department of Health to collect data on firearm ownership for the purpose of public health research or epidemiologic investigation.  The data would be protected and released only as de-identified data.  Supporters argue that many public health concerns like smoking and automobile accidents have been greatly reduced thanks to targeted public health research. Researchers from many professions work with and leverage de-identified data every day to solve problems in ways that do not compromise the privacy and rights of individuals.  Allowing public health research on firearm ownership could save many lives lost to suicide and gun violence.  Despite the author’s invitation to other members to craft the amendment to ensure the strongest protections for individual rights, the amendment was ruled not germane and an attempt to overturn that ruling failed 36-29.