Bills introduced aimed at curtailing gun violence

Two bills introduced at a press conference this week focused on new gun laws aimed to curtail gun violence. The first bill, Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO), also known as “red flag” laws, would allow law enforcement and family members to seek a court order temporarily restricting a person’s access to guns when they show red flags and pose a danger to themselves and/or others. The second bill would extend criminal background checks to most private sales, gun show markets, and online transactions.

In a nationwide study from 2009 to 2016, roughly 42% of mass shootings produced documentation that the attacker displayed dangerous warning signs before shooting.

Minnesotans routinely complete background checks for the transfers of pistols and semiautomatic military-style assault weapons from dealers. This bill would apply that standard to all firearms and would extend the background check for the transfer of any firearm between almost all private parties.

Last year, a Star Tribune poll found that 9 out of 10 Minnesotans support criminal background checks on all private firearm purchases. Support among Minnesotans is broad as well as deep, and crosses political, urban and rural, and gun owner and non-owner lines.