Gun Violence Prevention Reforms Will Save Lives
ST. PAUL, Minn. — On Friday, Senator Bonnie Westlin (DFL-Plymouth) voted yes to pass expanded background checks and extreme risk prevention orders included in the Judiciary and Public Safety Conference Committee Report. These widely supported gun violence prevention measures have been shown to reduce rates of gun violence and reduce gun deaths.
“Minnesotans have called for the Legislature to act on gun violence prevention for many years, and with this legislation, we answer that call,” said Sen. Westlin. “From the folks I spoke with knocking doors in my district and at town halls, to the people who came to the Capitol to testify on this legislation, there are too many of us with a story of how gun violence has shattered their lives.
“Passing expanded background checks and extreme risk protection orders will save lives, and they are the first step toward treating gun violence like the public health crisis it is. Gun violence is a systemic social problem, and we aren’t going to end gun deaths or injuries with one or two bills. But these provisions are strong, evidence-based tools that will save the lives and prevent tragedies. I am proud to have voted yes on this bill.”
The Conference Committee Report includes $880 million in new spending with $650 million for Public Safety and $230 million for the Judiciary. The budget includes pay increases for judges and judicial staff, increased funding for civil legal services and public defenders, increased funding for crime prevention programs in the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, funding for the Office of Justice Programs including significant investments in youth intervention programs, and funding for the Department of Corrections.
The report passed in a 34-33 vote and will be taken up by the House of Representatives as early as today.