ST. PAUL, Minn – Senator Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park, held a press conference today regarding two gun violence prevention amendments that will be offered during the Senate’s Floor Session on Thursday. The first bill would allow law enforcement to seek an Extreme Risk Protection Order, a court order temporarily restricting a person’s access to guns when they show red flags and pose a danger to self or others. The second bill would extend criminal background checks to most private sales, gun show markets, and online transactions within our existing permit to purchase system.
“Extreme risk protection orders will save lives by allowing law enforcement to step in before warning signs spiral into tragedies,” said Sen. Latz. “Often, law enforcement officers are among those who first see or learn of a person in crisis. If law enforcement finds a person poses a significant danger of bodily harm to self or to other persons by possessing a firearm, and deems that less restrictive alternatives are inadequate or inappropriate to the circumstances, a petition for relief would require that person to yield their guns while the order is in effect.” In a nationwide study from 2009 to 2016, roughly 42 percent of mass shootings produced documentation that the attacker displayed dangerous warning signs before the shooting.
“The permit to purchase amendment would allow responsible gun owners to buy firearms after completing a criminal background check,” stated Sen. Latz. “In the 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 hand gun fire, incidents of trafficking, and mass shootings.”
A Star Tribune poll this past weekend found that 9 out of 10 Minnesotans support criminal background checks on all private firearm purchases. A recent similar poll conducted by Everytown for Gun Safety found identical support among Minnesotans for red flag and criminal background check bills. Support is broad as well as deep, and crosses political, urban and rural, and gun owners and non-owner lines. Additionally, several Senate Republicans have offered support for gun violence prevention bills of this nature.