Senators Ron Latz, Alice Mann, Ann Rest, and Bonnie Westlin mark January 1 as New Gun Violence Prevention Measure Goes into Effect

Extreme Risk Protection Orders now available in Minnesota

Saint Paul, Minn. – New gun violence prevention legislation went into effect on January 1st which establishes a process for Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs). The legislation was authored in the Senate by Senator Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park) and co-authored by Senator Alice Mann (DFL-Edina), Senator Ann Rest (DFL-New Hope), and Senator Bonnie Westlin (DFL-Plymouth).

Minnesota’s ERPO law takes effect on January 1 and gives family members and law enforcement an opportunity to intervene before a firearm can be used. When a person is in crisis and may use a firearm to harm themselves or others there are often warning signs, and family members and law enforcement are often the first people to see those signs.

“When someone has demonstrated that they pose a significant danger to themselves or others, firearms should be removed from the equation,” said Sen. Latz. “Extreme Risk Protection Orders are one proven system that allows law enforcement, families, and courts to take preemptive action and save lives before these warning signs lead to tragedy.”

“Gun violence is a public health crisis, and strong, evidence-based tools like extreme risk protection order will save lives and prevent tragedies,” said Sen. Mann. “We need to continue to take this crisis seriously and think proactively to reduce gun violence in Minnesota.”

“All Minnesotans should feel safe in their communities and their own homes,” insisted Sen. Rest.   “The ERPO law will provide an additional tool for families and law enforcement to keep people safe from gun violence.”

“Minnesotans have been calling for action on gun violence prevention for far too long,” said Sen. Westlin.  “Extreme Risk Protection Orders will save lives and are an important step in answering that call and reducing firearm deaths in Minnesota. Far too many Minnesotans have a story on how gun violence has taken loved ones from them. This legislation is one way to prevent those stories from ever having to be told.”

Twenty-one other states have passed similar laws, and more are being considered. A study of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, and Washington found that 10% of all extreme risk orders were in response to threats of mass violence. The extreme risk law in these six states has prevented more than 650 potential multiple-victim or mass shootings. 

Research into the effects of this legislation also consistently finds a significant reduction in death by suicide. Like all of America, Minnesota is suffering from an epidemic of deaths by suicide involving a firearm. Preventing a person with suicidal ideations from accessing guns can save their life. In Minnesota, 79% of all firearm deaths are due to suicide. On average, one Minnesota resident dies by suicide by firearm every day.

ERPOs keep firearms out of the hands of those who would use them to cause deadly harm to themselves or others, and it does it through due process. This legislation balances the rights of gun owners with the rights of all Minnesotans to be safe.  

Petitions for an ERPO will be managed through county courts and forms can be found on the Judicial branch’s website here. (https://www.mncourts.gov/GetForms.aspx?c=36)

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has further details and information on their website here. (https://dps.mn.gov/Pages/red-flag-law.aspx)

Senator Ron Latz
Ron Latz represents District 46, which includes portions of Hennepin County in the western Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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Senator Alice Man represents Senate District 50 which includes Bloomington and Edina. She is vice chair of the Health and Human Services Committee, and serves on the Education Policy Committee and the Human Services Committee.

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Ann Rest represents District 43, which includes portions of the western suburbs of Hennepin County in the Twin Cities metro area.

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Senator Bonnie Westlin represents Senate District 42 which includes Maple Grove, Medicine Lake, and Plymouth. She is vice chair of the Elections Committee and serves on the Education Finance Committee and the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee.

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