ICYMI: Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords Advocates for Gun Safety Legislation in St. Paul
St. Paul, MN — Yesterday, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, founder of the gun violence prevention organization GIFFORDS, joined Governor Tim Walz, First Lady Gwen Walz, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, Attorney General Keith Ellison, lawmakers, members of GIFFORDS Gun Owners for Safety, law enforcement, and other advocates to push for the passage of gun safety legislation in Minnesota. GIFFORDS has been working closely with legislators to craft and pass two critical gun violence prevention bills regarding background checks and extreme risk protection orders.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:
“In November, Minnesotans said enough is enough and sent a gun safety majority to St. Paul. Now, it’s time for their elected leaders to live up to their promises and pass this critical gun violence prevention legislation. This week I met with many Minnesotans, including members of GIFFORDS Gun Owners for Safety, and their message was loud and clear: they want to protect their kids and make their communities safer. I thank Governor Walz, Lieutenant Governor Flanagan, Attorney General Ellison, and all of the lawmakers for their commitment and courage. Together, we can prevent gun violence.”
According to Giffords Law Center’s Annual Gun Law Scorecard, Minnesota currently holds a C+ grade. Minnesota has enacted modest gun safety measures in recent years, but is still missing a number of lifesaving policies that can combat gun violence in the state. The policies being considered include background checks and extreme risk protection orders.
GIFFORDS conducted polling earlier this year that found 92% of Michigan voters support universal background checks and 67% support extreme risk protection orders.
Background checks keep firearms out of the hands of those who may pose a threat to public safety. Currently, Minnesota law has no requirements mandating that people who buy guns in unlicensed, private sales undergo a background check or present transfer permits. This legislation would close these dangerous loopholes and require background checks for all sales of handguns and assault weapons.
Extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs), sometimes referred to as red flag laws, are a proactive way to prevent mass shootings and other acts of gun violence. Often perpetrators of gun violence will display four to five observable and concerning behaviors prior to their attacks. In Minnesota, however, those who observe these warning signs often have few opportunities to intervene provided to them under state law. The passage of new ERPO legislation would provide a legal mechanism through the courts for law enforcement and family members to prevent individuals who are at high risk of harming themselves or others from temporarily having access to firearms.
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