Ellison joins gun safety advocates in urging action by Legislature
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison says the mass shootings in Nashville and Louisville in less than two weeks add more urgency to passing new gun laws in Minnesota.
“Six more weeks! Prioritize gun violence prevention laws now,” Ellison said at a news conference alongside gun control advocates.
“In the week since the Legislature went on recess … there were eight mass shootings in the United States,” said Maggiy Emery, interim director of Protect Minnesota.
Sasha Cotton of the National Network for Safe Communities added her voice to the chorus.
“We don’t want to be the next Louisville,” she said. “We don’t want to be the next Nashville. Let’s do what we know needs to happen. Pass this reform so that Minnesota students, families and children will be safe.”
The groups say they support three measures in Minnesota: Universal background checks, “extreme risk protection” laws, also known as “red flag” laws, and funding for community violence intervention programs.
Rob Doar of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus says his group supports violence intervention. “When we talk about community violence intervention efforts, that’s something we’ve always supported and been advocates of,” he says.
However, “red flag” laws are a different story because the current legislation doesn’t allow for due process for gun owners targeted with accusations of being a danger.
“That is definitely the one that is the most ripe for abuse and violations of people’s individual rights,” Doar says.
Ellison says sometimes there isn’t time to wait for due process.
“You don’t have a long time to go gather up all the parties,” he says of red flag cases. “You just gotta say, ‘Look, we believe there’s going to be an imminent use, a fatal use potentially with a gun and we gotta get in there and get in there now.’”
When asked by a reporter, Ellison did say it is possible a compromise could be reached on that issue. He says he’ll likely urge lawmakers to try to pass what is possible so they can make progress instead of getting everything they want all at once.