Editorial roundup: Nonprofits act as Minnesota Legislature fails
Published 10:25 pm Thursday, November 7, 2019
Minnesotans should be grateful for the St. Paul Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project for acting to protect victims of domestic violence when they face down the barrel of an illegal gun held by someone who shouldn’t have one.
The group decided at its annual meeting that it will focus its efforts to help enforce guns laws already on the books.
Of course, had the Minnesota GOP Senate passed the red flag law proposed by the DFL Minnesota House last year, this nonprofit probably wouldn’t need to spend its scarce resources to solve a problem that rightly should be dealt with by the Legislature. Some 17 states have adopted red flag laws that allow courts with due process to remove guns from someone who is deemed a danger to themselves and others.
Passing the background checks bill, which exempted hunting firearms, would have allowed the nonprofit to spend its time on other domestic violence issues.
The domestic abuse group will develop a plan for enforcing existing laws through St. Paul’s Blueprint for Safety Steering Committee, according to a report by Minnesota Public Radio. The Blueprint for Safety Committee coordinates efforts between law enforcement, social service agencies and attorneys to prevent and intervene in domestic violence cases.
The group will also help enforce a Minnesota law, passed in 2014, that prohibits domestic abusers from having firearms. Since 2015, only 8 percent of domestic abusers have turned over their firearms. An investigation by KARE 11 TV said courts and law enforcement have been lax in going through the procedures to remove the guns from abusers.
Violence Free Minnesota says 14 people have died so far this year due to domestic violence, with eight being shot.
We urge the Legislature to pass red flag and universal background check laws next year. And we urge voters to remove those lawmakers who refuse to implement these commonsense public safety laws that will save lives.
— Mankato Free Press, Nov. 5