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Bill Would Make MN Domestic Abusers Give Up All Their Guns

PHOTO: A hearing is expected today on a bill (HF 3228) that aims to close a loophole that allows domestic abusers in Minnesota to posses rifles and shotguns. Photo credit: dualdflipflop
March 25. 2014
PHOTO: A hearing is expected today on a bill (HF 3228) that aims to close a loophole that allows domestic abusers in Minnesota to posses rifles and shotguns. Photo credit: dualdflipflop

ST. PAUL, Minn. - It is the most dangerous time for an abused woman: when she's leaving and he's losing control. So a bill being debated at the state Capitol aims to take guns out of the mix.

Joan Peterson, board president, Protect Minnesota: Working to End Gun Violence, said the legislation would close a loophole that allows those who have been convicted of domestic assault to possess long guns.

"We know that about one in five domestic-violence gun murders in the country is committed with a shotgun or a rifle," Peterson said, "so it really doesn't make sense for those who are convicted of domestic assault to be able to own a long gun. They are prohibited from owning handguns at this point."

There were 37 domestic-violence deaths in Minnesota last year, nearly half committed with firearms.

The House bill will be heard today in the Public Safety Committee. Similar legislation in the state Senate is also working its way through the committee process.

The bill also would require convicted stalkers to surrender their guns, and Peterson said it would prohibit those subject to domestic-violence restraining orders from buying or possessing firearms, which judges can now order under federal law.

"It's not a state crime at this point, so this would make it easier for judges to be able to order the disarmament of abusers in the case of protective orders and restraining orders," she explained.

Peterson's sister was the victim of domestic violence in 1992, shot and killed by her estranged husband, whom she did have a restraining order against at the time.

The bill (HF3238) may be followed at www.revisor.mn.gov. The Minnesota 2013 Femicide Report is available from the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women at http://media.wix.com.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - MN