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Minnesota Flunks Gun Access Test

February 1, 2008

Duluth, MN – A new survey puts Minnesota way down on the list when it comes to protecting its citizens from gun violence. Joan Peterson with the Protect Minnesota Campaign says the state scored 11 out of 100.

"Minnesota does not have some laws that we believe should be in place regarding background checks, child safety locks, assault weapons or reporting of lost and stolen guns."

Also, the state doesn't ban military assault-type weapons, and it allows guns in public places. Peterson says it's troubling that Minnesota gets such a low score, and she feels the state can, and should, do better.

Peterson says it's especially important that Minnesota keep guns away from kids.

"The concern is that we aren't doing enough to protect children and criminals from getting guns that they shouldn't have. Every year we have homicides and children committing suicide and also involved in shootings or being shot. We feel that we can do a lot better."

Peterson says one goal of the survey is to encourage Minnesotans to increase gun safety, especially to keep guns away from kids.

"We think it's vitally important that people lock up their guns and store them safely. Make sure guns are not stolen. In addition to which, we would like to see background checks on unlicensed sales of guns. We believe that that would start the process of preventing criminals, those who are adjudicated as mentally ill and youth from getting guns that they shouldn't have."

She hopes state lawmakers, when they meet later this month, will close gun regulation loopholes.

Jim Wishner/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - MN