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America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Firearm storage bill highlights latest MN gun safety efforts

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Wednesday, May 8, 2024   

The end date for Minnesota's legislative session is less than two weeks away. One of the remaining debates is gun safety and supporters of a safe firearm storage bill hope lawmakers finish the job.

Earlier in the session, a bill addressing so-called "straw purchases" of guns received heavy focus and eventually won House approval. The House also has advanced a measure that says if a gun isn't within reach of the owner, it has to be unloaded and equipped with a locking device, or kept in a safe storage unit or locked room.

Susie Kaufman, chapter lead for Minnesota's Moms Demand Action chapter, said it's a reasonable way to block access to guns to those who shouldn't be picking them up.

"Storing a gun on the top shelf of a closet or underneath a seat cushion - both of which are places that guns have been stored in Minnesota - where children have gained access to them with deadly consequences," she explained.

House Republicans were loudly critical of the bill, saying it places severe limits and creates confusion for homeowners who want to protect themselves in case of an intruder. But supporters say it aligns with standard practices of responsible gun owners. It's not clear yet if these plans will clear the Senate.

Kaufman pointed to research from the advocacy group Everytown that says rates of unintentional shootings were 78% lower in states with safe gun storage laws. She feels the right to protect yourself and your loved ones should be paired with commonsense gun ownership.

"And I would also suggest that guns can be stolen," she continued. "There have been very well reported incidents in Minnesota where guns have been stolen from homes where they were not properly secured, and then used in crimes. "

Exceptions were added to the bill, including situations for hunters. This proposed measure and the straw purchase bill are expected to be signed by Gov. Tim Walz if they reach his desk. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn May 20.


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