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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Red flag law needed in Minnesota

A couple of recent developments regarding red flag laws came to my attention last week. Red flag laws—or extreme risk protection orders—allow judges to authorize police to temporarily seize a person's guns if they believe the person may commit a violent act.

First, I learned that U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee chair Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has begun bipartisan work on a bill to provide grants to states that adopt these laws. The laws, Graham notes, must allow for due process and focus solely on extreme risks. The grant money could be used to cover the costs of implementing such laws.

Also, last week Colorado became the 15th state to pass a red flag law. Their version allows a family member, a roommate or law enforcement to petition a judge to temporarily seize a person's firearms if they are deemed a risk to themselves or others.

Red flag laws are not a fringe idea. They are born of the efforts or concerned citizens, people like you and me who understand that gun violence is a health problem in our country—and want to do something about it.

Yet a bill to implement a red flag law in Minnesota may die in the Minnesota Senate for lack of a hearing (SF 436). Please contact your state senator and encourage him or her to support a hearing—and to work with the House and governor to craft a red flag law for Minnesota.

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