Skip to main content

Law enforcement officials aim to keep guns away from mentally ill

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A coalition of top Minnesota law enforcement officials are pressing legislators to make a number of changes to ensure guns don't get into the wrong hands.

The Star Tribune reports sheriffs, prosecutors, police chiefs, a judge and a bi-partisan group of legislators gathered Wednesday to demand that lawmakers overhaul the state's loose background check system for people seeking to purchase firearms.

"We have an 'access' problem when it comes to guns--the severely mentally ill should never have access to guns," Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said.

According to the newspaper, state court records show that at least 84 people have been charged since 2000 with illegal gun possession or assault with a dangerous weapon despite being previously committed by a judge as mentally ill.

Of that group, 29 people were charged with multiple counts of weapons possession and nine were considered to be mentally ill and dangerous.

The coalition also calls for better health care for inmates. Hennepin County Judge Jay Quam, who has presided over cases in mental commitment court says too many mentally ill inmates sit in jail cells instead of getting the help they need.

Quam offers a somewhat surprising fact to the Pioneer Press: the three largest health facilities in the country are the Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago jails.

Another piece of the proposed overhaul would give police officers better access to mental health records when responding to emergency calls.

"Whether they go to the hospital or end up in jail, that makes a big difference depending on the kind of information we have," said Rep. Dan Schoen, DFL-Cottage Grove, a veteran police officer.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-10-04 at 3.03.13 PM

Revival to close its original Minneapolis restaurant

Don't worry – it's bringing the chicken to its nearby BBQ joint.

image

Fatal crash under investigation on Hwy 62 in Mendota Heights

The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating the crash near Dodd Road.

Pixabay bike wheel

Driver strikes 5 bicyclists near Mapleton

The Sheriff's Office has indicated that those injured were children.

Screen Shot 2020-04-30 at 3.13.52 PM

The former Bachelor Farmer space is sold in Minneapolis

A new restaurant is expected to open next year.

flooding on Interstate 90

Supercharged atmosphere causing more mega-rain events

There could be a mega-rain event Saturday-Sunday in Minnesota, Wisconsin and/or Iowa.

9Rhiw3Tw

Massive Burnsville landfill expansion nears final approvals

The City of Burnsville and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency are accepting public feedback on the proposal.

Screen Shot 2022-08-05 at 2.35.39 PM

Kyle Rittenhouse attorney to defend accused Apple River killer Nicolae Miu

The attorney who helped Kyle Rittenhouse be acquitted of all charges is defending the alleged Apple River mass stabber.

Screen Shot 2022-08-05 at 7.55.41 AM

Minneapolis police trying to ID pair in connection to fatal shooting

Police say the two people pictured are connected to the fatal shooting of Ivan Redday last month.

ambulance

17-year-old girl killed in southern Minnesota crash

The crash happened early Thursday morning near Lake Crystal.

Tim Gannon

Ex-Brooklyn Center police chief sues city over resignation

Tim Gannon alleges he was forced to resign following the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright.

boat, boating, lake

Men injured after boat crash sends propeller spinning onto craft

The motor reportedly flew out of the water and severely injured two men on the boat.

Related