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St. Paul cracks down on gun ownership among domestic abusers

The city has joined the Domestic Violence Firearm Enforcement Task Force.

St. Paul is taking on domestic violence via a new program that takes guns out of the hands of abusers.

The city has joined the Domestic Violence Firearm Enforcement Task Force, through which various agencies work together to enforce gun laws that target people with domestic abuse convictions.

“The connection between domestic violence and firearms has long been known,” City Attorney Lyndsey Olson said in a news release. “This task force will enhance our ability to keep firearms out of the hands of offenders and protect those impacted by domestic violence.” 

The program is aimed at strengthening Minnesota’s 2014 Domestic Firearm Act, which bans those convicted of domestic violence from owning firearms. 

In an interview with FOX 9, Olsen says the task force will also take on the "boyfriend loophole" — which essentially exempts violent ex-boyfriends and stalkers from gun restrictions on domestic abusers.

The task force "may may make recommendations to close the loophole... for those who have abused dating partners they do not live with or share a child with," Olson tells the station. 

Domestic violence often does end in murder; according to statistics from Violence Free Minnesota, 14 people in the state died from "intimate partner violence" in 2018 alone. 

That includes nine women, one man, and four others who were bystanders or died attempting to intervene. 

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