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

CBP heater

More than $260K in fake heaters seized at Minnesota border

The 780 infrared zone heaters were found in a rail car bound for Ranier, Minnesota.

Ian Cole

Wild trade Greg Pateryn to Avalanche for Ian Cole

Cole won a pair of Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh and is a former first-round pick.

1024px-Hudson,_Wisconsin_9

St. Croix County GOP chair resigns after incendiary post on official website

John Kraft sparked controversy with his 'Prepare for War' post on the party website earlier this month.

ann kim

Ann Kim's new restaurant, Sooki & Mimi, to open in February

The James Beard Award winner is the brains behind Young Joni, Pizzeria Lola, and Hello Pizza.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 1.32.19 PM

Firefighters rescue worker after trench fall in Rochester

The construction worker fell about 15 feet.

gray wolf

Grand Marais mayor's dog survives attack by wolves

He heard his 65-pound dog "screaming bloody murder" and then saw the wolves chasing her.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 12.04.55 PM

Minnesota's COVID vaccine appointment site goes live

Huge demand was expected when the site went live at noon.

emily ford

Duluth woman is hiking 1,000-plus miles on the Ice Age Trail this winter

She could be the second person ever to finish a winter-thru hike of the Wisconsin trail.

coronavirus, covid-19, icu

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 19

Two days in a row with fewer than 1,000 new cases.

Related

Gun bill author calls out law enforcement following Dayton's veto

Republican Rep. Tony Cornish, a former small-town police chief, is blaming law enforcers after Gov. Dayton vetoed a bill that would have greatly expanded the rights of citizens to use deadly force. "The one that disappoints me most is gun-grabber Tim Dolan," Cornish said, referring to the Minneapolis chief of police. Cornish says he's not giving up on the bill and that "we'll have to jam it down their throat."