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Brady Urges Attention to Needed Gun Violence Prevention Policies Following Attack on Health Care Center in Buffalo, Minnesota

Washington, D.C., February 10, 2021 - Following the shooting at Allina Health clinic that killed one person and injured four, Brady urges renewed attention to the need for common-sense and comprehensive gun violence solutions. While details continue to emerge, law enforcement have confirmed that the shooter was known to local police and that the attack was “likely” targeted at the health care center. Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz has likewise confirmed that “improvised explosive devices” were found in relation to the attack.

Brady President Kris Brown shared:

“It is clear that the individual who perpetrated yesterday’s shooting should not have been in possession of any firearms. As law enforcement have stated, he previously threatened violence, including mass shootings, against health care providers. His past behavior and statements were threatening and they were clearly concerning enough that law enforcement was made aware of them.

However, Minnesota lacks any regulation that would empower law enforcement to act to remove dangerous weapons from such an individual. The state does not have an Extreme Risk Law that allows law enforcement to act on such credible concerns and to petition a court to remove firearms from those who are a proven threat to themselves or others. It is clearer than ever following yesterday’s events that the state needs such a law. Brady calls on the Minnesota legislature to pass an extreme risk law without delay.”

Trauma surgeon, gun violence survivor and founder of This Is Our Lane Dr. Joseph Sakran shared:

“Our nation faces dueling public health problems. While it is critical to bring a swift end to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that we must also simultaneously work in parallel to bring an end to gun violence in America. As we head into the anniversary of the horrific mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, let us commit to not waiting until the next mass shooting before we decide to act on these senseless and preventable tragedies.”

Co-President of the Northland Brady Chapter Joan Peterson shared:

“As a Minnesotan, the mother of a Minnesota healthcare professional, and a gun violence prevention advocate, the mass shooting in Buffalo hit home in many ways. My daughter works in clinics in Minnesota such as the one that was attacked yesterday. I am worried about my daughter. I, like the rest of Minnesota, am worried about how we can prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future. There will be calls for greater security at health care providers, new guards or metal detectors. However, we cannot accept that our only option is to militarize and create defensive enclaves. We need common-sense solutions like an extreme risk law that prevent violence from ever occurring. It is clear that this individual should not have been in possession of firearms. Our legislature must pass an extreme risk law that would empower law enforcement to act, rather than wait for tragedy to strike. As a mother and a Minnesotan, I am demanding our state act to stop future tragedies.”

What Are Extreme Risk Laws:

Extreme risk laws help prevent a person in crisis from harming themselves or others by temporarily removing guns and prohibiting the purchase of firearms.

Extreme risk laws sometimes go by various names, like red flag laws, Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs) or extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs), but they all have the same goal: empowering members of the community to prevent gun violence without threatening an individual’s Second Amendment rights.

Extreme risk laws allow a family member, law enforcement, or other key individuals as allowed by each state to present evidence to a civil court judge that an individual is a risk to themselves or others. The behavioral risk factors that are typically considered by a judge in an extreme risk law case include:

  • Patterns or recent threats and acts of violence

  • Dangerous past behavior with guns

  • Substance abuse

  • Recent firearms or ammunition acquisition

A judge may consider these and other factors when considering whether or not to intervene. The at-risk individual is allowed an opportunity to be heard and present other evidence before the judge in a civil — not criminal — court hearing.

If the judge finds that the evidence warrants temporarily removing guns from the individual, then the judge issues an order known as an extreme risk protection order (ERPO). An ERPO prevents the person in crisis from purchasing a gun and allows law enforcement to temporarily hold any guns already owned for safekeeping.

At a subsequent hearing, the extreme risk order can be extended if there is additional evidence that the person in crisis continues to be a threat to themselves or others. The individual can again present evidence in their defense.

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Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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