FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 11, 2019
City Attorney Lyndsey Olson
SAINT PAUL, MN – Today, Saint Paul City Attorney Lyndsey Olson announced that the City Attorney’s Office has joined a new Domestic Violence Firearm Enforcement Task Force. The group will work to improve enforcement of Minnesota’s 2014 Domestic Firearm Act which requires those who have been convicted of domestic violence to surrender their firearms to an authorized third party. Members of the task force include the St. Paul and Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, local criminal justice and community partners.
“Addressing the harmful effects of domestic violence on children and families is vital,” said Mayor Melvin Carter. “Joining this task force with the Saint Paul and Ramsey County Domestic Abuse Intervention Project and other partners will help us better respond to the needs of our community.”
“The connection between domestic violence and firearms has long been known,” said City Attorney Lyndsey Olson. “This task force will enhance our ability to keep firearms out of the hands of offenders and protect those impacted by domestic violence.”
Minnesota’s Domestic Firearm Act is an extension to the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 and its Lautenberg Amendment, passed by Congress in 1996, which bans those convicted of domestic violence from owning firearms. Minnesota is one of the 29 states that have passed additional laws requiring offenders to surrender their guns or verify to the court that they’ve given them to an authorized third party.
The Saint Paul City Attorney’s Office is joining the task force following an increased focus on identifying opportunities for greater systemwide impact related to gun crimes. The task force will establish new policies in the criminal context, and create a uniform protocol for use in civil courtrooms when protective orders are issued. The aim is to get firearms out of the hands of offenders swiftly and safely so that families and the public are better protected.