|At least 17 Indivisible Morris members attended the Westrom/Backer Town Hall meeting this past Friday. Thank you to everyone who showed up and to everyone who spoke out!
Whether you were in attendance or not, there’s something more you can do. Contact Representative Backer and Senator Westrom. We urge everyone to follow up Friday’s Town Hall with additional comments or questions. If you couldn’t be there or if you didn’t have an opportunity to address an issue, ask for another Town Hall soon. Feel free to use the Talking Points assembled prior to the meeting and available here: 2018 townhall materials.
In response to questions about meaningful gun reform legislation, Westrom and Backer consistently answered in ways that were incredibly evasive and frustrating. They refused to directly address the issue and tried to turn the discussion to video games, mental health and pornography. Sara Lam shared the following email that she sent to Westrom and Backer as follow-up to that issue:
Hello Representative Backer and Senator Westrom,
Thank you for visiting Morris today. I would like to follow up on the conversation we had at the town hall.
1. Evidence about states with expanded background check requirements
This article provides a good overview of the research on various gun safety measure, and provides links or citations to the original studies so that you can verify their credibility. A summary about background checks:
On average, states with expanded background check requirements had 35% fewer gun deaths per capita than states without those requirements. Those states also have 53% fewer firearm suicides, and 31% fewer suicides overall (showing that the decrease in firearm suicides was not just compensated for by suicides by other means).
One survey of state prison inmates convicted of offenses committed with guns in 13 states found that only 13 percent obtained their guns from a private seller that had to conduct a background check.
2. Current background check requirements in MN
Every source of information I have seen says that private gun sales in MN do not require background checks, with the exception of some specific types of guns. I looked at a variety of types of sources to avoid bias. Here are some examples.
Please show me where I can find the law that requires universal background checks for every gun sale regardless of whether it is through a federally licensed dealer.
It takes only a few minutes to let our elected officials know that we are paying attention to what they say and do. Please call or write now.
Thank you for taking action,
Your Indivisible Morris Team