Protect Minnesota: Working to End Gun Violence
and The Organizing Apprenticeship Project
MARCH 11, 2013
Contact: Leroy Duncan, community organizer, Protect Minnesota
Communities of Color Oppose Rep. Hilstrom/NRA Gun Bill: News Conference March 12 11 a.m.
ST. PAUL – Leaders representing communities of color will gather Tuesday to oppose a bill introduced by State Representative Deb Hilstrom and NRA leaders last week. The Organizing Apprenticeship Project, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, Shiloh Temple International Ministries, New Salem Baptist Church, Joint Heirs in Christ Ministries and other groups will be joined by elected officials, citizens and a fast-growing coalition of gun violence prevention groups. The groups will urge DFL leaders to oppose any bill with language enacting mandatory minimum sentencing, creating new felony crimes unrelated to prevention, or neglecting to close the gun background check gap.
“Minnesota has an inequity, or racial disparity, problem. The achievement gap ranks us at the very bottom in the entire nation and African Americans are more than twice as likely to be unemployed than their white peers. We need to limit access to deadly weapons, create social opportunity now, and save lives,” said Leroy Duncan, community organizer with Protect Minnesota. “Bills like H.F. 1325 mistakenly misplace the issue of gun violence on communities of color by creating penalties that, historically, are disproportionately enforced on those communities. We’re convening because we need leadership to do what’s right for Minnesotan families; their quest for political convenience won’t only fail to prevent gun violence, but will only increase the disparities that exist in our state.”
Who: Communities of color, faith and community groups.
When: Tues, Mar. 12 at 11 a.m.
Where: State Capitol, in front of House Chambers
What: Communities of color oppose Hilstrom/NRA gun bill
- H.F. 1325 contains two measures that are harmful and, if enacted, would, likely, disproportionately impact communities of color, and lacks the one measure that would benefit all communities.
- Instates mandatory minimum sentences for citizens lawfully prohibited from possessing a firearm.
- Creates new felony offenses that are unrelated to prevention. The Paymar bill, HF 237, by contrast, contains anti-trafficking language that prevents offenders from taking part in trafficking – without incarcerating them.
Fails to close the background check gap that allows gun sales without background checks at gun shows, on line, at flea markets and all over the state .