The Free Press, Mankato, MN


January 21, 2013

Incredible story of criminals acquiring guns

It's one of the most incredible stories I've ever read.

The Star Tribune's Sunday (Jan. 20) package on convicted murderer living in Carver County who killed his mother in a shotgun ambush when he was 14, was later committed to St. Peter Security Hospital as mentally ill and dangerous was recently found at his house with an arsenal of 13 weapons, including AK-47 and a Tommy gun.

He had a legal permit to purchase guns.

Story is worth reading. Here it is.

How did this happen?

He flipped his first and middle name when applying for a gun permit.

He didn't give his history of mental health.

Juvenile criminal records are not included in the BCA database.

But this is not an isolated case. The story shows some 84 people convicted of possessing an illegal gun also had mental illness commitments by a judge.

There are currently 168,000 people who have been arrested since 1990 in BCA's files but there 's not enough information to know if they can be denied a gun permit.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services doesn't coordinate its mental illness commitment records with the BCA very well.

And court ordered civil commitment papers are considered secret under state law.

There are obviously serious glitches in the system that are threatening people all over Minnesota and compromising public safety.

It's one of the biggest problems I've ever seen.

It will be interesting to see the legislative response.



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