Minnesota-State Based and National Experts to Participate 

MINNEAPOLIS – A panel of both Minnesota-state based and national mental health, public health and gun violence prevention experts, organized by the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy, will convene in Minneapolis on Wednesday, July 29, from 9-11:30 a.m., to discuss new, evidence-based approaches to keeping guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous individuals. The approaches, including a gun violence restraining order, were first detailed in a 2013 report from the Consortium.

Wednesday’s panel comes as part of an effort across the country to highlight the value of the new policy tools the Consortium is recommending to state legislators, as well as to the public. These policies would prevent individuals from purchasing or possessing guns when they are at elevated risk of harming themselves or others.

There is more than one firearm-related death every day in the state of Minnesota (these accounted for 427 total deaths in 2013). Similar to national data, the majority of gun deaths in Minnesota are suicides. Suicides accounted for more than 75 percent of all Minnesota firearm deaths in 2013.

In 2013, Minnesota’s age-adjusted firearm homicide death rate per 100,000 was lower than the national rate (1.40 versus 3.61, respectively), but the state’s age-adjusted firearm suicide rate (6.01 deaths per 100,000) was comparable to the national rate (6.38 deaths per 100,000). With improved policies, the Consortium’s research argues, many of these tragedies could be prevented.

“We need to ensure that those with an elevated risk of violence don’t have access to firearms,” said Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, the convener of the Consortium, who will participate as part of Wednesday’s panel; he is also a member of the Consortium. “Our forum will give Minnesotans the opportunity to hear from the experts and have access to the best available evidence that shows how it is possible to keep their neighbors safe.”

A gun violence restraining order, known as a GVRO, is a promising new strategy developed by the Consortium to make sure that a person in crisis due to a history of domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illness or other attributable risk factors does not have ready access to a firearm. A GVRO is a court order that temporarily prevents a person who is at risk of harm to him or herself or others from purchasing or possessing a firearm. This process allows family members to work with law enforcement and the courts to prevent tragedies.

 Wednesday’s panel is open to media, and coverage is welcome. Consortium members will be available for interviews after the forum. Interview opportunities will also be available ahead of time via phone and on the day of. RSVP is requested; please contact Heather Cabral at heather@westendstrategy.com.


New Approaches to Reducing Gun Violence in Minnesota


Wednesday July 29, 9-11:30 a.m.


A.I. Johnson Great Room

McNamara Alumni Center

200 Oak Street SE



Introductory remarks will be provided by: Sami Rahamim, whose father was killed in the 2012 Accent Signage workplace shooting.

Panelists to include:

  • Jeffrey Swanson, PhD

Professor, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine

  • Beth McGinty, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

  • Alisa Gutman, MD, PhD

Clinical Associate, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Medical Director, Penn Human Rights Clinic

  • Janee Harteau,

Chief of Police, Minneapolis Police Department

  • Alan Lifson, MD, MPH

Professor, Epidemiology & Community Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health

  • Josh Horwitz, JD

Executive Director, Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence


The Consortium, a group of mental health and public health experts, issued reports in 2013 to state and federal policy makers making the case for strengthening gun purchase and possession laws to restrict potentially dangerous individuals from having guns.

The Consortium’s epidemiological research identified behaviors associated with an increased risk of future violence, including – among others – prior acts of violence, threats of violence, and a history of substance and/or alcohol abuse.

Wednesday’s panel is sponsored by the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy and the Minneapolis Police Department.


The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (Ed Fund) was founded in 1978 as a 501(c)(3) affiliate organization of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. The Ed Fund seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy.