Late Friday night in Plymouth, Minnesota, 28-year-old Trisha Nelson was shot and killed by her fiancé while sitting in her car on the way home from a bar. Later, after an exchange of gunfire with police, the shooter was found dead of a gunshot wound. The Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek told media “the suspect was a prohibited person who should not have had access to firearms.” Recent reporting indicates that in 2014, he was convicted making of terroristic threats and sentenced to probation. He was appealing the decision at the time of the shooting.
This shooting demonstrates once again the staggering effect gun violence has on American women. American women are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than women in other developed countries, making this the most dangerous country for women in the developed world when it comes to gun violence. The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that the woman will be killed. Every month in the U.S. 52 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner.
Minnesota legislators must do more to keep guns out of dangerous hands. There is no single solution that will prevent every gun death, but there are common sense measures we can take towards preventing tragedies like what happened Friday night in Plymouth. Minnesota does not require a background check on every gun sale and it’s time lawmakers in St. Paul close this dangerous loophole. In the states that require background checks for all handgun sales, there are lower rates of gun violence across a variety of groups: 46 percent fewer women are shot to death by their intimate partners, 48 percent fewer on-duty law enforcement officers are killed with handguns that are not their own, and the rate of gun trafficking is 48 percent lower.
That is why volunteers with the Minnesota chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and the Everytown Survivor Network, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, are working in all corners of the state to show how and why background checks work—a policy that is supported by 82% of Minnesotans.