Area gun-reform advocates discuss ways to prevent gun violence following the tragic shooting of Officer Wallin

Area gun-reform advocates discuss ways to prevent gun violence
Published: Jul. 24, 2023 at 9:35 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) -

In the wake of the shooting death of Fargo Police Officer Jake Wallin, many are wondering what more can be done to protect our community from gun violence?

Some, make the case for stricter gun laws.

“Now I know things can change because I’ve seen laws change,” says Moms Demand Action volunteer, Martha Wheeler. She’s been with the the organization since the Parkland high school shooting. Wheeler calls that her, “enough moment.”

“That was devastating and that was the moment when I thought, I just, I have to do something,” explains Wheeler. Moms Demand Action is a grassroots movement fighting for stronger gun laws in the U.S. And just this year, Minnesota passed laws expanding background checks and a so called “red flag law” that allows loved ones and law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily restrict access to firearms by those deemed dangerous to themselves and others.

Minnesota State Senator, Rob Kupec explains, “The Second Amendment says you have the right to bear arms, but as with all things within the constitution, there are limits to that.”

However, things in North Dakota aren’t likely to change anytime soon.

“Let’s put in a couple of laws that we need to do, I’ll talk about that another day,” says North Dakota Attorney General, Drew Wrigley.

When it comes to guns with a binary trigger, the kind used in the shooting of Fargo Police Officers on July 14, it is explicitly spelled out in North Dakota law as a legal purchase. This type of gun is outlawed in Minnesota.

“Our intent in passing that law is for situations like this,” says Sen. Kupec.

Both Kupec and Wheeler agree that other changes will be necessary to stop gun violence; such as improving education and safety practices around firearms, better support for mental health, and decreasing inequality.

Not everyone agrees on stricter gun legislation being part of the solution. We attempted to contact local gun clubs and sellers today, but no one was willing to comment.

According to data collected by “Everystat,” North dakota has seen a 60% increase in gun deaths since 2012.