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During Inver Hills Visit, Franken Talks About Guns and Mental Health in Schools

During a visit to Inver Hills Community College, Sen. Al Franken spoke with Patch about legislation he plans on proposing to increase the number of mental health staff in schools.

Since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in which 20 children were killed, Sen. Al Franken has been in discussions around school safety and gun control.

During a Tuesday afternoon visit to Inver Hills Community College, Franken spoke with Patch about legislation he plans on proposing to increase the number of mental health staff in schools.

“If you identify mental health issues that children have early on—and they’re treated—then kids with mental health issues grow up to be no more violent than the general population,” he said.

Franken also echoed Dakota County Sheriff Dave Bellows’s argument that there need to be more rigorous protocols in place to prevent people with serious mental health issues from acquiring firearms.

We need to make sure, Franken said, “people with real mental illness are part of the database that gun purchases are checked against.”

Franken’s visit to Inver Hills came a day before President Obama released a set of proposals designed to reduce gun violence. The president promised to “take four executive actions to ensure information on dangerous individuals is available to the background check system” and to “help ensure that young people get the mental health treatment they need.”

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