Survivors Lead statement on Background Checks and ERPOs/GVPOs


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, February 25, 2019

MEDIA ADVISORY: Survivors Lead statement regarding Minnesota House Public Safety Committee Hearing on Background Checks (HF8) and Gun Violence Protective Orders (HF 9)

Survivors Lead is thrilled to see a committee hearing on HF 8 and HF 9. These are modest proposals that will significantly reduce the number of people killed with guns in our state each year. If we want to look more deeply at the issue of gun violence, we must also begin to have conversations about public health, community and intergenerational trauma, scarcity in our communities, and our nation’s attitudes on misogyny and family violence. Survivors are weary from repeated shootings--the Minnesota House has the opportunity to take an important step by closing the private sale/gun show loophole and by also ensuring that folks experiencing violence can keep guns away from their abusers.

Statement from domestic and gun violence survivor, member of Survivors Lead Board of Directors, Kate Ranta:

“We need Gun Violence Protective Order legislation in place to keep folks who pose a risk to themselves or others from easily buying guns. I survived being shot twice by my estranged ex-husband. He also shot my father in front of my four-year-old son. I know all too well the danger when a gun is present in a domestic violence situation.”

Statement from Survivors Lead executive director and gun violence survivor Rachael Joseph: “I know the importance of both of these laws firsthand. In 2003, my aunt Shelley Joseph-Kordell was murdered in the courthouse shooting at the Hennepin County Government Center. The shooter was a distant family member who’d been threatening and harassing Shelley for months. Perhaps if we’d had a GVPO law, Shelley would’ve utilized it--she was in fear for her life. Instead, the shooter went to a gun show and purchased a gun for $60 though a private sale with no background check required by Minnesota law. We must demand more from our lawmakers, whose inaction results in daily gun violence in our communities. Survivors Lead will intensify our commitment to stop gun violence and the prevalence of guns in our country. Survivors must lead so our numbers stop growing.”

Survivors Lead works with victims and survivor families to assist them in advocating for their murdered loved one in unsolved cases. We provide survivor peer advocacy throughout the trial process and beyond. We’re developing retreat programming between survivors of police violence and law enforcement cadets to combat the dehumanization necessary to take a life. We also offer leadership trainings to assist survivors of violence in running for public office.

For more information, visit or text SURVIVORSLEAD to 444-999.