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Latz Wants Hearings on Workplace Violence, Gun Access for Mentally Ill

He plans to investigate how authorities can prevent incidents like the Sept. 27 Accent Signage shooting.

Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-District 46) wants the Legislature to convene hearings on how authorities can get better information on people with signs of mental illness in order to prevent shootings like the Sept. 27 incident in Minneapolis in which six died, including shooter Andrew Engeldinger.

“The Accent Signage tragedy was the largest workplace shooting in Minnesota,” a Monday news release quoted Latz, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee. “We need to ensure that people are safe at work, and don’t fear for their lives when they punch their time clocks or sit down at their desks. That means we need to be aware of potentially explosive situations and be able to better recognize the signs of mental illness, as well as address access to guns for persons with mental health issues.”

Police found depression and insomnia medication in Engeldinger’s home after the shooting, indicating he may have been treated for mental illness.

Latz said officials need to explore how to better recognize the signs of mental illness. It also must balance the privacy needs of people with mental health issues with the issue of gun access for those people.

“We need to assist families, friends, law enforcement and others so they can recognize when a co-worker or friend may need help before it’s too late,” the release quoted Latz. “I realize that we can’t stop all such violence, but we need to hear from the professionals about what tools are available.”

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