Sen. Al Franken introduced the Local Courthouse Safety Act on Tuesday in response to violence in suburban and rural courthouses across the country  -- including the December shooting at the Cook County Courthouse in Grand Marais.


Franken’s legislation would address security concerns, including a lack of screening equipment and training at local courthouses. the problem is most evident in in rural and suburban areas. which often lack metal detectors, considered the most basic of security measures.


“Under no circumstances should our local sheriffs or court personnel have to put their lives at risk to ensure that the basic acts of our judicial system get carried out,” Franken said in a statement. “My legislation will give courtroom access to the basic resources they need to make sure that every Minnesotan’s day in court is safe.”


Sen. Amy Klobuchar signed on as an original cosponsor of the legislation, which would give states authority to use existing grant money to improve courthouse security.


“The recent shooting at the Cook County Courthouse demonstrates that more needs to be done to keep local courthouses safe and this will help improve security and prevent future violence," Klobuchar said in a statement.
 

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