domestic abuse Gun bill HEADED TO DAYTON'S DESK

Minnesota is on the verge of prohibiting anyone convicted of domestic abuse or stalking from possessing firearms, putting the state at the front of a national push for more restrictive gun measures for abusers.

With a bipartisan vote, the Senate voted 60-4 to prevent anyone convicted of child or domestic abuse from possessing rifles or handguns. Anyone subject to an order for protection can lose possession of firearms, if ordered by a judge.

The measure is widely heralded as a significant step in preventing domestic violence and a significant step on a gun issue that has been enormously divisive.

"This is going to do a great job of protecting not only the women and the children in these families, but also future generations," said Diane Sellgren, a survivor of domestic abuse involving firearms. "It is a very significant step. It is telling people it is not OK to threaten people with a gun."

The measure has passed the House and now goes to DFL Gov. Mark Dayton. Minnesota would join Wisconsin and Washington State to pass the measure this year.

Legislators have been working for months to craft a measure that would both be effective and address gun-rights groups that have killed several more restrictive measures.

Baird Helgeson