The Minnesota chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statements today applauding Minnesota lawmakers for introducing House File 601 (Her), critical gun safety legislation to require gun owners to report lost or stolen guns to law enforcement.
“This bill will make Minnesota a safer place,” said Rachel Boeke, volunteer with the Minnesota chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Requiring the reporting of lost and stolen guns to law enforcement will help prevent these guns from being used in crimes and ending up in the hands of those who are a danger to themselves or others. We thank the House for introducing this important bill, and urge the legislature to pass it with urgency.”
HF 601 would help save lives and prevent gun violence and gun trafficking by requiring the reporting of lost and stolen firearms, which are often used in crimes or end up in the hands of those who mean to harm themselves or others. This bill was introduced days after the introduction of House File 396, a bill strengthening requirements for firearm and ammunition storage. Earlier in the month, House legislators also introduced gun safety bills to require background checks on private firearm sales and to add an Extreme Risk Protection law.
What to know about lost and stolen firearms:
- Gun thefts occur in staggering numbers. Approximately 380,000 guns are stolen from private gun owners every year, taken from houses, vehicles, and stores.
- Gun thefts often divert guns into an underground market where people with dangerous histories are easily able to obtain firearms without restriction. That is why stolen guns are often recovered at crime scenes, including at the scenes of homicides and other violent crimes. Research suggests that individuals who are prohibited from possessing guns may utilize the underground market to obtain guns, since they are unable to purchase them legally.
In an average year, 462 people die and 811 are wounded by guns in Minnesota. An average of 41 children and teens die by guns every year in the state, of which 55% of these deaths are suicides and 39% are homicides. Gun violence in Minnesota costs $1,174 per person each year. Gun deaths and injuries cost Minnesota $6.6 billion each year, of which $105.5 million is paid by taxpayers.
More information about gun violence in Minnesota is available here.