Following tireless advocacy of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, the Minnesota Senate Judiciary and Public Safety committee voted to pass critical gun safety measures. The bills include Senate File 1116, a bill to require background checks on all handgun and semiautomatic military-style assault weapon purchases, and Senate File 1117, an Extreme Risk law, which allows loved ones and law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily restrict access to firearms by those deemed dangerous to themselves and others. The bills now head to the Senate Finance committee.
“Minnesotans are sadly far too familiar with the destructive effects gun violence has on our families and our communities,” said Leah Kondes, a volunteer with the Minnesota chapter of Moms Demand Action. “This year, we have an opportunity to take historic steps to prevent gun violence in our state. We applaud Senate lawmakers for prioritizing public safety in Minnesota and urge them to proceed with urgency in getting these bills to the governor’s desk. They will save lives.”
“My generation has been forced to grow up living in fear of gun violence in places that should be safe, but we refuse to let this become normalized,” said Maggie Salmen, a volunteer with Edina High School Students Demand Action, who testified earlier today in support of an Extreme Risk law. “Last November, we worked hard to elect lawmakers who promised they would protect us by prioritizing gun safety legislation — I am grateful they are keeping their promise and advancing these life-saving measures.”
Minnesota lawmakers introduced these gun bills in the first days of session. They were introduced alongside legislation to strengthen secure storage requirements and to require gun owners to report lost or stolen guns to law enforcement.
In an average year, 497 people die and 811 are wounded by guns in Minnesota. An average of 43 children and teens die by guns every year, of which 49% of these deaths are suicides and 45% 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.