ST. PAUL, Minn. — Today, following hundreds of volunteers with the Minnesota chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action rallied at the state capitol with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz for action on gun safety, Minnesota House lawmakers voted to pass critical gun safety measures. The legislation which includes a bill to require background checks on all handgun and semi-automatic military-style assault weapon sales and 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, now heads to the Senate for conference committee.
“Minnesotans are sadly far too familiar with the destructive effects gun violence has on our families and our communities,” said Betsy Bonestroo, a volunteer with the Minnesota chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Background checks and Extreme risk laws are foundational gun laws that are proven to save lives — even some conservative states have these basic safety measures. Passing these measures is step one in creating a gun safety apparatus in Minnesota. We will continue advocating for gun violence prevention measures and working with our electeds to fight this epidemic.”
“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 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. Following an election where Minnesota voters made it clear gun violence prevention is a top priority, lawmakers returned to the State Capitol with a gun sense majority in all three chambers, including six Moms Demand Action volunteers from across Minnesota – all women – who won their elections. Four of them were elected to the State Senate, flipping the chamber to provide a one-seat gun sense majority, and delivering a gun sense trifecta.
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.