For the Second Year in a Row, the Minnesota Senate Refused to Hold Even a Hearing on the House-Passed Red Flag and Background Check Bills
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota chapter of Moms Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement after the Minnesota Legislature adjourned without any action in the Senate on the House-passed background check and red flag bills. For the second year in a row, Senate Republicans refused to hold a vote – or even a public hearing – on HF 8 and HF 9, the background check and red flag legislation that passed the House in February.
“Minnesotans are demanding action on gun safety – that’s why we elected a gun-sense majority in the House. For the second year in a row, House lawmakers kept their promise and passed common-sense gun safety measures – and for the second year in a row, Senate Republicans blocked the bills in the Senate,” said Molly Leutz, a volunteer with the Minnesota chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Enough is enough. The Senate didn’t do their job and vote for gun safety, so we’re going to vote them out of office.”
As the Minneapolis Star Tribune Editorial Board noted in a recent editorial, “Minnesotans have made clear over and over their preference for stronger gun laws. When will state Senate Republicans get that message?” The Senate notably excluded the bills from a hearing in the Minnesota Senate Judiciary committee — instead hearing proposals that the Board said “appeared to be designed more to score political points than address genuine needs.”
On average, Minnesota has more than 400 gun deaths every year, and gun deaths have increased 26 percent in the last decade. New voter research shows that voters in Minnesota support stronger gun safety laws by a 5:1 margin.
In 2018, Minnesotans flipped the Minnesota House of Representatives to a gun sense majority and elected Governor Tim Walz (D), who campaigned strongly on the issue of gun safety. In February, the Minnesota House passed background check legislation and a red flag bill, but the Republican-controlled state Senate refused to take a vote or hold a public hearing.
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund launched two digital ads during this year’s legislative session to pressure the state Senate to pass common-sense gun safety legislation – the latest ad hitting Republican Senators for blocking the House-passed background check and red flag bills.
In March, Minnesota Moms Demand Action volunteers held a virtual advocacy day, with hundreds of mothers and others, gun-owners and non-gun-owners alike advocating for gun sense – through email, calls, letters, and social media. Over the session, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers made over 1,000 calls and sent over 5,500 emails to Minnesota lawmakers urging them to pass the life-saving gun safety measures – HF 8, which would require background checks on all handgun sales in Minnesota, and HF 9, which would create a red flag law in Minnesota.