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VICTORY FOR GUN SAFETY: Following Tireless Advocacy From Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, Minnesota Lawmakers Send Historic Gun Safety Package to Governor Walz

May 16, 2023

Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers Rallied at the Capitol, Testified at All Legislative Hearings, Traveled Across the State to Urge Lawmakers to Pass Critical Legislation

Gun Sense Trifecta in Minnesota, Bolstered by Four Moms Demand Action Volunteers Who Ran for Senate and Won, Helping Flip the Senate, Helped Pave a Path to to Pass Critical Common Sense Gun Safety Legislation

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Today, following the tireless advocacy of volunteers with the Minnesota chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, Minnesota lawmakers voted to pass a critical public safety omnibus bill Senate File 2909. The bill includes multiple foundational gun safety measures, including to close a dangerous gap in Minnesota’s background check law, create an Extreme Risk law to limit firearm access by individuals in crisis, expand access to community violence intervention funding, and restrict the use of no knock search warrants. The bill now heads to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s desk to be signed into law. 

“Thanks to the tireless efforts of Minnesota gun sense champion lawmakers in the House and the Senate, and Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers and gun violence survivors – gun safety will be the law of the land in Minnesota,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “This lifesaving package will go a long way toward keeping guns out of the wrong hands and funding localized community safety initiatives, which do lifesaving work to protect communities more affected by gun violence. Today we’re honoring the Minnesotan lives stolen by gun violence with action that will help save others and prevent senseless tragedies.”

“Minnesota Moms Demand Action volunteers are a political powerhouse: from late nights at hearings and testifying and sending thousands of lawmaker contacts, to electing our own volunteers who made this victory possible,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Today’s monumental victory for gun safety is proof of the efficacy of the unglamorous heavy lifting of grassroots advocacy. We will continue marching forward and demanding action for our families and communities.”

“Today, Minnesota took a huge step forward in the fight to ensure that no other parent needs to experience my pain in losing their child to senseless gun violence,” said LaTanya Black, Moms Demand Action volunteer, founder of Mothers Against Community Gun Violence, and gun violence survivor. “Passing these foundational gun safety measures, including a historic investment in community safety initiatives are the vital next steps in our work to protect communities across Minnesota from the threat of gun violence. These organizations, which take a localized approach to combat gun violence in communities of color, who are often more affected by gun violence, are often overlooked and underfunded. We will continue advocating for gun violence prevention measures and working with our electeds to see that these new laws are fully and fairly implemented as we  continue to fight this epidemic.”

“Families and communities across the North Star State are far too familiar with the destructive effects of gun violence, and went to the ballot box in November and overwhelmingly voted for candidates running on gun violence prevention platforms,” said Susie Kaufman, a volunteer with the Minnesota chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We are thankful our representatives are listening to their constituents and prioritizing this critical legislative package, which will help save lives. We look forward to the Governor signing this package into law.”

Public Safety Omnibus Package Senate File 2909 includes historic legislation for Minnesota. It includes:

  • Legislation to require background checks on all handgun and semi-automatic military-style assault weapon sales; 
  • an Extreme Risk law, which allows loved ones and law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily restrict access to firearms by those deemed to be at risk of harming themselves and others; 
  • Legislation to secure millions of dollars in funding for Community Violence Intervention programming, which apply an effective, localized approach to gun violence prevention, and are shown to reduce gunshot woundings and deaths in the neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence, and; 
  • Legislation to restrict the use of no-knock warrants, a dangerous practice that allows police officers to enter and search premises without first knocking and announcing their presence or purpose. 

Minnesota lawmakers introduced some of these gun bills in the first days of session. Following an election where Minnesota voters made it clear gun violence prevention is a top priority, lawmakers returned to the State Capitol with a new found 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. 

Minnesota Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers were at the forefront of advocating for these life saving measures: attending and testifying at hearings, meeting with legislators, and driving thousands of lawmaker contacts.

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.

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