Despite House passage of gun safety measures, Senate leadership blocks legislation that keeps Minnesotans safe from gun violence
Two gun safety measures supported by House, Governor Walz, and a majority of Minnesota voters fail to get a Senate vote
May 14, 2019 — Minnesota Gun Owners for Safety released the following statement in response to the legislative conference committee passing public safety legislation that fails to include background checks and an extreme risk protection order supported by House, Governor Walz, and Minnesota voters. The measures were blocked by the State Senate majority.
Statement from Bob Mokos, Minnesota Gun Owners for Safety
“In the past few weeks, we’ve witnessed countless reminders that the failure to address gun violence causes heartbreak and tragedy in our communities. Minnesotans want to live in a state that respects responsible gun ownership and the right of everyone to feel safe. But the Senate Majority failed to listen to our calls to support policies that protect Minnesotans and their families. Our state deserves better. We deserve leadership that has the courage to stand up for us, pass sensible policies, and make progress in fighting a gun violence epidemic hurting our state.”
Gun violence costs Minnesota more than $2.2 billion per year. Increasingly, gun owners themselves are calling proposals to pass stronger laws necessary. To push for commonsense policies, a coalition of gun owners in the state recently came together to form Minnesota Gun Owners for Safety.
In a recent StarTribune article, the editorial board applauded the formation of the gun owners coalition stating that the voices of gun owners “need to be heard at the State Capitol, and right now” while also urging Minnesotans to contact their lawmakers to support the gun violence prevention package.
The expanded background checks and extreme risk protection order were part of the House’s public safety bill. The extreme risk protection order is a measure that empowers law enforcement to prevent tragedies by temporarily removing guns from individuals at an elevated risk of endangering themselves or others. Requiring background checks on every gun sale or transfer will keep guns out of the hands of illegal buyers and gun traffickers, which dramatically increases the likelihood of gun murders and suicides.
Despite progress in the House to pass these gun violence prevention efforts, the Senate’s version of the public safety bill did not include background checks and an extreme risk protection order. The legislative package that came out of the conference committee between the two chambers did not include the House gun safety proposals after Senate Republicans refused.
- Minnesota faces 389 gun-related deaths per year, for an average of more than one death per day.
- 533 Minnesotans per year are injured in nonfatal shootings.
- Gun violence costs Minnesota $764 million per year—and that figure only includes the directly measurable losses associated with healthcare, law enforcement, employer costs, and lost employee income.
- Press Release: In Minneapolis, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Launches Minnesota Gun Owners for Safety
- Fact Sheet: The Economic Cost of Gun Violence in Minnesota
- Memo: Extreme Risk Laws and Their Role in Reducing Gun Violence