February 11, 2020 — Minnesota Gun Owners for Safety, a coalition of hunters, sport shooters, and collectors coming together to advocate for commonsense gun violence prevention laws and promote safe and responsible gun ownership, released the following statement ahead of the start of the Minnesota state legislative session.
Statement from Matt Pierce, Minnesota Gun Owners for Safety:
“Last year the Senate had the chance to lead on gun safety legislation. When the time came to act, they caved to the wishes of the gun lobby. This year, there’s no time for excuses—Minnesotans across the state are paying the price for inaction. As gun owners, we recognize the balance between responsible ownership and laws that keep us safe from gun violence. Heading into this year’s session, we urge the Senate to pass lifesaving measures that strike this balance so that we can both protect the lives of all Minnesotans and put the ‘well regulated’ back into our state’s gun laws.”
At the state capitol, Minnesota Gun Owners for Safety continue to push two major initiatives that were blocked by the Senate last year. The first is a law to establish extreme risk protection orders, a measure that empowers law enforcement to prevent tragedies by temporarily removing guns from individuals at an elevated risk of endangering themselves or others. The second would require background checks on every gun sale or transfer to keep guns out of the hands of illegal buyers and gun traffickers, dramatically increasing the likelihood of gun murders and suicides. Both measures have been approved by the Minnesota State House of Representatives. The Senate has yet to act.
In recent years, Minnesota has been hit hard by the gun violence epidemic:
- Nearly 80% of gun deaths in Minnesota are suicides, and more than 45% of all suicide deaths in Minnesota involve firearms.
422 people are killed by guns in Minnesota each year—someone every 21 hours.
Gun violence costs Minnesota $2.2 billion, or $409 per resident.