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Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Maryland Pass Historic Gun Safety Bills this Week, Adding to Long List of States Taking Life-Saving Action on Gun Safety in 2023


Following Historic Electoral Wins in Minnesota and Michigan Where Moms Demand Action Volunteers Ran for Office and Won, Helping to Flip the State Legislatures, Both States Have Passed Life-Saving Background Check and Extreme Risk Laws

Last Month, Washington Became the 10th State to Prohibit Assault Weapons; Colorado Gov. Polis Signed a Comprehensive Gun Safety Package; Kansas Legislature Sustained Gov. Kelly’s Veto on Gun Lobby-Backed Bill; Hawaii Passed Legislation to Make it Easier to Sue the Gun Industry

NEW YORK – Today, alongside Moms Demand Action volunteers, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed a gun safety package that included measures to require background checks on all gun sales and create an Extreme Risk law. Yesterday, the Illinois legislature passed historic legislation to make it easier to hold the gun industry accountable, and on Tuesday, Maryland Governor Wes Moore signed three critical gun safety measures. An Extreme Risk law passed the Michigan legislature in April and Governor Whitmer is expected to sign it in the coming weeks, adding to background check and secure firearm storage legislation she signed in April. And Colorado Governor Polis is expected to soon sign legislation to address the threat of ghost guns. 

“When it comes to gun safety legislation, statehouses are where innovation begins, and that trend is continuing with the passage of lifesaving measures in Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “The vast majority of Americans support common-sense laws to keep guns out of dangerous hands, and we’ll keep pushing for exactly that in all 50 states.”

“Over the past 10 years, our Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers have changed the calculus so gun safety isn’t just good policy but also good politics,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “As a result, we’ve helped elect gun sense lawmakers – including many of our own volunteers — who are now taking historic, innovative, and life-saving action on gun safety in states across the country. This is the new playbook and we’re excited to build on this progress for years to come.”

“All over the country, young people are fed up with gun violence and we’re taking our safety back into our own hands,” said Stella Kaye, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in Colorado. “It’s working. Lawmakers are feeling the heat of our advocacy and meeting the moment with action on gun safety. But we know the work is far from over. As some states continue to roll back public safety protections, students are ready to continue showing up and speaking out. Until we can all be safe, we will continue to demand better.”

Last month, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed three critical gun safety bills – making Washington the third state in the last year to prohibit assault weapons, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a comprehensive gun safety package, and the Kansas legislature sustained Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s veto on a bill that requires children enrolled in firearm safety training programs in public schools to go through the National Rifle Association’s “Eddie Eagle” program, rejecting a key gun lobby priority in the state.  

So Far, in 2023 States Passed Bills to:

Block Illegal Gun Access:

  • Require Background Checks on all Gun Sales: Michigan, Minnesota
  • Require a Waiting Period for Purchasing a Firearm: Washington, Colorado, Vermont
  • Prohibit Straw Purchasing of Firearms: New Mexico

Hold the Gun Industry Accountable for their Role in the Gun Violence Crisis:

  • Prohibit Assault Weapons: Washington
  • Make it Easier to Sue Bad Actors in the Gun Industry: Washington, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois
  • Create an Office of Gun Violence Prevention (by governor action): North Carolina
  • Prohibit Ghost Guns: Colorado, District of Columbia

Promote and Require Responsible Gun Ownership:

  • Require or Strengthen Secure Firearm Storage: New Mexico, Michigan, Maryland, Vermont
  • Strengthen Permit Systems and Prohibit Guns from Sensitive Locations in Response to SCOTUS’s Bruen Decision: Maryland, Hawaii
  • Promote Secure Storage Education and/or Incentivize Secure Storage: Utah, Virginia, Washington
  • Require Training for All Gun Purchasers: Washington

Keep Guns Out of the Hands of People at Serious Risk:

  • Create an Extreme Risk Law: Michigan, Minnesota
  • Expand an Existing Extreme Risk Law: Colorado, Vermont
  • Prohibit Domestic Abusers From Having Guns: Vermont
  • Raise the Age for Gun Purchase: Colorado

Promote Community-Based Interventions That Break the Cycle of Violence: Minnesota, Vermont, Washington, Florida, New York 

Republican-led states that failed to pass a single gun lobby priority bill: 

  • Georgia 
  • New Hampshire
  • South Dakota
  • Virginia
  • Wyoming
  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • Iowa
  • Indiana
  • Arizona
  • New Hampshire

Additional states are also expected to pass additional major gun safety legislation as the state legislative sessions continue, including in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island.