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 Pass Critical Common Sense Gun Safety Legislation
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statements today after Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed a critical public safety omnibus bill – Senate File 2909 – into law. The bill includes multiple foundational gun safety measures that will 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. Moms Demand Action volunteers, gun violence survivors, and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords stood with the Governor as he signed the bill into law.
“This is how democracy is supposed to work — last November, Minnesota voters elected a gun sense majority to the statehouse, and now that majority is listening to the people and passing common-sense laws to prevent gun violence,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We applaud Governor Walz and Minnesota lawmakers — especially the six Moms Demand Action volunteers who took office this year — for making gun safety a priority.”
“Today is proof that Minnesota Moms Demand Action volunteers are a political powerhouse: from advocating, testifying, and rallying around gun safety to electing our own to office, today’s signing is culmination of their tireless advocacy on behalf of Minnesotans,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “Moms Demand Action volunteers helped flip the state to a gun sense majority and we’re grateful to the Governor and state lawmakers for this bold action which will help make Minnesota a safer state.”
“Today, Minnesota is showing up for its citizens and showing the nation what it looks like to lead on gun safety,” said Molly Leutz, chapter lead with the Minnesota chapter of Moms Demand Action. “These laws will save lives, and we couldn’t be prouder of our work with the gun sense champions in the statehouse and governor’s mansion to get this legislation across the finish line. Today, we celebrate this life-saving progress, but understand it’s only step one in our fight against gun violence. We recommit ourselves to the work to make Minnesota safe for all of us.”
Public Safety Omnibus Package Senate File 2909 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 wounds 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 newfound 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. Former Moms Demand Action volunteer legislators co-sponsored all the pieces of gun safety legislation in the bill package.
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.