Walz signs legislation on public, gun safety Friday

Gov. Walz signs public safety bills including new gun restrictions

Gov. Walz signs public safety bills including new gun restrictions

Governor Walz signed historic gun safety measures into law Friday afternoon.

The gun safety measures are part of a public safety package that passed in the Minnesota House earlier this week by a vote of 69-63. It had passed the state senate last Friday by a vote of 34-33.

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The $880 million legislation requires background checks for private gun sales, the addition of a red flag law and includes restrictions on when police in the state can use no-knock warrants.

Republicans argued it won’t protect Minnesotans, and they wanted more involvement in creating the bill.

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A press release for the event said Governor Walz was joined by First Lady Gwen Walz, Lieutenant Governor Flanagan, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Richfield Chief of Police Jay Henthorne, and gun violence survivor Melissa Kennedy for the signing.

Giffords, who was shot in the head at a public constituent event in 2011 where a gunman killed six people and injured 12, previously spoke on gun violence at the Capitol with Governor Walz in March.

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Following the signing, Giffords released a statement, saying, “Minnesotans know the toll gun violence takes on communities and families. In 2021, more than 500 Minnesotans died from gun violence—enough is enough. Governor Walz and lawmakers across the state have taken meaningful action to save lives from gun violence. With strong leadership, we can turn tragedy into action.”