Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL)

Back to profile

House Passes Safe Storage of Firearms Bill

Thursday, May 2, 2024

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, the Minnesota House passed HF 4300, authored by Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL - Roseville), requiring the safe storage of firearms.

HF 4300 requires firearms to be stored securely, an important step to prevent access by children and others who should not have access to guns. Firearms must be stored either unloaded and equipped with a locking device or placed in a locked firearm storage unit (e.g., a gun safe) or a locked gun room, where it may be either loaded or unloaded. The requirement doesn’t apply to firearms that are under the direct physical control or reach of the person.

“One of the cornerstones of being a responsible gun owner is the safe storage of your firearms. For every child who accesses a gun, an adult is responsible,” said Rep. Becker-Finn. “This bill takes a big step towards increasing the safe storage of all firearms in our state. The safe storage of firearms will save lives.”

While most responsible gun owners safely secure their firearms, the reality is that too many gun owners do not. The vast majority of unintentional shooting deaths of children occur at home, and most school shooters obtain their weapons from their home or homes of their relatives. One example is the death of three-year-old Thomas Pauza-Moore, who, in August 2023, was sent upstairs to charge a phone while his dad, Roy Pauza-Moore, played video games downstairs. In the closet of his dad’s room, Thomas found a loaded handgun sitting on top of an unlocked safe and fatally shot himself in the head, just three weeks shy of his fourth birthday.

Research also shows that the safe storage of firearms is an important factor in suicide prevention. According to a 2021 study, 44% of individuals who attempt suicide decide to do so in less than 10 minutes. Even the slightest impediment to accessing a firearm — such as a trigger lock or gun safe — could provide a person struggling with suicidal ideation enough time to reconsider their decision. Further, a 2022 study showed that, of suicides where the ownership of the gun could be determined, 23% were by guns owned by a third party. The safe storage of firearms will prevent many tragedies and terrible accidents before they happen.

The bill now goes to the Minnesota Senate for its consideration. Video of Wednesday’s floor session is available on House Public Information Services YouTube channel.