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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Kaohly Vang Her (DFL)

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Minnesota House passes Rep. Her bill requiring reporting of lost and stolen guns

Monday, April 29, 2024

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, the Minnesota House passed HF 601, a bill authored by Rep. Kaohly Vang Her (DFL – Saint Paul), requiring lost or stolen firearms to be reported to law enforcement within 48 hours after they are known to be lost. 

“As a firearm owner, I know the importance of responsible ownership,” said Rep. Her. “This bill would help hold firearm owners accountable, and give our law enforcement another tool to help keep our communities safe and free of gun violence.”

Lost and stolen guns are often used in crimes or end up in the hands of those who may cause harm to themselves or others. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, roughly 266,000 guns were stolen across the U.S. per year from 2017-2021. Of these, only 3% were stolen from federally licensed gun dealers, while 95% were stolen from private citizens, equivalent to one every two minutes. More than two-thirds of the guns stolen from private gun owners were never recovered, and a quarter were never reported to law enforcement. 

Rep. Her’s bill will help prevent gun trafficking, assist in recovering lost or stolen guns, make firearm owners more accountable for their weapons, and give our law enforcement another tool to help keep our communities safe and free of gun violence.

Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have enacted similar legislation. Under the bill, a gun owner who fails to report a lost or stolen firearm is guilty of a petty misdemeanor for their first offense, a misdemeanor for their second, and a gross misdemeanor for any further offense. A gun owner who complies with the bill’s reporting requirement is immune from prosecution for violating any gun storage laws in relation to the loss or theft.

The bill now goes to the Minnesota Senate for its consideration. SF 606, the Senate’s companion version to the legislation, is awaiting a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee.