Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association opposes firearms storage bill

The full Minnesota House of Representatives will debate and vote on the "safe and secure storage" bill on Monday.

HF 4300, authored by Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn, D-Roseville, would set new laws for how firearms must be stored. (Minnesota House Info/YouTube)

The Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association (MSA) released a letter this week in which it announced its opposition to the so-called “safe and secure storage of firearms” bill being pushed by Democrats in the Minnesota Legislature.

“While we acknowledge the author’s intentions to enhance firearm safety, we believe this proposed legislation is overly broad and could yield unintended repercussions,” reads the letter signed by the executive director of the MSA, James Stuart.

Authored by Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn, D-Roseville, HF 4300 would set new standards for firearms storage. Under the proposed law, gun owners must either store their firearms unloaded with a locking device, in a locked “firearm storage unit” such as a safe, or in a locked gun room. The firearms would need to be stored in one of these ways when the firearm is not “under the direct physical control or reach of the person.”

The proposed law contains certain exceptions related to sporting events and motor vehicle transportation of firearms.

Should the legislation become state law, citizens convicted of violating the safe storage standards would face consequences ranging from petty misdemeanors to felonies depending on the offense.

“We empathize with the author’s concerns regarding reducing unauthorized access to firearms and prioritizing the safety of all Minnesota residents, particularly children,” states the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association letter. “However, we contend that the proposed bill lacks the necessary nuance to achieve these goals effectively.”

The letter from the MSA says the proposed law “fails to strike a balance between safety and individual rights,” could create scenarios that “disproportionately affect law-abiding citizens,” and prescribes penalties that “appear disproportionate to the alleged offense of negligent storage.”

The “safe and secure storage” law has been a top priority for Democrats in the Minnesota Legislature this session. On Thursday, the Rules and Legislative Administration Committee of the Minnesota House of Representatives voted to place the legislation on the Calendar for the Day.

As such, the full Minnesota House of Representatives will debate and vote on the “safe and secure storage” bill on Monday, April 29.

The Senate version of HF 4300 has advanced through several committees. However, the bill has not yet been voted on by the full Minnesota Senate.


Luke Sprinkel

Luke Sprinkel previously worked as a Legislative Assistant at the Minnesota House of Representatives. He grew up as a Missionary Kid (MK) living in England, Thailand, Tanzania, and the Middle East. Luke graduated from Regent University in 2018.