Minnesota Governor Urges Stricter Gun Laws After Tragic Shooting of First Responders

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Following the tragic shooting incident that claimed the lives of three first responders in Burnsville, Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz has called on policymakers to find solutions to prevent such events from happening again. Over the weekend, Matthew Ruge, Paul Elmstrand, and Adam Finseth, all Burnsville first responders, were killed in the shooting. Sergeant Adam Medlicott, who was also injured, has since been released from the hospital.

Shannon Gooden, 38, barricaded himself with his girlfriend in his rented home in Burnsville early Sunday. At the time, there were seven children present in the residence. Despite being prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition due to a conviction in 2008, Gooden was heavily armed. In light of the tragedy, Governor Walz has expressed his desire for the legislature to consider expanding Minnesota’s safe storage laws for firearms.

Governor Walz has previously mentioned the need to regulate “ghost guns,” which are assembled from various parts purchased online without a background check or serial number from a licensed firearms dealer. He emphasized the importance of investigating the source of firearms used in such incidents, along with penalties to deter illegal acquisition.

Last year, the Minnesota legislature implemented stricter background checks for most gun transfers and enacted a “red flag” law, enabling families or law enforcement to petition the court to temporarily remove an individual’s access to firearms if they pose a threat to themselves or others. However, one policy that fell short last year was the proposal to elevate penalties from a gross misdemeanor to a felony for individuals who purchase or provide guns to those who are prohibited from possessing them, such as individuals with felony convictions.

Advocates and lawmakers will gather on Wednesday to support additional gun safety measures this year, including mandatory reporting of lost or stolen guns. These efforts aim to further enhance public safety and prevent future tragedies. The state continues to mourn the loss of these dedicated first responders, and the incident underscores the importance of addressing loopholes in gun regulations to protect communities.