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Walz pushes legislature to expand Minnesota's safe storage laws for firearms after three first responders slain in Burnsville

Gov. Walz among those asking how Burnsville shooter illegally obtained firearms
Gov. Walz among those asking how Burnsville shooter illegally obtained firearms 01:46

ST. PAUL, Minn. — As families and communities across Minnesota grieve the tragedy of three slain first responders on Sunday, Gov. Tim Walz said it's incumbent upon policymakers to press for solutions to ensure it doesn't happen again in the future.

Three Burnsville first responders — Matthew Ruge, Paul Elmstrand, and Adam Finseth — were killed in a shooting over the weekend. Sgt. Adam Medlicott was also injured and has since been released from the hospital. 

MORE: Friend of fallen Burnsville police officer Paul Elmstrand seeks to honor his legacy

Shannon Gooden, 38, barricaded himself in his rented Burnsville home with his girlfriend early Sunday. There were also seven children in the home at the time. Gooden was heavily armed, though he was barred from possessing firearms and ammo due to a second-degree assault and dangerous weapon conviction in 2008.

Walz told reporters Tuesday that he'd like the legislature to consider expanding Minnesota's safe storage laws for firearms. 

Early last month, he also mentioned regulating "ghost guns" — which are assembled with different parts bought online without a background check or serial number from a licensed firearms dealers.

"One of the things is going back upstream," Walz said. "So we need to find out: How did they get [firearms]? Did someone help? Did they do that? Are there penalties in there to make sure that doesn't happen?" 

RELATED: How is Minnesota's new red flag law being enforced?

Last year, the legislature expanded background checks for most gun transfers and passed a "red flag" law allowing families or law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily remove someone's access to guns if they're deemed a harm to themselves or others.

However, one policy that didn't clear the finish line last year was boosting penalties from a gross misdemeanor to a felony for people who buy or give a gun to someone who isn't allowed to have one — like a person with a felony conviction. 

On Wednesday, advocates will join lawmakers pushing for more gun safety measures this year, including mandatory reporting of lost or stolen guns.

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