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St. Paul gun storage ordinance is met with opposition

In 2022 St. Paul police say 227 guns were reported stolen across the city, 104 of those were stolen from cars.

ST PAUL, Minn. — A newly proposed ordinance in St. Paul would require all gun owners to safely secure and store their guns and keep those guns separate from ammunition.

"There's lots of solutions and we're going for any of them," said Council President Amy Brendmoen. 

City leaders say it's an attempt to reduce harmful incidents caused by unsecured guns including thefts.

In 2022 St. Paul police say 227 guns were reported stolen across the city, 104 of those were stolen from cars. 

"Every time you make sure a gun is locked you're saving a life and if you pass this ordinance you will be saving lives," said a supporter of the ordinance during Wednesday's public input meeting. 

It's a move that Rob Doar, vice president of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus says faces legal challenges. 

"The way that they're going about this ordinance is likely in conflict with the DC vs. Heller decision which says that it is unconstitutional to require that a self-defense firearm be unavailable for self-defense," explained Doar. 

State law requires loaded guns to be locked away and out of reach for children, but it does not require ammunition to be stored separately. 

"If you've got somebody breaking into your home, you not only have to unlock the gun, you have to go and unlock the ammunition, combine those and those seconds may cost somebody their life," said Doar. 

Others say it won't cost lives, but save them.

"As a legal gun owner, safe gun storage does not infringe upon my right to own a gun. We are under no pretension that this will solve said gun violence, but it's a powerful statement to say that we are committed to neighborhood safety," said Isaac Russell, who says his nephew was shot and killed in a St. Paul Target parking lot. 

The city says all city council members and the mayor support the ordinance. 

The council is set to vote on it next week.

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