Police, prosecutors oppose bill easing "deadly force" requirements

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Sen. Hoffman, R-Vergas, sponsors the Senate version of the controversial bill.
At a news conference yesterday, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Minnesota prosecutors "unanimously oppose" a bill that would broaden the rights of property owners to use deadly force.

The Minneapolis and St. Paul police chiefs along with representatives of chiefs from around the state joined Freeman in expressing their opposition to the bill.

The Minnesota Defense of Dwelling and Person Act broadens the legal justification for using deadly force. Currently, shooters have an obligation to demonstrate that they fired as a last resort, and that their decision to shoot is one other reasonable people would make. The Minnesota Defense of Dwelling and Person Act weakens that standard, creating a presumption that anyone who shoots believes they're in great danger.

The bill would also broaden the definition of a "dwelling" to include vehicles, boats, and hotel rooms. So for example, if a stranger walked up to your car while you're stopped at a stoplight and they try to open the door, the Defense Act would presumably allow you to lawfully shoot and kill them. Under current law, a vehicle isn't considered a dwelling and even when at home, there has to be good reason to believe your well-being is in jeopardy before you can lawfully shoot.

County attorneys are concerned that easing the deadly force requirement -- a top national priority of the National Rifle Association -- will make it more difficult to prosecute gun violence cases. And police are worried that expanding the set of circumstances where people can legally use deadly force will make their job more dangerous.
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Rep. Cornish, R-Good Thunder, got the bill through the House last session.

Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, and Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas, are the bill's sponsors. The House approved a similar bill last session, and a Senate committee approved the bill last week. The full Senate will debate the bill next Monday or Tuesday.

According to the Star Tribune, neither Cornish nor Hoffman cited specific problems with the current self-defense law. They said the changes are needed to protect and extend gun owners' rights. Hoffman said that "In towns and cities where there are people that legally own and use their guns, crime goes down." But with violent crime in the state falling drastically over the last half-decade, it seems that the deadly force bill, like other bills recently proposed by the GOP, may be a solution in search of a problem.

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18 comments
JonnyBeGood
JonnyBeGood

Listen if gang bangers are carrying and shoot to kill, we should be entitled too.  Any gang member approaches me bang! you are dead meat.  You dress like a thug and you give me shit, bang you are dead.  Come in to my home un-welcomed, dressed like a stupid gang member, bang you are dead.  

NewsDog
NewsDog

I'll repeat my comments from the similar story from last week. Take a look at stats here in Texas. The Castle Doctrine was loosened a couple years back and it hasn't led to open gun battles in the streets.

The idea that you have to retreat while in your own home is insane.  

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

I need no law to tell me I can shoot you if I feel threatened in my home.  

"violent crime in the state falling drastically over the last half-decade, it seems that the deadly force bill, like other bills recently proposed by the GOP, may be a solution in search of a problem."

Ya well, maybe we should lay off more cops then.

Deaths caused by car accidents fell drastically in years leading up to the democrats mandating you wear a seat belt, but the democrats made the law anyway.

Mike Man
Mike Man

Clown. Do you ever NOT deflect from the main discussion? You sound like everyone's little sister, bringing up unrelated garbage to make your non-point. 

Joe
Joe

I think that this is a great idea.  Every morning I put my gun on my belt I send up a prayer that I don't have to use it.  It's the second to last thing I ever want to do.  The last, of course, is getting killed myself.

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

 You are so scared of the world you wear a gun everyday?   What did the world do to you man?   I could never imagine being that cowardly, untrusting, and afraid of everything.  So creepy the first thing you talk to God about is how you hope you don't have to kill anyone today. 

Joe:   "Jesus you best let them criminals know old Joe has his gun today and he will shoot to kill.  If I kill some 14 year old kid for car jacking its on you Jesus!   In your name thy will be done.   Don't give me any of that turn the other cheek bullshit Jesus!   Fuck you Jesus I understand the Bible and your teachings!   I warned you!  You want to get shot too?   I will make Pilate look like a pussy Demorcat!   Back off or I will shoot!    Amen"     

Joe
Joe

 Oh, and if that 14 year old you mention has a weapon, and my family is in the car with me?  Yeah, you bet your ass I'm going to shoot him dead.

Joe
Joe

 I AM a democrat you dipshit.  But of course, in today's political climate, there are only extremes, right?

And there's nothing cowardly about carrying.  Just like there's nothing BRAVE about letting some asshole stab you when you could have shot that asshole. 

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

My boyfriend De'Andre always carries his 9 whenever we go anywhere.  I axed him why he always be carrying that gun and he sez, "Becuz gurl, you neva no when yoo mite run into sum crazy-ass niggaz."  LOL!!  De'Andre can be so silly sometimes!!!

Sam I am.
Sam I am.

Michelle....go take a walk down Penn Ave North by yourself at 2 in the morning. 

We'll miss you!!!

Sam I am.
Sam I am.

Sweetie.....how do you know that I am a "dude"?

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

You can't even be funny when responding to me.  You are a loser, pathetic.   I bet you have very few friends because you are a racist unfunny loser.   I can tell you are a creepy weirdo because you type up those long gay sex fantasies all the time here.    Doesn't it scare you that no one else got what was so "funny" about those stories?   I mean you spent like 20 minutes of your time detailing and imaging what its like when two gay men have sex. Who does that?   Since you have nothing to say beyond racist nonsense and insults  can you please explain what you were thinking when you typed out those fantasies?  Was it just a little piece of something, something trapped deep down inside your heart?   Trapped in the closet perhaps?  Let it out dude, you will be much happier admitting why you love typing up your fantasies about what gay men do when they are together. 

Kristin
Kristin

If it only affected your place of residence, then I don't see a problem. But wanting it to cover various types of properties is a very bad idea.

pandoramn
pandoramn

I disagree.  If someone comes up to me while I'm in my car and tries to carjack me - he'd better have his pallbears selected, law or no law.  People should have the right to defend themselves, their families and their property, whether they are at home, in their vehicle, in a hotel, etc.

Seed
Seed

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

Guest
Guest

<county are="" attorneys="" cases.="" concerned="" deadly="" difficult="" easing="" force="" gun="" it="" make="" more="" prosecute="" requirement="" that="" the="" to="" violence="" will="">

Sure it will because most of the people they prosecute in those cases had legal possession of the firearm that was used, right?</county>

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