Governor Dayton has vetoed legislation that would have expanded the use of deadly force in Minnesota.
In his veto letter to the Legislature, Governor Dayton said he vetoed the bill because most major law enforcement agencies raised issues about the bill. Dayton said he appreciated the efforts to craft the bill to ease worries by law enforcement but said their concerns “must be honored.”
The bill would have given gun owners significantly more latitude to use deadly force for self defense. It would have allowed the use of deadly force with a weapon if people believe they are in imminent danger in a home, hotel room, car, boat or tent. The National Rifle Association issued a statement saying it was disappointed with Dayton’s veto.
The GOP-controlled Legislature didn’t pass it with enough votes to override Dayton’s veto.
Here’s Dayton’s veto letter:
State Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas, issued this statement. Hoffman, who is also running for Congress, is the chief author of the bill in the Senate:
“I am very disappointed with Governor Dayton’s decision today to deny law-abiding citizens their right to defend themselves and their families. While current law enables the aggressor, my bill focused on protecting the victim. Unfortunately, with the Governor’s veto, violent criminals will continue to have the advantage over law-abiding citizens,” said Senator Hoffman. “I was hopeful, because Governor Dayton made such a strong statement on the campaign trail about Minnesotan’s right to bear arms and use them for lawful purposes such as self-defense, that he would follow through with his actions and sign this bill to enhance public safety.”
Here’s the statement from Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association:
The National Rifle Association (NRA) is deeply disappointed in Governor Dayton’s veto of House File 1467 – an omnibus bill that included a number of key firearms law reforms in Minnesota. This bill passed both chambers of the Minnesota legislature with broad bi-partisan support.
House File 1467 contained vital common-sense reforms that would have enhanced self-defense laws for the law-abiding residents of that state. It would have removed the duty to retreat for crime victims currently mandated under Minnesota state law and precluded victims from facing prosecution for lawfully defending their lives. This bill would have also enhanced self-defense rights by recognizing the Right-to-Carry permits of those visiting and those traveling through Minnesota with valid Right-to-Carry permits from the other 48 states that issue them (Illinois does not issue Right-to-Carry permits of any kind).
Furthermore, House File 1467 would have prohibited gun confiscation in times of declared emergencies. The NRA led the way at the this key change in federal law following Hurricane Katrina, when New Orleans authorities went door-to-door confiscating legally owned firearms and depriving residents of their solitary means of self-defense. It is exceptionally disappointing that Governor Dayton vetoed this provision after having voted in favor of similar legislation while a member of the U.S. Senate.
Moving forward, the NRA remains resolute in bringing rational and reasonable reforms to Minnesota’s firearms and self-defense laws.
Here’s a statement from Joan Peterson, Protect Minnesota board member and member of the Brady Campaign Board said:
“This bill could give the claim of self-defense to any domestic abuser engaged in a dispute with a partner or spouse. When only two people are involved in a dispute and one of them winds up dead, who is left to disprove the claim of the shooter that s/he was the one threatened? As someone whose sister was shot to death in a domestic case in Minneapolis, I am grateful that Governor Dayton vetoed this bill that could have allowed domestic abusers to get away with murder. “