Dayton vetoes gun bill

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:

3.5.12 HF 1467

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. “

  • D. Erickson

    A reasonable response to a reckless bill.

  • Wayne

    Straw that broke the camels back. Won’t be voing for him again.

  • bluealpha

    Governor Dayton is an idiot, and sucks up to the unions. Apparently believes that the State can usurp the civil rights of citizens.

  • Audrey F

    “Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear….” –

    The mind boggles at the consequences if Governor Dayton had signed this into law. North Minneapolis, anyone? ( No, I hasten to add, no slurs intended; Simply a factual statement about the facts of life in North Minneapolis, so cool the righteous indignation)

    Maybe we could return to duelling (sp?) Pistols at twenty paces? Safer and more civilized.

  • Cable Dalton

    Typical politician….promise everything, deliver nothing. Lie to get into office. Sad state of affairs. Point of fact – why does ONE INDIVIDUAL have the right to decide for everyone? What about the people’s vote? I hate to use the word “dictatorship”, but think about it…..

  • Audrey F.

    “Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear…”

    The mind boggles at the consequences, had governor Dayton signed this foolishness into law. North Minneapolis, anyone? (No, I hasten, no slurs intended; simply a statement of fact regarding life in North Minneapolis, so cool the righteous indignation).

    Maybe we could return to duelling. Pistols at twenty paces. Safer and more civilized…

  • Rich Dietman

    Thanks, Governor Dayton, for your good sense and judgement in vetoing this measure. The many law enforcement officials who opposed this bill had well-founded reasons for their position.

    As for vetoes, I think Gov. Dayton has some distance to go before he comes close to the stack of vetoes recorded by our previous governor.

  • Michael

    I applaud Governor Dayton’s veto. And I am disappointed in not just some of the comments here, but more so in the spin coming from the bills’ supporters. If you bother to read Governor Dayton’s rationale, you can see that Minnesota citizens already have more than enough latitude to protect themselves, and no reason to retreat within their own homes.

    What was truly mad about this bill was that it intended to take us from civilized society to Mad Max – shoot first, ask questions later if at all. This is the kind of bill written by angry people wracked by irrational fear. The ramifications are chilling, and I’ll give you just two examples: how long would it have taken before someone was shot in a parking lot because an irrationally fearful person thought they looked like they might wish them harm? Or how long before a police officer is shot on someone’s doorstep because the irrationally fearful person thought they might be a criminal impersonating a police officer?

    I’m glad the Governor kept a cool head with this one.

  • uptownzombie

    I find it interesting the story just has statements from those opposed to his action instead of also including statements from those for his action. Can you please get a statement from some of the law enforcement agencies that supported his action? I would like to see their point of view.

    I have not read the bill, but I’m interested how it could have expanded rights. If you feel your life is in danger you already have the right to protect it, so what benefit would this have granted outside of current laws? Are domestic abuse situations the only one? If you protected yourself in a tent currently would the state bring you up on mandatory murder charges?

    let’s be sure not to boil the ocean here.

  • Jake

    Dayton needs to GO!

    He is proving to be as bad a Governor as he was a Senator and the State of Minnesota deserves better than his poor leadership. The only thing he cares about is wasting the tax payers money in the pursuit in building a monumental stadium in his image, which is a total waste of tax payers money. He will not see another term…he is finished.

    This veto protects those that break the law…and leaves the law abiding out in the cold…if you don’t understand this you don’t have a carry and conceal permit, you never bothered reading the bill, and you are just as ignorant as our Joke of a Governor.

  • Tom

    I support his veto. Empowering people to gun down others because they feel threatened when sitting in their car, boat and tent – when there already are laws that allow of persons to use reasonable and measured amounts of self defense – will only result in more senseless deaths. The existing law regarding home defense is extreme enough. I’d rather not be fearful of being shot dead next time I’m in a campground.

  • John P II

    I agree with the veto, but think this bill might have a had a better chance if the idiotic language regarding “presumption” was left out. And why exactly should we care about recognizing conceal carry permits from other states with lesser requirements (besides the NRA lobby money?)

  • Thatguy

    For those of you saying it will be ‘Mad Max’ or revert to the ‘Wild West’ or those saying that police can be shot on doorsteps now, or even those complaining about ‘they can just shoot anyone!!!11!’… Castle Doctrine is currently enacted in 31 states. We hear stories of the previous all the time don’t we? /sarc

    Wait. No we don’t. Police officers aren’t being gunned down on doorsteps. People aren’t being wasted in campsites. Nobody is being gunned down in parking lots ‘because they looked funny’. (And please, if there are examples of the above, link them here.) these are all irrational fears of ‘OMG! They have GUNS that they can carry!’. These fears are unfounded- if unproven. Currently, the law in MN (as I know it) states if there is an intruder in your house, you MUST retreat BEFORE you can defend yourself. This law was going to remedy this through letting the homeowner (and not the state) decide what to do in these situations. Governor Dayton (or as I call him, ‘Mumbles’) decided not to make YOUR safety, YOUR life, and YOUR decisions in these situations a priority. It’s now the states decision AFTER the fact that the crime has occurred. NOT during. Now we all have to think twice when somebody we don’t want in our house starts doing nefarious things. Sleep well on that.

  • hector

    I wondering if mr.dayton would retreat if him or his family were in a life threatening situation! No vote for you HERE!

  • Matt P

    The provision allowing state-to-state conceal and carry permit reciprocity was fine. It at first sounds like unpermitted and less strict permitted individuals can come into MN with their pistols cocked, loaded and concealed, but a deeper dive shows that this isn’t the case. MN’s conceal and carry permit process is on par with the great majority of other permit states. For the few that don’t require permits, the reciprocity given in this provision wouldn’t apply.

    As far as the lethal force provision was concerned, it opened up legal vagueries and was unnecessary given MN’s current self defense laws. Honestly I don’t think it would have made a huge difference in any case except to put the onus on the aggressor vs. the defender (i.e., the shooter). Considering that the aggressor ends up dead upon meeting a defense of lethal force, I can understand why the domestic abuse issue is raised.

    However, the provision that would have disallowed the disarming of legal citizens during periods of declared emergency should be passed. Situations in New Orleans could happen anywhere and there is no rational circumstance for suspending or removing the people’s rights.

  • Jake

    I finally had a chance to read through this…I added my 2 cents above this morning.

    I have to say I understand how “Mumbles” >Gov. Dayton got into office…we have a lot, I mean a lot, of ignorant people in this state who think that the passing this law would be the start of WWIII.

    I wonder if you know the number of carry and conceal permit holders that they see (everyday) wearing guns (that you cannot see..for those that don’t understand the concept) and you miss out on all the gun fights.

    Anyone cheering on “Mumbles” for vetoing this bill most likely say that people who get robbed, mugged, shot dead, etc….”just shouldn’t have been there and it wouldn’t have happened to them”.

    Perhaps after they come face to face with criminals that thank “Mumbles” for Vetoing this bill and find out what the “bad” people will do to them, they might see things a little differently.

    Hopefully it will never happen to you…specially now that the criminals have more protections than law abiding citizens.

  • JW

    I’m honestly shocked at the number of people that are in agreement with this veto.

    They cite examples such as domestic abuse issues where someone may end up dead and no one can defend them afterwards.

    First off, that situation, in NO way shape or form, applies to this bill (and no judge or jury will ever think it does)

    Secondly, anyone educated on gun homicide statistics will know that a legal gun owner, with a conceal and carry permit, is less likely than any other individual to commit a violent crime with their firearms. Carriers are our most law abiding citizens and we’re doing nothing but punishing them. (This INCLUDES states with ‘less stringent’ carry requirements)

    The law we have now gives the illusion of the ability to defend yourself, but in the end results in prosecuting and further harming the innocents in MN.

    By the way, do you think that the first thing that comes to mind in a crime of passion (domestic assault) is the law? If someone is consciously deciding to shoot someone in their own home, the law isn’t going to affect their judgement

    Please, use some logic next time you try and make silly claims like the above mentioned

  • Buska

    I am from Nebraska and had hoped that my birth state Minnesota would pass this bill to allow me carry when I visit. Instead another politician with more regard for irrational voter fear kills the bill. I have been working to get this same legislation passed in Nebraska but the anti-freedom folks have succeeded in making this a “make my day” issue instead of a right of self preservation. I wish my friends and family up north good luck.

  • Joseph Frechette

    To the people saying this bill would have resulted in anarchy on the streets, perhaps you should do some research before opening your self righteous liberal traps… Florida has a similar law on the books (which actually gives more rights to potential victims) and they haven’t turned into a “Mad Max” society…. Give me a break.

  • Jim

    Dayton simply refuses to understand the two fold issue here. One is a constitutional and God given right to protect ourselves and that of our families and the other is a right to carry if there is no reason to refuse this right to an individual. such as a felony for example.

    As it is now the individual who protects himself and family faces a guilty until proven innocent situation. Liberal courts, laws that favor the felon and a serious false campaign against gun rights threaten all of us. This fear about criminals using this as their defense is as crazy as believeing gun cointrol saves lives. It does not. Facts are facts and though the liberal mdeia can twist them. once explored the truth surfaces. I hope our legislators continue to push for this bill to pass. There is no perfect senario. There are problems with any bill but the good by far out weighs the bad.