ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The Minnesota Senate passed a bill Thursday giving Minnesotans more freedom to shoot with deadly force when threatened.
It abolishes a law requiring Minnesotans to retreat when threatened instead of fighting back — with deadly force, if necessary.
“If I am out on the street, and I am doing what I can legally do and someone comes at me and I feel imminent danger of physical harm, I should be able to react with equal or greater force,” said Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, (R-Vergas), the author of the bill.
The measure goes much further than current law, which requires that citizens in danger have a “duty to retreat” to minimize violence.
The bill also creates a universal gun permit recognized across state lines and prevents the government from confiscating guns during disasters and emergencies.
Minnesota police officers strongly oppose the measure.
NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports
“What we are ultimately talking about is killing people,” said Sen. John Harrington (DFL-St. Paul).
Harrington, the former St. Paul Police Chief, predicts homeowners might accidentally shoot police on their property, parents might shoot teenagers coming home late and drivers in a broken-down cars might shoot Good Samaritans.
The new gun law goes beyond using deadly force at home, which is legal.
It extends that right to cars, boats, hotel rooms or garages, the latter of which one Senator said he and his wife encountered an intruder before.
“I instinctively took a defensive position,” said Sen. Sean Nienow, (R-Cambridge). “I looked the man in the eye and, I tell you, I remember the words today. I said, ‘I will kill you.’”
The bill passed the Senate on a bipartisan 40-23 vote.
Gov. Mark Dayton has not decided whether he will sign the bill over the objections of state law enforcement officials.