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Dayton vetoes Hoffman's gun bill

Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a bill sponsored by Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas, that sought to expand the use of weapons in self-defense.

In a letter to Kurt Zellers, Speaker of the House, Dayton cited law enforcement and public organi-zations' opposition to the bill as main motives behind his veto.

"When they strongly oppose a measure, because they believe it will increase the dangers to them in the performance of their duties, I cannot support it," he wrote.

The Defense of Dwelling and Person Act bill passed Feb. 23 in the state Senate by a vote of 40-23, in what Hoffman said was a show of bipartisan support.

The intent of the bill, Hoffman said, was to ensure that law-abiding citizens traveling in and out of the state had the right to protect themselves outside of the home.

Minnesota's current "castle doctrine" allows individuals to use deadly force self-defense if they feel threatened inside the home. The bill vetoed by Dayton would have expanded the definition to include areas outside of the home, including tents, campers, yards and other locations citizens can lawfully be.

As the law currently stands, a person has the legal obligation to flee before using self-defense in situations they feel threatened.

A provision in the bill also included reciprocity standards for firearm permits, recognizing permits from states other than Minnesota. Hoffman said in a February interview that the provision would require those carrying weapons in Minnesota under another state's permit to meet Minnesota's law requirements.

Hoffman expressed disappointment with Dayton's action in a press release, issued Monday.

"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," Hoffman stated.