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Published February 13, 2012, 10:09 PM

Minnesota gun and self-defense laws could see major changes

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - Minnesota gun and self-defense laws could be set for some major changes if Bill 1467 is signed into law. It's an attempt to enhance the rights of homeowners during an intrusion, and broaden permit-to-carry law.

Minnesota gun and self-defense laws could be set for some major changes if Bill 1467 is signed into law. It's an attempt to enhance the rights of homeowners during an intrusion, and broaden permit-to-carry law.

Supporters say the bill only reaffirms and guarantees people rights they should already have under the Second Amendment - the right to bear arms. Opponents disagree, saying it puts people in more danger, most notably law enforcement officials.

Bill Bergquist – Clay County Sheriff: “Shoot and ask questions later is what it looks like, so there's some concerns about that.”

It's commonly known as the Castle Doctrine, Bill 1467 states: An individual taking defensive action may use all force and means, including deadly force. It presumes a person using deadly force has reasonable belief that imminent harm exists. The bill also redefines a "dwelling" to include front and back yards as well as motor vehicles.

State Senator Gretchen Hoffman – (R) Vergas: “If there is some place where you can legally be and going about your business in a legal way and somebody threatens you with harm, you should be able to defend yourself.”

For Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist, a law like this isn't necessary.

Bill Bergquist: “Basically the person who is going to be using deadly force has to show why they did what they did or how they felt threatened, and that's worked. I don't know if loosening that up is going to make it any better.”

The bill also includes articles that would recognize permit-to-carry licenses from every other state and restrict peace-officers from taking firearms during a time of public emergency.

The bill already passed the Minnesota House last spring. Making only minor changes to the bill, it passed the Senate Finance Committee by a vote of 10 - 5.

Gretchen Hoffman: “I think it's an important bill for our second amendment rights. I've always believed in our constitutional rights and I think this Bill really reinforces those rights.”

Senator Hoffman expects the Bill will go before the Senate Floor sometime in the next 10 days. If it passes the senate floor, like it's expected, it would still need to be signed by Governor Dayton before becoming law.

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