In recent months, several states have seen the introduction, or at least discussion, of bills that would change the typical “Castle Doctrine” to have a broader scope, overturning the legal expectations of law abiding citizens on the street and elsewhere. In most jurisdictions, if someone forces their way into your house, points a gun at you, and is impolite about it, it is OK to blow them away with your cherished firearm. If, however, someone makes threatening and obnoxious motions out in public and they are not right in your face you are not allowed to pull out your piece and shoot them. You must retreat to safety and call the authorities. There is a line between an armed and aggressive intruder and a threatening person in a public space; on one side of this line you may shoot to kill, on the other side you must not. The various recently considered bills would move that line towards the public square and the less threatening situation. For instance, in most jurisdictions you can’t pull out your gun and shoot someone who threatens you in your car, but the new bills would allow that sort of thing.
In Minnesota we managed, much to our chagrin, to acquire a lot of teabagging Republicans during the last few years, which are now slowly going away as they either melt down, mellow out, or hopefully over the next two years, get unelected. But at the moment we have a mainly right wing legislature. Governor Mark Dayton, in contrast, is a classic Liberal. So, when the legislature passed a Castle Doctrine bill that would allow people to shoot each other from within their cars (among other things), Governor Dayton summarily vetoed it.
From the Star Tribune:
It would have changed the legal definitions of self-defense for someone facing a serious threat in their homes, and would have expanded this “castle doctrine” to cars, motor homes, boats and even tents.
… It would also have legalized concealed-weapons permits issued by all states, regardless of their standards in granting permits, and limited the situations in which police can temporarily remove weapons from homes in volatile situations.
Law enforcement organizations strongly condemned the proposal, saying it could risk officers’ lives.
Dayton made his veto by letter without commenting publicly.
In his veto letter, Dayton said, he had to honor the opposition of law enforcement.
“The MN Police and Peace Officers Association, the MN Chiefs of Police and the MN Sheriffs Association represent the men and woman who risk their lives every day and night to protect the rest of us. 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,” Dayton wrote.
One of the bill’s sponsors, Tony Cornish from Good Thunder, Minnesota, replied, to paraphrase, “We’ll be back.”
I’m thinking probably not.