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State Senator Gretchen M. Hoffman

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St. Paul, MN 55155-1606
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Date:March 6, 2012
Contact Name:Susan Closmore
Contact Phone:651-296-5712
For Immediate Release

Bill to Ensure Violent Criminals Never Have Advantage Over Law-Abiding Citizens is Vetoed

St. Paul— Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the bipartisan Defense of Dwelling and Person Act of 2012 (HF 1467) Monday, March 5. Senator Gretchen Hoffman (R-Vergas), chief author of the bill, gave the following statement in regards to Governor Dayton’s decision.

“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.”

HF 1467 was introduced during the 2011 legislative session and was vetted through the committee process last year. The House passed the bill on May 14, 2011 by a bipartisan vote of 79-50. In an effort to address concerns brought forward by law enforcement officials and Governor Dayton, Senator Hoffman amended the bill. Specifically, the amendment clarified that an individual is not entitled to the benefit of presumption if the individual knows or has reason to know that the person whom the defensive action is taken against is in fact a licensed peace officer.

“As an emergency room nurse, it was always such a relief to see our law enforcement officers come through the door to diffuse chaotic, even dangerous situations. They risk their lives each day protecting our communities and I do not want to jeopardize their safety. I believe the amendment succeeded in both protecting our citizens and our peace officers,” said Senator Hoffman.

The amended bill passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 40-23 in the Senate and by a vote of 85-47 in the House and was sent to the Governor’s desk last week for his signature.

“Unfortunately, despite its broad-based support from Minnesotans, Governor Dayton rejected the Defense of Dwelling and Person Act of 2012. I am particularly disappointed by the Governor’s veto because we met his requirements and expectations. First, it was passed with bipartisan support. Second, we communicated with the Governor about the bill. Third, and most importantly, we reached out to the law enforcement community to try to address their issue and concerns in a positive way. The right of self-defense is fundamental, and has been recognized in law for centuries. Today, the Governor chose to withhold that right from law-abiding Americans,” concluded Senator Hoffman.