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S.F. No. 3573 - Drive-By Shooting Clarification
Author: Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen
Prepared By: Kenneth P. Backhus, Senate Counsel (651/296-4396)
Date: March 6, 2020


S.F. No. 3573 rewrites the drive-by shooting crime to separate the types of prohibited conduct into numbered clauses and the prohibited conduct and penalty provisions into distinct paragraphs. Currently, it is a felony (statutory maximum sentence of three years imprisonment and/or $6,000 fine) to recklessly discharge a firearm upon exiting a motor vehicle at or toward a building or another motor vehicle.  There is an enhanced penalty (statutory maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment and/or $20,000 fine) for firing at or towards a person, or an occupied building or motor vehicle. However, the language for the enhanced penalty may be construed as being a subsection of the more general crime, thus, requiring that when an offender fires at a person, the offender must also fire at or towards a motor vehicle or building. This interpretation was adopted by the Minnesota Supreme Court in a 2013 decision. Accordingly, the bill rewrites the crime to insulate it from this interpretation consistent with the law’s original intent.

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