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S.F. No. 1032 - Property Arson Resulting in Harm (First Engrossment)
Author: Senator Warren Limmer
Prepared By: Chris Turner, Senate Fiscal Analyst (651/296-4350)
Date: March 11, 2015



            This bill creates the new offense of real or personal property arson resulting in bodily harm.

Section 1, subdivision 1, creates a new felony for intentionally setting fire to property which proximately causes bodily harm to any person, including a public safety officer. Provides graduated penalties based on the resulting harm:

  • great bodily harm – 20-year felony;
  • substantial bodily harm – ten-year felony; and
  • demonstrable bodily harm – five-year felony.

Subdivision 2 provides that “personal property” does not include items where fire is involved in the normal intended use of the property (e.g., candle wick, campfire logs).

Defines “public safety officer” under Minnesota Statutes, section 299A.41, subdivision 4, which includes peace officers (local, state, reserve, DOT), correctional officers, volunteer and full-time firefighters, arson investigators, EMS personnel, hazardous material responders, good Samaritans, ambulance drivers, and certified first responders.

Section 2 cross-references section 1 to Minnesota Statutes, section 609.564, excluding from prosecution any person who sets a fire pursuant to a validly issued license or permit or with written permission from the fire department of the jurisdiction where the fire occurs.

Section 3 strikes the current ten-year felony for intentionally setting a wildfire that causes bodily harm to another. Cross-references the graduated penalties created in section 1.

The bill is effective August 1, 2015, and applies to crimes committed on or after that date.

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