Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has vetoed a controversial gun-rights bill that would have given citizens freer use of their weapons, after listening to law enforcement officials complain that it could put them more at risk.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune
, Dayton, a Democrat, killed the measure on Monday, saying that Minnesotans already have the right to defend themselves and their families under current law. He expressed concern the new legislation could be applied too liberally, allowing “anyone to claim that he or she acted reasonably when using deadly force.”
The so-called deadly force measure, which is also under consideration in similar forms in other states, would have allowed people to respond with deadly firepower if they felt threatened.
Gun opponents criticized the measure, saying it would lead to — rather than prevent — more violence, and organizations representing law enforcement officials told the governor that it could possibly lead to more direct confrontations with police.
“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 said in his veto letter to legislative leaders.
The Star Tribune said the governor also noted in his letter federal figures showing that there are more than 5 million guns in Minnesota. He said the figures indicate that the Second Amendment guaranteeing the right to bear and use arms in the state “is properly being supported.”
State law and recent court decisions, he added, “already provide the authorizations for law-abiding citizens to use deadly force to defend themselves or others, either inside or outside of their homes, so long as that force constitutes ‘reasonable force.’”
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