A new bill introduced in the Minnesota House would allow gun owners to pursue civil litigation if they suffer an injury, or worse, while in a gun-free zone.
The bill, House File 3051, would provide for a civil course of action “when a person who is prohibited from carrying a firearm on a property suffers a loss by not having the firearm.”
“A property owner or entity who prohibits the carrying of firearms by a person who is otherwise authorized to carry a firearm or who is not otherwise prohibited from carrying a firearm shall assume absolute custodial responsibility for the safety and defense of the unarmed person while the person is located on the owner’s or entity’s property that is posted with a sign prohibiting firearms,” states the bill.
The bill was introduced last week by Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal) and has four Republican co-sponsors.
“In Minnesota we have now over 300,000 citizens who have a permit to carry a gun so a lot of people carry a gun for self-defense. More and more businesses are putting gun-free zone signs on their business—it really is a way to market to people who don’t like guns,” Munson said in a recent interview.
Munson said gun-free zones create “an environment where people can be targeted” and prevent law-abiding citizens from defending themselves.
“You’re giving up your right to self-defense when you enter that business, so this law simply says if you’re going to make people give up the right to self-defense, then you must defend them,” he added.
Under his bill, Munson said gun owners can “hold the business owner liable for not protecting people” in the event of a shooting.
“We need to understand that a gun-free zone sign doesn’t actually make it gun free. It just means law-abiding citizens who follow the law won’t have a gun,” he continued.
Munson’s bill was referred to the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Committee for a hearing, but it is unlikely to pass the DFL-controlled House.
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