‘Gun-Free’ Businesses Would Be Held Responsible for Shootings Under New Minnesota Bill


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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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].






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8 Thoughts to “‘Gun-Free’ Businesses Would Be Held Responsible for Shootings Under New Minnesota Bill”

  1. Ogrrre

    If a business does not wish for their patrons to be armed, that’s their right. However, if they DO have a No Firearms policy, they should be held liable for injuries to people who are injured or killed because of the policy. Such businesses should also be required by law to have armed security on premises at all times the business is open. I really hope Minnesota passes their bill. If the legislature won’t pass it, if Minnesota has an Initiative Process, the bill should be on the November ballot.

  2. Ron Welch

    To have a true “gun free” business, you need a metal detector at the entrance and maybe perform “stop and frisk” on all patrons. Otherwise, just posting a sign is a magnet to armed robbers or murderers. Criminals prefer unarmed victims. Hello?

  3. Deplorable Bay Stater

    Since this bill is unlikely to ever become law in MN (or any other blue or purple State, for that matter) it would be more productive for gun owners to just not patronize any “gun-free” businesses and spend their money at businesses with more sensible policies. If all gun owners simply followed such a practice, I imagine the “gun-free” businesses would feel the need to modify their policies…and those that don’t probably won’t be in business for long.

    I personally don’t own or carry a gun, but I support the 2nd Amendment rights of those who do, and if I’m ever in a situation that requires “a good guy with a gun” I hope such a person will be there.

    1. Karin

      People did that with Dick’s Sporting Goods, and their sales dropped precipitously. The parking lot of the one in my town is nearly always empty. Another sporting goods store in another state from mine put out a sign that said “We sell AR-15’s because we’re not Dick’s”. Shooting ranges and other facilities started putting signs up that were variations on that. Their stock is in the toilet now.

      The best way to complain is with your feet.