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HF 238

as introduced - 90th Legislature (2017 - 2018) Posted on 06/21/2017 11:01am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language. underscored = added, new language.

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A bill for an act
relating to firearms; clarifying law on use of force in defense of home and person;
codifying and extending Minnesota's self-defense and defense of home laws;
eliminating the common law duty to retreat in cases of self-defense outside the
home; expanding the boundaries of dwelling for purposes of self-defense; creating
a presumption in the case of a person entering a dwelling or occupied vehicle by
stealth or force; extending the rights available to a person in that person's dwelling
to a person defending against entry of that person's occupied vehicle; amending
Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 609.065.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2016, section 609.065, is amended to read:


609.065 JUSTIFIABLE TAKING OF LIFE USE OF DEADLY FORCE IN
DEFENSE OF HOME AND PERSON
.

Subdivision 1.

Definitions.

The intentional taking of the life of another is not authorized
by section 609.06, except when necessary in resisting or preventing an offense which the
actor reasonably believes exposes the actor or another to great bodily harm or death, or
preventing the commission of a felony in the actor's place of abode.
(a) For purposes of this
section, the terms in this subdivision have the meanings given them.

(b) "Court order" means an order for protection issued under section 518B.01, a
restraining order issued under section 609.748, a no contact order issued under section
629.75, or a substantively similar order issued by any court in this state, another state, the
United States, or any subordinate jurisdiction of the United States.

(c) "Deadly force" means force used by an individual with the purpose of causing, or
which the individual should reasonably know creates a substantial risk of causing, great
bodily harm or death. The intentional discharge of a firearm by an individual at another
person, or at a vehicle in which another person is believed to be, constitutes deadly force.
A threat to cause great bodily harm or death, by the production of a weapon or otherwise,
constitutes reasonable force and not deadly force, when the individual's objective is limited
to creating an expectation that the individual will use deadly force only if authorized by
law.

(d) "Dwelling" means a building defined under section 609.556, subdivision 3, an
overnight stopping accommodation of any kind, or a place of abode, that an individual
temporarily or permanently is occupying or intending to occupy as a habitation or home.
A dwelling includes, but is not limited to, a building or conveyance and that building's or
conveyance's curtilage and any attached or adjacent deck, porch, appurtenance, or other
structure, whether the building or conveyance is used temporarily or permanently for these
purposes, is mobile or immobile, or is a motor vehicle, watercraft, motor home, tent, or the
equivalent.

(e) "Forcible felony" means any crime punishable by imprisonment exceeding one year
the elements of which include the use or threatened use of physical force or a deadly weapon
against the person of another, including but not limited to: murder in the first degree under
section 609.185; murder in the second degree under section 609.19; manslaughter in the
first degree under section 609.20; assault in the first degree under section 609.221; assault
in the second degree under section 609.222; assault in the third degree under section 609.223;
criminal sexual conduct in the first degree under section 609.342; criminal sexual conduct
in the second degree under section 609.343; arson in the first degree under section 609.561;
burglary in the first, second, and third degrees under section 609.582; robbery under sections
609.24 and 609.245; and kidnapping under section 609.25.

(f) "Good faith" includes honesty in fact in the conduct of the act concerned.

(g) "Great bodily harm" has the meaning given in section 609.02, subdivision 8.

(h) "Imminent" means the actor infers from all the facts and circumstances that the course
of conduct has commenced.

(i) "Substantial bodily harm" has the meaning given in section 609.02, subdivision 7a.

(j) "Vehicle" means a conveyance of any type.

Subd. 2.

Circumstances when authorized.

(a) The use of deadly force by an individual
is justified under this section when the act is undertaken:

(1) to resist or prevent the commission of a felony in the individual's dwelling;

(2) to resist or prevent what the individual reasonably believes is an offense or attempted
offense that imminently exposes the individual or another person to substantial bodily harm,
great bodily harm, or death; or

(3) to resist or prevent what the individual reasonably believes is the commission or
imminent commission of a forcible felony.

(b) The use of deadly force is not authorized under this section if the individual knows
that the person against whom force is being used is a licensed peace officer from this state,
another state, the United States, or any subordinate jurisdiction of the United States, who
is acting lawfully.

Subd. 3.

Degree of force; retreat.

An individual taking defensive action pursuant to
subdivision 2 may use all force and means, including deadly force, that the individual in
good faith believes is required to succeed in defense. The individual may meet force with
superior force when the individual's objective is defensive; the individual is not required to
retreat; and the individual may continue defensive actions against an assailant until the
danger has ended.

Subd. 4.

Presumptions.

(a) An individual using deadly force is presumed to possess a
reasonable belief that there exists an imminent threat of substantial bodily harm, great bodily
harm, or death to the individual or another person, if the individual knows or has reason to
know that:

(1) the person against whom the defensive action is being taken is unlawfully entering
or attempting to enter by force or by stealth, or has unlawfully entered by force or by stealth
and remains within, the dwelling or occupied vehicle of the individual; or

(2) the person against whom the defensive action is being taken is in the process of
removing, or attempting to remove, the individual or another person from the dwelling or
occupied vehicle of the individual.

(b) An individual is not entitled to the benefit of the presumption in paragraph (a) if the
individual knows that the person against whom the defensive action is being taken:

(1) is a lawful resident of the dwelling or a lawful possessor of the vehicle, or is otherwise
lawfully permitted to enter the dwelling or vehicle; or

(2) is a person who has lawful custody of the person being removed from the dwelling
or vehicle or whose removal from the dwelling or vehicle is being attempted. A person who
is prohibited by a court order from contacting another individual or from entering a dwelling
or possessing a vehicle of another individual is not a lawful resident of that individual's
dwelling and is not a lawful possessor of that individual's vehicle.

(c) An individual using defensive force is not entitled to the benefit of the presumption
in paragraph (a) if the individual is presently engaged in a crime or attempting to escape
from the scene of a crime, or is presently using the dwelling or occupied vehicle in
furtherance of a crime.

(d) An individual is not entitled to the benefit of the presumption in paragraph (a) if the
individual knows or has reason to know that the person against whom the defensive action
is being taken is a licensed peace officer from this state, another state, the United States, or
any subordinate jurisdiction of the United States, who is acting lawfully.

Subd. 5.

Criminal investigation; immunity from prosecution.

(a) An individual who
uses force, including deadly force, according to this section or as otherwise provided by
law in defense of the individual, the individual's dwelling, or another individual is justified
in using such force and is immune from any criminal prosecution for that act.

(b) A law enforcement agency may arrest an individual using force under circumstances
described in this section only after considering any claims or circumstances supporting
self-defense or lawful defense of another individual.

Subd. 6.

Justifiable use of force; burden of proof.

In a criminal trial, when there is
any evidence of justifiable use of force under this section or section 609.06, the state has
the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant's actions were not
justifiable.

Subd. 7.

Short title.

This section may be cited as the "Defense of Dwelling and Person
Act of 2017."

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective August 1, 2017, and applies to uses of
deadly force occurring on or after that date.

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