Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Carrying a firearm in MN

I've eluded to it before once or twice...but in Minnesota there is no such thing as "Conceal and Carry".

MN has a "carry" law that allows permitted citizens of MN and recognized certain other states to carry a firearm either openly or concealed. Both methods require a valid carry permit (I hear from time to time that open carry doesn't require a permit...it does in MN, read the statute!).

Now, open carry has its advantages and disadvantages -- same with concealed.

Just wanted everyone aware of that. Take care and stay safe!


More MN Firearms Law

Living in the great State of Minnesota has some advantages:

Warm (not hot) summers
Lakes, therefore great fishing!
Few (if any) poisonous animals
Generally high standard of living
Good Firearms laws (except the whole supressor thing, but thats another post)

Today's entry on that last point is the Minnesota Citizens Personal Protection Act (MNPPA) also known as the "Conceal(sic) and Carry Law". I could spend the whole time typing about the law and all its wonders. But I'm going to focus on a narrow provision of it thats currently giving a friend of mine some trouble.

Once a citizen (in good standing) of Minnesota goes through the process to qualify for, and receive their "carry" permit - they must constantly be aware of where they may, and may not carry their firearm.

Today's topic: Colleges and Universities

These come in two flavors here in MN - public and private. Private institutions are no different than any other private property, and, for better or worse, you must respect the property owner's wishes regarding access (and conditions) on their property.

Public institutions here in MN are a different story though, thanks to the MNPPA. I'll point out the following language from MN Statute 624.714:

Subd. 18.Employers; public colleges and universities.(a) An employer, whether public or private, may establish policies that restrict the carry or possession of firearms by its employees while acting in the course and scope of employment. Employment related civil sanctions may be invoked for a violation.

(b) A public postsecondary institution regulated under chapter 136F or 137 may establish policies that restrict the carry or possession of firearms by its students while on the institution's property. Academic sanctions may be invoked for a violation.
(The bolding is mine).

The words "Employees" and "students" is significant. Notice whats missing?

The words "EVERYONE ELSE" or "GENERAL PUBLIC". As in, a public University or College in our great state may NOT invoke or create any policies/rules/regulations banning permitted carry from their premises.

They simply can't do it...now, that doesn't mean they won't try.

As my friend "Lumpy" recently pointed out on a local Forum:

"Except that if a State Fair cop or a University cop tells you you're trespassing and that you must leave immediately, then the only right you have left at that point is to sue after the fact. If you argue and refuse, then you've failed the attitude test, and you're guilty of refusing a police order, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, etc., etc., etc. And no matter what eventually happens regarding your carrying, you still disrespected authority. There is nothing more terrifying, nothing, than being at the mercy of a bully with a badge."

True -- the police officer would be wrong, but you'd only be entitled to as much justice as you can afford.

Stay safe out there!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Starbucks Appreciation Day

I realize many of you guys probably don't buy expensive coffee often (myself included), but this was too good to pass up.

The Coalition Against Human Rights Gun Violence (CSGV or some other shell) is organizing a "Boycott Starbucks" day on Valentine's Day, February 14th. Naturally, the Pro-Gunnie Blogs are organizing a counter protest called "Starbucks Appreciation Day". Go to Starbucks on the 14th, and buy something -- even a small cup of coffee. Be sure to tell them you're there because they respect human rights, and the law! Show them just how many of us are out there - Grassroots organizing is what we do best.

Info @Sebastian's


Friday, January 20, 2012

"Stand Your Ground"

So, last year, we tried to amend Minnesota's self-defense laws in a positive way.

Currently, MN self-defense law consists of 609.06, which reads, in part ('cause its long):

Subdivision 1.When authorized...reasonable* force may be used upon or toward the person of another without the other's consent when the following circumstances exist or the actor reasonably* believes them to exist: (*there's that "reasonable person" standard popping up)

(1) (deals with police)

(2) (deals with arrest not by police)

(3) when used by any person in resisting or aiding another to resist an offense against the person; or

(4) when used by any person in lawful possession of real or personal property, or by another assisting the person in lawful possession, in resisting a trespass upon or other unlawful interference with such property; or

etc etc etc

So there it is. You're allowed to use reasonable force when resisting an offense against you, or someone else. "Reasonable" force means, if you're confronted by someone waving a feather - you're not allowed to shoot them. However, if you're confronted with a fear of death or great bodily harm - you've thereby met the standard. Now, many have pointed out: "But that doesn't look so bad, it would appear you can defend yourself anywhere, anytime".

BUT we must then turn to "case" law. I must state that I'm not a lawyer (and don't rely on my statements alone - better yet, look them up for yourself!).

State v. Johnson, 277 Minn. 368, 373, 152 N.W.2d 529, 532 (1967) wrote:
It is well settled that there is a duty to retreat and avoid danger if reasonably possible.

State v. Austin, 1983, 332 N.W.2d 21. Homicide 1485 wrote:
...[B]efore you can avail yourself of self-defense, you must retreat and avoid the danger if you can reasonably do so....[I]f you can reasonably avoid it, you must retreat and avoid the danger, rather than charge into the fight and flail away....

These were two cases which brought up whats referred to as the "duty to retreat". Basically, when confronted by a "reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm" you must first try to get away from the situation.

Now, most of us don't go looking for trouble. I was told a long time ago by my parents: "Don't do STUPID things, with STUPID people, in STUPID places." So, stay away from trouble -- however, if trouble finds you...doesn't matter if its in your garage, the parking lot at the mall, the pharmacy, everywhere EXCEPT your home (more on this in a few), you have a duty to retreat - you must try and get away.

Now, that sounds easy right? Just turn around and run. But...

1) Putting your back to your attacker is #badideajeans
2) What if you can't? ie. small confined area, icy, disabled, etc...

Sounds silly! You can't tell your attacker to "BACK THE F OFF"...YOU have to try and get away first. Only if you've attempted retreat, or retreat is impossible, can force be authorized by the statute.

Back to last year's legislation -- S.F. 1357: Defense of Dwelling and Person Act of 2011, would have retified this discrepancy, and removed the duty to retreat.

There was plenty of hand-wringing from Joan/Heather and Co (I won't link, but google "Protect" MN)...that this would lead to "blood in the streets"...even though it would NOT have removed the "Reasonable" person standard. Only if faced with a "reasonable" threat of death or great bodily harm, would deadly force have been authorized. Thats something our opponents conveniently leave out of the argument.

When it comes up again this year - I'm hoping that people actually READ the bill -- rather than succumb to catchy names! We need to make law abiding citizens not have to scramble around, looking for an exit, potentially falling down, getting hit in the back, etc... when faced with death or great bodily harm.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

My carrying a handgun...

There, I said it...I regularly carry a handgun (don't worry, I have a permit, and practice all the time!).

It probably goes without saying that my family members' and my life are undeniably important to me. I would do anything for my wife and children.

I do my best to protect them from harm. I have fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, seat belts, insurance...nutritious food, warm clothing....I do everything I can to make sure we stay safe, healthy, and protected...

...including the carrying of a self-defense weapon. In March of 2010, I took a Minnesota Carry Class. I had honestly no intention of ever actually carrying a handgun for defense. I took the class to learn more about the laws and regulations surrounding self-defense, and firearms usage in my home state and Nationwide.

My eyes were opened. Far from a problem "solver" handguns are a problem "maker" if used improperly. For example, simply showing a firearm to someone who perceives it as a threat can be prosecuted as Assault. A felony! In MN, if you or someone else is not in immediate danger of death or great bodily harm - deadly force is NOT authorized by any statute. These are the types of things you must learn and know before choosing to carry a handgun. I'm now rarely without my carry, and usually only for cases where carrying would be a crime (schools, post office etc). This is how I prepare.

It was the class that made me want to look up information concerning firearms. It led me to two sites with information specific to Minnesotans:

Minnesota GunTalk
The Minnesota Carry Forum

Both sites provided me with valuable insight into the intricacies of firearms. There is some bawdy behavior (to be expected on the Intarwebs!) but all in all, a good experience, and I've made many friends.

Learn about firearms. If you're interested, take a carry class. The Minnesota Association of Defensive Firearm Instructors (MADFI) has a great list of talented people.

Take care!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Educating your children

Firearms and children.

Some would have you believe those two words should never, ever, ever (eleventy!!!!111!!!) go together.

Silly isn't it?

I've taught my children respect for firearms since they were old enough to comprehend. They've accompanied me for fall hunting walks in the woods, helped me clean my unloaded firearms, and I've now taken them shooting - well supervised of course.

All my firearms, except my carry, are stored locked up and unloaded - and my carry never leaves my hip (and when it does, is unloaded and secured).

My children (and some of their friends now) have a beginning understanding of the awesome (and potentially terrible) power that is held inside of a firearm. I've tried to dispel their curiosity by giving them unlimited access to handle a firearm in my presence. Now, they're never left unsupervised in the presence of a firearm -- but they also know anytime their curiosity gets the better of them all they have to do is ask, and we'll get them out for "show and tell". Should they come across an unsecured firearm at a friend's, or relative's house -- they know they're not to touch, and to find a grown-up immediately. They repeat this mantra to EVERYONE when asked about "guns".

Once my children are old enough, by the arbitrary standards of the State of MN, they'll take the State sanctioned firearm's safety course. Until then, I'll continue to do what I've done...


The Eddie Eagle program from the NRA is a wonderful program available FREE of charge to anyone would like to educate themselves or their children.

If you see a gun:
Don't Touch.
Leave the Area.
Tell an Adult.

Restating the four rules...#4

I'll start at the back and work my way up.

Rule #4) Identify your target, and what is behind it.

Before pulling the trigger, a shooter has a duty to positively identify their target and what is beyond. It doesn't matter if you're hunting deer, or responding to a home defense situation.

Hollywood does a horrible job of portraying the destructive power of a rifle, pistol or shotgun load. Bullets rarely stop on the first thing they impact (except perhaps for a steel plate, then there's a ricochet, etc etc etc..) - rather they'll continue through to expend their kinetic energy on items behind the intended target.

Keep this in mind before you decide to pull that trigger on the pop can or target board -- whats your backstop look like?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lets get it out of the way...

Joan Peterson -- japete -- @commongunsense...

YEAH RIGHT! (I'm going to do one post and then I'll leave it alone...)

Joan has no Common Sense -- nor does she know anything about firearms safety. Her experiences with firearms stem from her departed sister (murdered by a crazy lunatic - Sean has an excellent summary).

She adapts her sister's tragedy into every single situation regarding firearms. Handguns? Her sister was shot. Concealed carry? Her sister was shot. Rifles? Her sister was shot (and she has "gun-owning friends" so you can trust her).

What a load of crap! Obviously I wish ill on no one, and a murder is a horrible, horrible thing for a family to endure.

I've met Joan one time -- and she lied in front of a legislative hearing. Not only lied, but portrayed all (and I do mean ALL) firearm owners as crazed lunatics. This is how I know shes a liar when stating she has "gun owning friends". If they knew what she was really after, they wouldn't support her...period....but life goes on.

...and so do we. As Joan slips slowly (or faster) into irrelevance, she becomes more and more shrill in her insular little enclave of the north. Enjoy retirement Joan! We'll perservere without you just fine.

I lit a candle...

...and I'll never be a "victim" of gun violence. I choose my own destiny. I mourn the dead, and I deplore violence...I simply choose NOT to be a victim.



"Hi, my name is Pat and I'm a gun blogger!"

Its about TIME Pat -- I mean, you've been posting all this stuff for the last year on Twitter under a weird name -- hazmatpat -- whats that all about....former life -- thats all.

Ok, so here I am. I'm here to make a difference in Firearm Safety for MN, the US, and the World. One step at a time.

The four rules according to Jeff Cooper

1.All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
2.Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
3.Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.
4.Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.

I also plan on dispelling common misconceptions, and downright lies perpetuated by the "antis" (aka. Brandy Campaign, Joan Peterson, Heather Martens, 'Protect MN', etc.). "Protect MN" (sheesh) -- they'd rather disarm MN...

So, here I am -- come and get it!