Defending your home: your rights as a homeowner

By KBJR News 1

November 14, 2013 Updated Nov 14, 2013 at 6:49 PM CST

Duluth ,MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Following the deadly home invasion in Sandstone, some are wondering what their rights are as a homeowner when someone illegally intrudes

Under Minnesota law, a person has the right to defend themselves in their "dwelling".

Minnesota statute states you can shoot an intruder, or even kill, if you feel threatened with great bodily harm or death, or if you are trying to prevent a felony from occurring in your home.

However, Minnesota does not have a stand-your-ground component.

The self-defense law contains a "duty to retreat' provision, through which a person facing a threat has a duty to retreat, where practical, before responding with reasonable force.

In 20-12, the Minnesota legislature passed a bill that would have removed that duty to "retreat" plus the bill also expanded the definition of a dwelling to include a car, boat or even a hotel room where guns would be allowed for self-protection.

But Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the bill saying he was honoring the concerns of law enforcement organizations that believed the legislation would have increased the dangers for officers on the job.

As far the home invasion in Pine County, The Pine County Attorney could decide to press charges against the homeowner or, more likely, it could be handed over to a grand jury.

That jury would have to answer three questions under Minnesota's current law.

One, was the defendant's action done to prevent the commission of a felony in the dwelling?

Two was the defendant's judgment as to the gravity of the situation reasonable under the circumstances?

And three was the defendant's election to defend his dwelling reasonable as person would have made in light of the danger perceived?

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati
rmarnati@Kbjr.com

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