Kill the deadly force bill

Homeowners should not be allowed to shoot first and ask questions later.

by Daily Editorial Board

A bill before the Minnesota Legislature would allow homeowners to use deadly force against intruders without fear of prosecution. The proposal is a tragedy waiting to happen and must be rejected by legislators.
A public safety House committee approved the bill this week, much to the dismay of opposing organizations representing local police.
Those most responsible for local safety âÄî the police âÄî do not even support this supposed public safety bill. It is baffling that lawmakers feel they have more expertise regarding public safety than the police.
Supporters of the bill say they should âÄúhave no obligation to flee to escape an attacker.âÄù
Homeowners should absolutely have the right and ability to protect themselves and their families against intruders. The standard procedure should not, however, be to shoot first and ask questions later.
Consider a police officer who enters a homeownerâÄôs property unannounced. Should this bill pass; the owner could  kill the officer without consequence.
In a college neighborhood like Dinkytown, it is not unheard of for an inebriated college student to mistakenly stumble onto anotherâÄôs property; yet another situation where deadly force would be applicable without repercussions to the property owner.
While these scenarios may not occur often, no incidence of unwarranted murder is acceptable. And that is what this bill would allow âÄî murder. Worse than that, the murders would be protected from prosecution.
Law enforcement organizations oppose the deadly force bill touted as a public safety enhancement. The proposal needs to be stopped before unnecessary lives are lost.