Those of you who have attended our Permit to Carry class have seen the video that we show of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agent who shoots himself in the foot while giving a lecture on gun safety to children.
The former agent, Lee Paige, sued the DEA after this video appeared in the news and went viral on the internet. As you can see from the video, Paige shoots himself just after he says, “I’m the only one in this room professional enough, that I know of, to carry this Glock 40.”
Paige claimed that the video, taken by a parent in attendance, invaded his privacy, ended his ability to work undercover, and his ability to give motivational speeches. Additionally, Paige claimed that he received humiliating comments from his friends, family and from people who recognized him when he was out in public.
So you all want to know the outcome? In December 2010, a U.S. District court judge ruled that Paige was not able to prove who released the video. It was also founded that the video contained no private facts about Paige, because the lecture occurred in an Orlando community center, which was open to the public. The appellate judges found that the DEA’s handling of the video as part if the investigation was “is far from a model agency treatment of private data.”
What can we learn from this?
ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS! FOLLOW THE FIREARMS SAFETY RULES!
Treat ALL guns as though they are loaded, and ALWAYS preform a clearance check every time you pick up a firearm!
Most firearm accidents occur with firearms that the user thought was unloaded. You can never be too cautious when handling a firearm. ALWAYS make sure you perform a clearance check to prevent an accident from happening.
Never point your firearm at anything that you are not willing to destroy!
Your gun has to point somewhere, so make sure that somewhere is in a safe direction. A safe direction means that the firearm is pointed so that even if it were to discharge it would not cause injury or damage. A safe direction could vary depending on the circumstances. Be aware of where the front end of the firearm is pointed at all times.
Keep your finger OFF the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you are on target and have made the decision to shoot!
When you hold a firearm, you should NEVER put your finger on the trigger until you are on target and are ready to fire. This is an extremely important rule!
Always be sure of your target and what is beyond it!
Be 100 percent sure that you know your target and what is beyond your target. Depending on your firearm and ammunition, the bullet has the potential to travel a great distance. Observe the area before you shoot. Make sure there are not people or anything you are not willing to destroy behind your target.
Lake City, MN Police Officer Shawn Schneider passed away 11 days after being shot in the head while responding to a domestic disturbance between a 17-year-old girl and her ex-boyfriend on Lyon Avenue.
According to news reports and court documents, Officer Schneider helped the girl out of the home when 25-year-old Alan Sylte, Jr. shot him in the head. Sylte was later found in the home dead from a gunshot wound.
Officer Schneider was honored on 01/07/2012 by his community and the 2,000 fellow Police Officers and other first responders before he was laid to rest.
I attended the services to honor Officer Schneider along with other officers from my department. When we arrived in Lake City, I was greeted by a resident who shook my hand, thanked me for coming to Lake City and thanked me for my service. Although I was appreciative of his comment, Officer Schneider deserves the thank you much more than I do, he gave his life for his community.
To the Schneider family, friends, and the Lake City community – I am sorry for your loss and your hero will never be forgotten.
Donation locations have been setup for the family. Those locations include:
Alliance Bank, Lake City
Shawn Schneider Family Support Fund
105 E. Lyon Ave., PO Box 455
Lake City, MN 55041
Drop off donations at any of their 10 locations
visit alliancebanks.com for a list of locations
Fiesta Foods, Lake City
“OFFICER SHAWN SCHNEIDER’S FAMILY SUPPORT FUND”
Fiesta Foods is taking donations to help Officer Schneider & his family. Cashiers will ask if you’d like to donate. Minimum $1 increments.
Lake City Police Department
LakeCity Police Department
209 South High Street, PO Box 448
Lake City, Minnesota 55041
651-345 – 3344
Wabasha County Sheriffs Department
Wabasha County Sheriff’s Office
848 17TH Street East
Wabasha, MN 55981-5033
Red Wing Police Department
Law Enforcement Center
430 West 6th Street
Red Wing, MN 55066
Plainview City Police Department
241 W. Broadway
Plainview, MN 55964
Winona Law Enforcement Center
201 West 3rd St.
Winona, MN 55987
ScottCounty Law Enforcement Center
301 Fuller St. S
Shakopee, MN 55379
Fillmore County Sheriffs Department, Preston Minnesota
Fillmore County Law Enforcement Center/Jail
901 Houston Street NW
Preston, MN 55965-1080
Olmsted County Sheriffs Department, Rochester Minnesota
Lake Pepin Floral, Lake City
Kwik Trip, Lake City
Burger King, Lake City
The Galley, Lake City
The Bronks, Lake City
Kennedy Snyder Drug, Lake City
Gerkens Town & Country, Lake City
Federal Mogul, Lake City
The Railhouse, Lake City
Dison Cleaners all Locations, Rochester
Paul Busch Auto Center, Wabasha
Dons Lawn & Sport, Wabasha
Lake City Disposal, Lake City
Huettl’s Meat Market, Lake City
Corner Closet, Lake City
On October 26, 2011 Gallup poll reported that the number of U.S. women who say their household has a gun is at a record high. According to the poll, 43 percent of American women reported a gun either in their home or somewhere on their property. This number is up from 36 percent in 2010. Although men are more likely to report a gun in the home, the number of men reporting is up to 52 percent, which is higher than the 45 percent reported in 2010.
Training Director Paul Smith and Administrative Assistant Randi Smith were special guests on WCCO Radio to discuss this poll with John Hines. You can listen to the podcast below.
I’ve been asked by several friends about my thought on the self-defense shooting of Darren Evanovich. I’ve been soaking up the various news reports, and have some initial thoughts, but will reserve full opinion until official reports are released.
First, a little background
Darren Evanovich confronted a 53 year old woman in the parking lot of Cub Foods, on the 2800 block of 26th Avenue South, last Thursday at about 10 p.m.
The 23-year-old Evanovich, of Minneapolis, allegedly took her purse and beat her in the head with his gun.
A (so-far) unidentified man who witnessed the robbery chased Evanovich. There was then a confrontation, and shots were fired, killing Evanovich. The unidentified man then called police, and remained at the scene until they arrived. Investigators say they found Evanovich’s gun near where the shooting took place.
When police arrived, the witness told officers he had a permit to carry. Officers detained the man for questioning and then released him without charges. The case is currently in the hands of the Hennepin County attorney, who will will either decide whether or not to file charges, or impanel a grand jury to do so.
Last night, Evanovich’s sister, Octavia Marberry, was arrested and charged with aiding and abetting.
Evanovich was on probation for a 2009 attempted first degree robbery, and another simple robbery charge.
Not all of the facts are out, but there is some intense debate about whether or not the shooting is justified or not.Most of the debate seems to centered around the duty to retreat in Minnesota, and the expectation of being a “reluctant participant”.
The “duty to retreat”, and “reluctant participant” in Minnesota comes from case law (State vs. Austin, State v. Basting). It sets the precedent that law abiding citizens to retreat, if practical, to avoid a lethal confrontation. It does not require you to turn your back on an armed assailant. The expectation of “reluctant participant” is defined as the absence of aggression or provocation on the part of the defendant.
Here is a scenario where I can see self-defense being not only legal, but unavoidable.
John Doe hears a scream, looks up, and see 2 people beating a woman. John Doe attempts to intervene, and the assailants take off.
John Doe pursues the thieves in order to identify them for police.
Evanovich then commits another felony by drawing his illegally-carried gun and threatening John Doe’s life.
In fear for his life, John Doe defends himself by drawing his legally carried gun, and firing in self defense.
Again, this is just a potential scenario that fits the facts we presently have.
As every permit holder knows, a Permit to Carry doe s NOT grant you any law enforcement powers. You have the same rights and responsibilities as every other citizen; you have simply been permitted to have a firearm on your person.
It similarly does not remove your rights, or cripple you to inaction or apathy to injustice.
Minnesota does have a “Good Samaritan” law (604a.01), which states:
A person at the scene of an emergency who knows that another person is exposed to or has suffered grave physical harm shall, to the extent that the person can do so without danger or peril to self or others, give reasonable assistance to the exposed person. Reasonable assistance may include obtaining or attempting to obtain aid from law enforcement or medical personnel. A person who violates this subdivision is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.
Minnesotans also have the power to make a citizen’s arrest (629.37).
A private person may arrest another:
(1) for a public offense committed or attempted in the arresting person’s presence;
(2) when the person arrested has committed a felony, although not in the arresting person’s presence; or
(3) when a felony has in fact been committed, and the arresting person has reasonable cause for believing the person arrested to have committed it.
In the scenario above, John Doe was well within his rights to make a citizen’s arrest. While many, myself included, would not risk the dangers of chasing a felon into the dark to attempt to ID or arrest, it’s not illegal.
It was not until Evanovich turned his gun on John Doe, that the situation went from identify and detain to a fight for life.
To the claims of vigilantism:
The nearly 90,000 permit holders in Minnesota are law abiding citizens. They have spent their time, their money and their effort to pass the multiple background checks, attend the rigorous training, and purchase the necessary tools and permissions to make sure they can defend themselves lawfully. They have passed local, state, and federal criminal background checks, and have no history of gang affiliation, drug abuse, or mental health dangers. Every permit applicant is verified by their county Sheriff to pose no danger to self or others.
With this exceptional background, and a high level of respect for the rule of law, it only stands to reason that permit holders are motivated to aid victims of injustice.
This is not symptomatic of vigilantism, rather concerned citizens standing up for justice.
The law enforcement community is split on right-to-carry issues, and the opinions vary greatly depending on where in the country you are…
Regardless of an officer’s personal feelings on the matter, they have a duty to uphold the law, observe citizen’s rights, and act in conduct becoming of an officer.
In Texas, odds are, you will be in good company with pro-gun-rights cops. In New York, if you are lucky enough to get a permit, you would be best to keep it on the down low. Here in Minnesota, it’s a roll of the dice, though your odds improve significantly the further from the metro you are.
This, of course, is not a hard-line rule. The following 2 videos show you what I mean…
Officer Daniel Harless: Canton, Ohio Police Department
This instance takes place in Canton, Ohio. Traditionally, Ohio is on the friendlier side towards armed citizens. Unfortunately William Barnett was not so lucky. Barnett was accosted while pulled over while in an area known for prostitution.
As you can see in the video below, Officer Harless secures the passengers, and starts searching the vehicle prior to speaking to, or securing the driver. While department policies differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, every one of my police officer friends inform me that it is department policy to question and secure the driver before searching. They also are required to ask permission (4th amendment) first, even if they have probable cause / intent to search anyway.
WARNING: There is very profane and graphic language from Officer Harless in the video. It may not be safe for work, children, etc.
As you saw in the video, Ohio’s carry law requires you to “promptly” notify an officer that you are carrying. This differs from many other states (like Minnesota) that only require you to inform the officer when asked.
In my carry classes, I have always advised my students to inform the officer right away, by saying something to the effect of, “Officer, I want you to know that I have a permit to carry, and am carrying right now on my (left hip/ right hip / pocket, etc.).” After seeing this video, I may reconsider that practice.
It appears that Barnett tried to inform the officer, but was repeatedly told to “shut-up”. It appears that Officer Harless had already decided that Barnett was a criminal. We really don’t know WHY Barnett was there. He may have had a perfectly legitimate, though probably stupid, reason for being there. The best way to avoid trouble, is to stay away from where trouble happens. My friend, the late Joel Rosenberg, frequently said:
Don’t go to stupid places with stupid people and do stupid things.
That being said, being stupid is not a crime, and is not a reason for violating civil rights, and is certainly not a reason for executing someone, as Officer Harless indicated he “should have done” (13:38 in the video).
I think Barnett handled himself pretty well in the face of anger, threats against his life, threats against felony charges, and threats of police harassment. He did not get aggressive and complied with all of the officers commands and questions. However, Barnett was aware of the statute, and should have insisted on informing Harless, despite the command to “shut-up”. Bartlett also talked WAY too much. Once you have cuffs on, it’s time to shut up. Ask any police officer how many people have talked themselves out of being arrested after he’s decided to arrest them. I have yet to hear of one.
Officer Harless was initially put on paid administrative leave, and then went on medical leave.
There has apparently been a national outcry to Canton city officials, calling for them to take action. Rather than take action, Canton City Council President Allen Schulman angrily chastised conceal carry permit holders, and subtly blames them for actions of officers, like Harless.
Officer Matt J. Lyons: Oceanside, CA Police Department
Now we can take a sharp contrast over to California. California is one of the toughest places to be a gun owner. Though they have concealed carry permits, unless you are famous, a politician, a significant campaign donor, or friends with brass, you won’t get a permit. However, there IS a legal way to carry a handgun in California without a permit. The gun must be OPEN, and fully visible. The gun cannot be loaded, and any magazines for the gun must also be carried open and fully visible.
There is a growing movement in California of people exercising their right to carry the only way they can, open. Because of the frequent police interactions they tend to have, those that do carry, often have video or audio recording equipment to ensure their rights are observed, and they have a means of defending themselves against actions of Harless-type thugs.
In California an officer is allowed to do a “12031(e) check ” to see verify the firearm is unloaded. Some open carriers refuse to consent to such a search when asked, but will comply. Some officers get confused by this, and are unsure of how to handle it. Other officers are well aware of their jobs as public servants, the extent of their duties, and respect for citizen’s rights. In the video below, you can see such an encounter.
From the minute Officer Lyons comes onto the scene, he controls the situation. He knows what he has the right to do, and does not ask questions. He informs “Jeremy” that he will return the firearms shortly. When another officer is coming on scene, Officer Lyons promptly informs him “Code 4″, and that there’s not a problem. Lyons is polite, and respects “Jeremy’s” request to not further identify himself, and promptly sends him on his way. That kind of job performance is amazing in and of itself, and outstanding in California.
Semper Fi Marine… and God bless you too!
I’ve sent Officer Lyons a letter thanking him for his outstanding public service. If you would like to do the same, here is the info.
Officer Matt Lions
3855 Mission Avenue
Oceanside, CA 92054
On July 8th, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed SB93 into law, which will make Wisconsin the 41st shall issue state in the union, and the 49th to allow the concealed carry of firearms effective in November.
This long overdue measure measure passed the WI state assembly in a solid bipartisan margin of 68-27.
The licenses are issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ). License fee may not exceed $37 and background check is
$13, for a total of $50. (1/2 of the maximum that MN can charge)
Renewal is every 5 years, and renewal fee cannot exceed $12, + $13 for a background check (Compared to MN’s $75 max).
Licenses are “shall-issued”, meaning that the licence cannot be denied by the DOJ unless the applicant is deemed ineligible by the criteria specified in SECTION 44. 175.60 subd. (3) of WI State Statutes.
A big question for MN permit holders is, “Will my MN carry permit be good in Wisconsin?”
Similar to Minnesota, reciprocity will be determined at the state level. Reciprocity has not been determined yet, but… according to the law, the substitute amendment requires DOJ to promulgate, by rule, a list of states that issue a permit, license, approval, or other authorization to carry a concealed weapon if the permit, license, approval, or other authorization requires, or designates that the holder chose to submit to, a background search that is comparable to the background check required to obtain a license in Wisconsin.
If Minnesota is not granted reciprocity, holders of a MN Permit to Carry would meet the requirements for a WI License.
As it stands, it looks like WI will honor MN, but I doubt that MN will honor WI, as WI does not have a live-fire requirement in their training. On this note, I would be cautious of instructors and on-line courses stating that they are “Approved for WI training”. The DOJ of WI is still ironing things out, and I would not spend any money until they do.
Licenses can be applied for in-person, or by mail, and must be issued or denied within 21 days after receiving. (For the first 5 months after the signing of the bill, DOJ is allowed 45 days to approve or deny due to the expected volume of applications).
Acceptable training includes DNR hunter safety, State or National orgs (Including NRA), private instructors certified by certified by a DOJ certified National or State organization. DOJ will also accept documentation of training from military, law enforcement, or private security. If you are certified to carry in another state, DOJ also accepts that as proof of training.
Here’s a brief break down of some of the similarities, and more importantly differences that you need to be aware of when carrying in Wisconsin.
Similar to MN:
Must be 21
Can carry open or concealed.
Employers can ban employees from carrying, but cannot ban parking lot storage.
Guns banned from correctional facilities, state hospitals, k-12 schools.
Allowed in city and state parks.
Private businesses could post signs to ban guns from their buildings.
Court can be petitioned for denial appeal.
Permit holders names not be available under the state’s public records law.
Differs from MN:
Cannot carry in Law Enforcement Offices or courthouses (Exemption for judges and district Attorneys).
Cannot consume alcohol while carrying in a bar/restaurant.
Signs could also be posted in government buildings, such as city halls and the State Capitol. But guns could not be banned from government-owned grounds, meaning they could be carried on the Capitol lawn or the Milwaukee Public Zoo.
Carrying guns without a permit on your person is a misdemeanor if not produced to law enforcement within 48 hours.
No de-facto restriction on carrying in day-care centers.
It’s a long bill (40+ pages), but I think I got most of it… If you think I missed something, or got something wrong, please contact me, or leave a comment.
The Defense of Dwelling and Person Act of 2011 has passed through the House and Senate committees and is ready to be voted on in both chambers.
Defense of Dwelling and Person Act of 2011 Summary
HF1467/SF1357, the Defense of Dwelling and Person Act of 2011, brings “Stand Your Ground” protections to Minnesota, restores the presumption that a person using self defense is innocent until proven guilty, enhances Castle Doctrine, prevents the state from seizing guns during an emergency (remember Hurricane Katrina?), improves carry reciprocity with other states and requires the government to do its job to serve law-abiding citizens.
Adds Stand Your Ground
SF1357 brings “Stand Your Ground” protections to Minnesota, removing the requirement that an intended victim of violent crime must retreat from a place where he has a right to be before using deadly force in self defense.
Enhances Castle Doctrine
The bill also strengthens Minnesota’s “Castle Doctrine,” clarifying when and under what circumstances individuals can legally use deadly force to protect themselves in their homes and vehicles. In addition, it creates a presumption that, when faced with an apparent home invasion, carjacking or kidnapping attempt, a person may use deadly force in self defense.
Prevents Gun Seizures During a State of Emergency
Taking a lesson from the problems in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, the bill also bans government agencies from seizing guns or ammo, revoking permits to purchase or carry, closing gun shops, or otherwise suspending our constitutional rights during a civil emergency. It also prohibits law enforcement officers from seizing a person’s gun, unless the person is arrested, or the gun is evidence of a crime.
Adds a Robust Appeals process to Purchase Permits
The bill also borrows a page from the Permit to Carry law, providing a more robust appeal process for denied purchase permits, and requiring that police chiefs and sheriffs whose purchase permit denials are overturned must pay the applicants’ legal costs.
Adds Universal Carry Permit Acceptance
Of particular interest to carry permit holders, the final article of the bill updates our carry permit reciprocity standards, allowing people holding carry permits from any other state to carry in Minnesota (under Minnesota law, of course). This should result in a large increase in the number of states where Minnesota permit holders can carry, since many states allow other states’ permit holders to carry on a reciprocal basis.