“Concealed Carry” in Minnesota

“Concealed Carry” is a misnomer in Minnesota when used in reference to our “Personal Protection act of 2003″ (§ 624.714). The more appropriate term for our carry law is “Permit to Carry”

Why? you ask…

In Minnesota, you are not required by any means to conceal your firearm. You can carry it openly, concealed, or on a string around your neck if you want to (I strongly recommend against the latter). If you look at the Minnesota State Statutes § 624.714 the word conceal does not come up one time.

While I do conceal my carry gun most of the time, I do occasionally and strategically enjoy taking advantage of my right to open carry. When I do this, it is done with forethought in attire, location, and company, and always with a contingency plan.

When I open carry, I often go with my kids. Why? Because my kids are cute. Most gun owners are family men, who are concerned and motivated to protect their lives, and the lives of their loved ones. I am the same. When I open carry with my cute kids in tow, the public can see that I’m not a deranged redneck stroking his rifle quoting lines from Full Metal Jacket. I’m just a regular guy, wiping his 1 year old son’s snotty nose, and debating with my 3 year old about what kind of cereal she can have.

Here is a picture of my friend Andrew Rothman from exhibiting a similar concept:

So if open carry is legal, why conceal?

This is one of the biggest debates in the gun world, and there is no real clear answer. Some people say that concealing gives you the element of surprise, and a tactical advantage. Others say that open-carrying gives you easier access, and is a tactical advantage. Another concern is that if you are open carrying, you will be eliminated first to neutralize a threat, a counterpoint is that the presence of a visible gun will deter a threat. Truth be told there simply isn’t enough data to substantiate any of the previous claims. There are a wide array of good and logical reasons both ways.

The reason I conceal is less tactical, and more practical. I don’t want to be inconvenienced.

This summer, an acquaintance was “cuffed and stuffed” for legally carrying a gun. He had been at Cosby Farm Park in St. Paul, and removed his vest because of the heat. As he was walking through the park he was detained, disarmed, and put in a police vehicle. The officer even said ” it was illegal to carry a pistol in the open” and asked ” if (he) knew what “concealed” meant”. Eventually it was found he had committed no crime, and he was released.

This kind of ignorance is all over the police force. The fact of the matter is, the public, by and large is unfamiliar with carry laws, and unfortunately, so are the police. There is some sound reasoning for this though… Permit holders are by nature, law abiding citizens. With all of the laws police officers are responsible for remembering and enforcing, it stands to reason that since they don’t have problems with legally armed citizens, they don’t invest much time in the laws that pertain to that right. Unfortunately, this ignorance of the law can cause great inconvenience to someone obeying the law. It is because of my desire to avoid situations like this, that I conceal.

Why make a stink about calling it “Conceal Carry”?

There is no requirement for concealing your firearm, thus referring to the law as “Conceal Carry” is not only incorrect, but harmful to public perception of legal gun carriers. I see other instructors, gun shows, and gun clubs all the time that advertise “Conceal Carry Classes”. They know better, but they are simply embracing public nomenclature to better push their service, however they are doing a disservice to the public perception of Minnesota carry laws.

Should everyone open carry, everywhere?

To this, I would say a resounding no. Beside the obvious places we legally cannot carry (schools, post offices, etc.), many locations have made it clear that they do not want our patronage. Though many postings are non-compliant with state law (more to come on that in another post) and some places that cannot legally post (State Fair) provide a tempting open carry target, It’s not smart. Pushing the buttons of these people, will ultimately lead to the legislature opening up our carry law. Then it is open season to change quite a few of the liberties we enjoy. Minnesota currently has one of the best carry laws in the country, and I would not like to see it changed for the worse.

I’ve had the pleasure to meet a couple of the authors of the MNPPA bill, as they tell me, when the bill was making it on it way through the legislature, the anti-gun folks were working so fervently to get the bill opposed in it’s entirety, they didn’t spend any energy trying to get provisions of the bill overturned. As it pertains to open carry, they strategically did not specify the need to conceal, as they could use that as a bargaining chip in bill revisions. It turns out, they never needed to.

Author: Rob Doar

Selecting Handgun Ammunition

Selecting Handgun Ammunition for CarrySelecting handgun ammunition for self defense can be difficult. Where do you start and what should you look for? Not all bullets are created equal, and selecting the right ammunition can be a challenge. If you are shopping for ammunition for self defense, you want that ammunition to perform every time and you want the best possible performance out of it.

We need to realize how a bullet will stop a threat. There are basically three ways that this can happen.

  1. Psychological effects; when a person is shot, they may realize “Oh, I’ve been shot” and stop because of the psychological reaction.
  2. Traumatic damage; this includes damage to the Central Nervous System, meaning the brain and upper spine. This is a difficult target, especially in a dynamic situation, which most self-defense situations are.
  3. Dramatic decrease in blood pressure; this happens when bullets hit center mass and cause so much damage to the vital organs that the threat is no longer able to continue to be a threat. In a dynamic situation, this is the most likely, as the center mass is the largest and most common target.

Now that we have an understanding on the ways to stop a person, I am going to focus number 3, because we are talking about dynamic self defense here. When a bullet from a handgun enters the body, a bullet causes a permanent cavity. This is the path that the bullet travels through and will destroy anything in its path. A bullet will also cause a temporary cavity, which is the fluid shock wave outside of the bullet’s path. As I said, this is a temporary cavity. The body is made up of roughly 70% water. If you have ever seen a shock wave from something hitting water, that is similar to what happens when a bullet enters the body. The bullet enters, creating a violent shockwave, and then the body comes back together because of its elastic properties.

So what am I getting at in the last paragraph? A handgun round is a poor self defense round. Why you ask? Let’s look at a .357 Sig round, traveling at 1319 feet per second. That is not fast enough to create a large wound cavity. Yes, it creates a wound cavity, but nothing like a 5.56 NATO (.223 Rem) round traveling at over 2200 feet per second. A 5.56 NATO round travels at such a high velocity that when it enters the body it creates a much larger shock wave that will not only destroy everything in its path, but the shock wave is so drastic compared to a handgun round that the body’s elastic properties are not able to come back together, therefore causing significant damage to anything in the bullet’s path and around the bullet’s path.

Now we have a good understanding on what happens to the body when it is struck with a bullet. Let’s talk about what to look for when selecting a good self-defense round.


You will need to find ammunition that is reliable. Most name brand FACTORY LOADED ammunition is a start. Look at brands such as Federal, Speer, Winchester, Remington, etc. You will want hollow point ammunition, not ball ammo. Ball ammo is for practice. Do some research and find out what is good. I prefer Federal HST personally. When you select the brand, it is imperative that you make sure it is reliable in your particular firearm. It is important to note that not all ammunition will function reliably through every firearm. It doesn’t matter how well the ammo hit the target, if it does not feed and function in your particular firearm, it does you no good! Don’t be cheap! We are talking about personal protection here. Buy 200-250 rounds of the ammo you plan to carry and test fire it in your gun, shoot all 200-250 rounds through your gun and make sure that it feeds and functions each and every time. If it does not, well then it is time to find some ammunition that does. Additionally, inspect each and every round that you load into your magazine and make sure that it is free of any defects that could cause issues such as bullet set back (where the bullet is pushed too far into the case), nicks or damage to the case or mouth of the bullet.

Penetration & Expansion

Ammunition for CarryYou want to select a bullet that will consistently penetrate a minimum of 12 inches of properly calibrated ballistic gelatin. The reason we say 12 inches is because we must ensure that the bullet can reach the vital organs with an angled shot or a shot that must first penetrate an intermediate barrier such as an arm.  Some believe that the larger the bullet, the better. This is not necessarily true. Having a large bullet that doesn’t penetrate deep enough to reach the vital organs will just cause a nasty flesh wound.

Let’s talk about over penetration as this can be a concern, especially with ball ammo, but is less likely with expanding rounds. Concerns of over penetration mostly come from frontal shots. Depending on a person’s body, some are thinner than 12 inches, which the bullet can exit the body and pose a danger to anyone down range.

To address this concern, ballistic testing has been done and shows that in order for a bullet to penetrate the skin on the backside of the body, it has to penetrate the equivalent of 4 inches of ballistic gelatin. This is because of the skin’s elastic properties.

With that being said, it is important that we select a bullet that will perform consistently each and every time. Some bullets can fail to expand because the hollow point gets plugged up. We need the bullets to expand when they hit. The purpose for the expansion is to cause a larger hole and cause faster blood loss. I have had the opportunity to attend a ballistic demonstration last year. I am not going to name the manufactures of the bullet’s that did not perform so well, but I will name the outstanding performer. In the tests that I saw, Federal HST performed exceptionally. The hollow point did not get plugged when it penetrated through cotton, denim, plywood, and auto glass. The round also penetrated the ballistic gelatin just over the 12 inch mark and properly expanded.

Author: Terry Pretzloff

Defensive Handgun 1 – Prior Lake

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Help Blue Line Defense Grow – Mission Small

A new program sponsored by Chase and Living Social is giving entrepreneurs a chance to compete for $250,000 in small business grants. The competition requires them to show the general public as well as small-business mentors that they could put the money to good use. Blue Line Defense has entered the program in hopes of being able to bring their innovative training programs to more people—private citizens and law enforcement personnel—to create a more educated and safe society.

As an organization they have worked to bridge the gap between training that has been
exclusively available for law enforcement and bring this knowledge to the general public. Blue
Line Defense was founded by two active police officers and employs a number of instructors
with military and law enforcement backgrounds, who bring real world experience into the
classroom with a unique prospective.

Through the adaptation of law enforcement training tools, techniques and scenarios, Blue Line
Defense has created dynamic programs that even the most novice student can employ in real
world settings. They believe that safety and responsibility are the two most import factors in
both the training environment and real world situations their students may encounter.

Blue Line Defense has made it a priority to give back to the community by offering free classes
to victims of violent crimes and to those that cannot afford them. If awarded grant money, they
would be able to continue to expand this offering to many others in need. “We believe that
investing in the community is a great way to give back to those who have helped support us;”
Terry Pretzloff, co-founder of Blue Line Defense said. “We know we can make a great impact on
our communities by supporting causes that are important to us and our customers.” They also
plan to partner with organizations such as the Boy Scouts, 4H and youth firearms safety groups
to promote the proper and safe use of firearms amongst our youth.

The grant money would also help the organization open a firearms range and all-inclusive
training center in the metro area. “Our goal is to provide the most realistic training possible
in order to best prepare our students for the potential encounters they may face in the real

Here is how you can help support Blue Line Defense’s vision of a safer, well-educated community:

1. Click the orange button below which will redirect you to
2. Log in with your Facebook account
3. Scroll to the bottom and search “Blue Line Defense” in Minnesota
4. Click “Vote”


We encourage you to share this message with your friends via e-mail and social media to make this dream into a reality.

Thank You for your time and support!

Following your gut: Officer’s hunch saves kidnapping victim

Officer Ally Jacobs ‘went from zero to hero overnight’ for taking action when she knew something wasn’t right

In November of 2010 I was privileged to speak at the California Women Leaders in Law Enforcementconference in Pasadena. It was a huge, enthusiastic group and I had an outstanding experience.  After my closing keynote address, a woman came up to me and said excitedly “I just texted my friend and told her she was in your presentation!”

She was talking about Officer Ally Jacobs of the UC Berkeley Police Department, who I often speak about as an outstanding example of a female cop who followed her intuition when it was needed the most.  I gave her friend my business card.

Later that day I was at the airport running for my flight home and my cell phone rang.  “Hey Sarge, this is Officer Ally Jacobs.”  We chatted for a few minutes about the conference, my presentation “Career and Tactical Survival for Women” and life in general.  We promised to keep in touch and said goodbye. As I boarded the plane, I thought to myself “there’s a woman who doesn’t wait for things to happen, she makes them happen.”

Ally famously “made things happen” in August of 2009 when she was sitting in a meeting with her UC Berkeley colleague Lisa Campbell in the Special Events Office.  Lisa, a cop-turned-civilian, told Ally she had an appointment with a really “weird” guy and wanted Ally to sit in on the meeting.  The man, Phillip Garrido, wanted to hold a religious event on campus.  Ally immediately ran a check on Garrido and found out that he was a sex offender on parole for rape.

“If I’m going to be sitting in a room with somebody, I’m going to run them,” she told me.  She printed his lengthy rap sheet and waited.

Garrido came to the meeting wearing a cast-off, ill-fitting suit and introduced two young girls with him, 11 and 15, as his daughters. In contrast to Garrido’s intolerable hygiene, the girls were clean and obviously well kept, although terribly pale.  Ally, also a mother of two, began chatting with the girls while Campbell kept Garrido distracted.

The girls talked about their mom, their sister, their pets and their homeschooling.  They were polite, but their demeanor was somewhat robotic, and the youngest seemed especially socially stunted.  Ally also thumbed through the booklet Garrido had brought with him, which contained a business card from Antioch, Calif., an area nearly an hour from the UC Berkeley campus.  Her gut told her that something wasn’t right, and her police experience told her that Garrido was probably mentally ill, off his meds and using drugs. As soon as the meeting ended, Ally called Parole and left a message.  She feared for those little girls.

Garrido’s parole officer called her back and told her that Garrido didn’t have children.  Ally said that the girls had definitely looked like Garrido, so the parole officer made contact with Garrido at his home but at that time did not address the various violations, including being out of his restricted area and in the company of minors. However, on August 26th, Garrido was told to bring his family to the parole office in Concord, which he did.  Garrido’s “family” included the two girls, his wife Nancy, “Alyssa Franzen,” 29, who was eventually identified as kidnapping victim Jaycee Lee Dugard.

Kidnapped at age 11 by Phil and Nancy, Jaycee had given birth to Garrido’s daughters — the first when Jaycee was only 14 years old.  She was given no medical care or assistance and had her second daughter three years later.  The rest of Jaycee’s story unfolded slowly, but it was clear that her 18-year nightmare was coming to an end.  And for Ally Jacobs, life would also never be the same.

Ally first learned of these stunning developments when the parole officer called her cell phone as she was on her way home from work.  She was filled in on the investigation but was told “this is an FBI case, you can’t tell your department anything.”  She complied, and the next day, her day off, she got a phone call from work telling her to get to the station now.  There were hundreds of news vans and reporters in front of the campus police department, and only Lisa Campbell had an inkling of why they were there.

“I went from zero to hero overnight,” Ally told me.  She gave that first press conference with virtually no warning, and then all of a sudden everyone from Diane Sawyer to Oprah wanted to interview Lisa and her.  The press staked out her house, people stalked her; it was a very surreal time.  Nothing prepared her for the incredible invasion of her privacy.

“This is when critical incident counseling would have first come in handy.” Ally said.  She felt as though no one “had her back,” that she was on her own in so many ways. But she continued to move forward, receiving international attention and accolades while dealing with internal issues at her police department.

She was “written up” for her initial failure to notify the department — even though she had authored a police report that was signed off by the sergeant before going home that first night — and received a written reprimand, which she took in stride.  She also received a Certificate of Congressional Recognition, a Key to the City of Brentwood (she’ the second person ever to receive that honor), a Certificate of Senate Recognition, various meritorious service awards, the IAWP Excellence in Performance award, a Medal of Distinction from the California Peace Officers Association and so many more.

She was interviewed by everyone from Lisa Ling to Anderson Cooper, and yes, she traveled with her kids and her mom to Harpo Studios in Chicago to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show.  Her agency did not allow Lisa and her to travel to most of these interviews, so they were primarily done via satellite. While many of her co-workers were very supportive, one supervisor groused that he didn’t understand what all the fuss was about.

“All you did was make an f-ing phone call,” he told her with contempt.

As the aftermath progressed, Ally became friends with Duggard’s FBI handler Special Agent Chris Campion, and Chris eventually facilitated a phone conversation between Jaycee’s mother, Terry Probyn, and Ally.

“That was my closure,” Ally said, noting that Terry told her that “not a day goes by that we don’t think about you and thank you for bringing her back.”  Ally hopes one day to be able to meet Jaycee, but she respects her need for privacy and healing.

Ally was also was invited to be at the Garrido’s sentencing, where she had an unexpectedly tough time.  Sitting in the courtroom with Phil and Nancy Garrido sitting 20 feet away, she felt nauseous and disgusted.  As the charges were read, Ally began to weep when she first learned the details of the initial kidnapping, including that Garrido has used an electronic control device (ECD) on Jaycee.

“That just seemed so egregious,” Ally exclaimed.  As a mom, she kept thinking about her own kids.  Garrido pled guilty and was sentenced to life in prison, his wife Nancy received 36 years.

In many interviews, including mine, Ally Jacobs has stated how proud she is of Jaycee Lee Dugard for enduring all that she has suffered and what a wonderful mother she is for protecting and caring for her daughters while she was still a child herself.  Jaycee chronicles her ordeal in her book, A Stolen Life, which I highly recommend.

But as a cop, a woman, and a mom, I’m extremely proud of Officer Allison Jacobs.  As is typical in our profession, accolades and awards often lead to petty jealousy and criticism.  As the Garrido case unfolded, Ally learned who her friends were and who her detractors were.  But she tends to be philosophical about it all.

“I solve cases using my instincts every day, this one just happened to make news,” she says with a smile.

Still “making things happen,” Ally is now pursuing an advanced degree and telling her story to other cops in a presentation that often earns her standing ovations:

“When you see something, say something; don’t be afraid to take risks.  We (law enforcement) are sometimes afraid to act because of liability or cynicism or some other excuse; but why would we ignore our instincts?  Be thorough, do your job.  We need to put our egos aside and cooperate with each other.”

Cooperation is what eventually brought Jaycee home.

Few of us are prepared for the type of sudden and intense attention Ally Jacobs received (and is still experiencing) as the result of following her gut. Police administrators need to recognize that critical incident debriefing and aftercare are as necessary in these types of situations as they are following an officer involved shooting.

Ally stresses in her presentation the need counseling and closure, even if that “closure” comes in stages.  She also reminds cops to remember what it felt like to be a rookie, to enjoy their jobs and to ask themselves every day “would I be happy with my actions today, or would I be embarrassed?”  Ally stresses personal accountability, regardless of the circumstances.

“This happened to me for a reason,” she told me.

And I believe she’s absolutely right.  Crimefighter. Woman warrior. Role model. Game changer. That’sOfficer Ally Jacobs, and I’m proud to call her my friend.

About the Author

Sergeant Betsy Smith has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience, retiring as a patrol supervisor in a large Chicago suburb. A graduate of the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety’s School of Staff and Command and a Street Survival seminar instructor for more than 9 years, Betsy is now a speaker, author and a primary PoliceOne Academy consultant. Visit Betsy’s website at

Contact Betsy Smith and Follow Betsy on Twitter


Article originally posted on PoliceOne, republished with permission from Dave Smith & Associates

Tip: Lose your sight, lose the fight

Dave Smith
“JD Buck Savage”

If you wear glasses or contact lenses at work, make sure you have a second pair of glasses readily available to you at all times.  If your glasses become damaged or you lose a contact lens, you need to immediately get your sight back and a “back up” pair of glasses will make that happen.  If you’re a day shifter and you wear prescription sunglasses, make sure you always have your “clear” glasses (and a flashlight) with you as well.


About the Author:

As a police officer, Dave Smith has held positions in patrol, training, narcotics, SWAT, and management. Dave continues to develop new and innovative programs across the spectrum of police training needs designed to assist your agency and your personnel in meeting the challenges of policing in the new millennium. As a trainer, speaker, and consultant Dave brings with him unparalleled access to modern law enforcement trends.

Dave is now the owner of “The Winning Mind LLC,”  the Director of Video Training for PoliceOne Video and author of the new book “In My Sights.” His experiences as officer, trainer, manager, and police spouse lend a unique perspective to his signature class, “The Winning Mind.”  Visit Dave’s website at

Contact Dave Smith and Follow Dave on Twitter


Article originally posted on PoliceOne, republished with permission from Dave Smith & Associates.

The Winning Mind

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Officer Brandy Roell: Always a fighter, forever a warrior

In the ambulance, the medics had commented that they had never seen anyone so badly injured remain so calm

It was September 8, 2008.  Rookie Officer Brandy Roell found herself being loaded onto a medical helicopter from an ambulance.  She’d just been in a surreal shootout with 43-year-old felon and would-be cop killer Andres Vargas.  Brandy had been left alone in the Vargas residence to finish the fight on her own after her FTO, who had also been wounded, and his uninjured back up officer had fled the house.  Vargas was armed with an AK-47, but despite her initial injuries, Brandy provided her own cover and made her way down the stairs and to the patio area of the house, where Officer Pete Garcia risked his own life to carry her to safety.  She’d made it out of that house of horrors, but the rest of her journey was just beginning.

In the ambulance, the medics had commented that they had never seen anyone so badly injured remain so calm.  “Are you in pain?” they asked her.  She told them her stomach hurt.  She also asked them to please straighten out her leg.  Her legs had been injured by debris in the initial blast of rifle fire, and when she had made her way down the stairs, a round from the AK-47 had pierced her gun belt and her keepers from behind, striking her spine and blowing a huge hole through her abdomen, exposing her intestines.  She heard one of the medics exclaim “holy shit!” as they examined her and discovered her extraordinary wounds.  “We have to get her there now!” he said, referring to the trauma center.

They cut off her clothing and stabilized her as they raced to meet the chopper.  The media was there – word had gotten out that two cops had been shot and Vargas was holding the SWAT team at bay outside of his house – and the medics yelled “cover her up!” as they transferred her to the helicopter.  Despite her injuries, she was aware of the media presence and she asked fellow public safety personnel to “contact my family.”  She didn’t want her kids, 8, 6, and 4, to see her on the news and become frightened. Selflessness is a core element of Brandy Roell’s true nature, and even as she fought for her life, she worried about those closest to her.

Brandy remembers only a little of the chopper ride before she lost consciousness.  She was treated at the University Hospital in San Antonio.  The initial surgery was extensive; Vargas’s round had entered her lower back and had blown a hole from the bottom of her breast bone twelve inches down to just above her pubis.  Her right leg was badly damaged, as was her spine and bladder.  She was unconscious for nearly a month.  She remembers little of those first 30 days, but she knows that her 8 year old daughter came to visit.  “She needed to see for herself that I was alive,” Brandy told me.  She was later told that the hospital was also crowded with cops as her brothers and sisters from SAPD gathered around.

As Brandy slowly gained consciousness, she recalled little things, like being bothered by the noise of the television set in her room.  There was talk of amputating one of her legs, which left her depressed.  She was thin but swollen, and in terrible pain.  She was afraid to move, and when she tried, she told me “I was surprised by how much didn’t work.”  After three months in the hospital, Brandy was transferred to a rehabilitation center.

She was told by one of the doctors she would be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life.  “I just looked at him and thought ‘that might be a pain in the butt,” she told me with a laugh. “I got up and started moving by myself…a little bit, a couple of steps at a time.”  She was left with no feeling in her left leg or on the bottom of her right foot, but she learned to use her hips to swing her legs, making her surprisingly mobile.  She generally has to use a cane, which frustrates her, and the internal damage has left her with a whole host of issues, including the inability to conceive another child.

As Brandy told PoliceOne’s Dave Smith in an on-camera exclusive for our “Will to Win” series, she feels guilty about her three kids.  “Sometimes I wonder if I was being selfish, becoming a cop.”  She is in constant pain and can’t always do the things she wants to do as a young  mom of three active kids.  “But I just try to show them the courage that I have,” she said, “and they are good little troopers.”

Brandy is now medically retired from the San Antonio police department.  Because she was still in field training at the time of her shooting, she is financially frozen and stuck at rookie pay.  At times she feels bitter.  “I didn’t get to do the things I really wanted to do, like work a homicide.”  Her husband is very understanding, but his life changed as well.  Their plan was for her to work as a police officer while he went to school full time to get a better job; that dream was shattered by her catastrophic injuries.  She received several awards for her bravery, but as she told me “I’m not the same person anymore, and I don’t know if that person is ever going to come back.”

“I think about how proud I was the day I graduated the academy,” Brandy says. “Wow, I was a police officer! I was so proud and happy that I had the opportunity to change people’s lives.”  Brandy hasn’t given up on her strong desire to change lives, and she wants other police officers to learn from her story.  “Never, never, never give up.” she told Dave Smith.  “Train hard, no matter how experienced you are.  The criminals are training hard, and we have to be ready.”

She advises officers who have lost their career like she has to find something about your situation that you can teach others, something that you can share.  “Give back” is her motto.  She is now becoming an activist fighting against human trafficking.  And, she told both Dave and I, “never leave another officer behind.”  Officer Brandy Roell was left behind that day, but she did what warriors do; she fought back, and she won.

About the Author

Sergeant Betsy Smith has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience, retiring as a patrol supervisor in a large Chicago suburb. A graduate of the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety’s School of Staff and Command and a Street Survival seminar instructor for more than 9 years, Betsy is now a speaker, author and a primary PoliceOne Academy consultant. Visit Betsy’s website at

Contact Betsy Smith and Follow Betsy on Twitter


Article originally posted on PoliceOne, republished with permission from Dave Smith & Associates

Tell Gov. Dayton to sign the Stand Your Ground. TODAY!


If you do only one thing for gun rights this year, this is it!

What you can do today:

  1. Call the governor’s office, and ask him to sign HF1467, the Stand Your Ground bill, TODAY!Metro: 651-201-3400
    Toll Free: 800-657-3717
  2. Write a real letter, on paper. These are incredibly effective in convincing a politician of how seriously we take an issue.
    Governor Mark Dayton
    130 State Capitol
    75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
    St. Paul, MN 55155

    Suggested language: “Please sign HF1467, the Stand Your Ground bill, today.”

  3. Send an email: Go to the governor’s web site at, and send the same message.
  4. Got a fax machine? Send a fax with the same message to 651-797-1850.
  5. Forward this to a dozen friends and ask them to do the same.

What you can do tomorrow, and every day until he signs the bill:

  1. Do it again (see above). Seriously.
The Stand Your Ground bill protects and restores our rights in many ways. Here’s the detail:

HF1467/SF1357 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.

The full text of the bill can be found here:

Here’s some more detail about the bill:

Adds Stand Your Ground
HF1467 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.

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.

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 — or at any other time. 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.

Enhances Purchase Permit Rights
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.

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Customer Testimonials – We say “Thank You!”

On behalf of all of us at Blue Line Defense, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers who have attended a Blue Line Defense course. We had a very diverse group of people from a variety of backgrounds attend our Permit to Carry courses and Defensive Handgun courses lately, many of which have never handled a firearm before. It is always a pleasure to meet new people, educate them and see their progress. I would like to take the opportunity to share some of the feedback we received from some of you. Thank you for the kind remarks and for taking the time to provide us with feedback.

Great course and very thorough. Would recommend to anyone.

Very informative, i would recommend this to anyone interested in getting more familiar with a hand gun.

Terry is a 1st class instructor. Extremely professional and extremely credible. I would recommend him to anyone.

Terry, Paul and Rob are great. These guys are quick, brief and you will get what you pay for, even popping off some rounds at the range. Highly recommended. Will sign up for next level class.

If I wanted to further my handgun or defensive training, I would most definitely return to Blue Line Defense.

Great job! Kept it interesting. These guys are good.

Excellent course with great instructors.

Great class, very informative. I’d recommend to a friend.

Terry is a active duty police officer that is very informative. I look forward to taking blue lines defense 1 and 2 class. Good job and thank you Terry!

Hands-on at the range and a variety of classroom topics from ammo, the law, accessories, how-to operate, etc. The instructor is very knowledgeable. I walked away with a wealth of information and knowing that there was more I could learn when I was ready to advance.

Extremely informative and well run. Fantastic instructors, all around great experience!

I absolutely enjoyed this course and would recommend the course, Blue Line Defense, and specifically the two instructors I had today (Terry and Mark) again to anyone. Learned a lot and gained a new level of confidence too.

Great session. The instructors did a professional and informative job. I’d highly recommend Blue Line Defense.

Professional, solid course. Well planned and well taught.

The class was well put together, full of important information and all around a great experience for those looking to attain their permits to carry. I learned a lot from the class and was able to get my permit. Terry was very experienced as a Police Officer and more than willing to answer all questions without making you feel uncomfortable. I would recommend Blue Line Defense to anyone looking to protect themselves and get their permit.