GOP bill would allow gun owners to sue 'gun-free zone' businesses in event of injury

It would create an avenue for civil action against a private business or organization in the event of injury or loss.

A group of Republican lawmakers are proposing a bill that would allow gun owners to sue a private business that bans guns on premises, in the event they're injured or robbed while on the property.

The bill sponsored by chief author Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal) would hold the owners of properties that post "gun-free zone" signs on their doors financially responsible for any injury or loss a legal gun owner incurs on the premises that they would not have suffered if they had their gun.

Per the bill, the property owner would "assume absolute custodial responsibility for the safety and defense of the unarmed person while the person is located on the owner's or entity's property that is posted with a sign prohibiting firearms."

This responsibility includes any harm that is incurred to the unarmed gun owner from other customers/guests on the premises, along with "trespassers, employees, vicious animals, wild animals, and defensible man-made and natural hazards."

The intent behind the bill is to "balance of self-defense of a person who is authorized to carry a firearm," noting that property owners who ban guns on premises have the legal right to ask someone carrying a firearm to leave, and that person is guilty of a petty misdemeanor if they refuse.

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Speaking to the Session Daily, Rep. Munson said: "In Minnesota we now have over 300,000 citizens who have a permit to carry a gun ... and more and more businesses are putting 'gun-free zones' on their business, it really is a way to market to people who don't like guns.

"In saying they're a gun-free zone they're not actually creating a gun-free zone. They're saying if you're a law-abiding citizen, leave your gun in your car. But what they're really creating is an environment in which people can be targeted.

"This law simply says if you're making people give up their right to self-defense, then you must defend them, so if you're a movie theater not checking for guns, then you're not doing your job and protecting people, so we're making them liable." 

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