Saturday, February 1, 2014

Hey Kurt Daudt! DON'T!

Kurt Daudt transported his personal hand gun across state lines in a manner that was of questionable legality and security.  He then permitted his loaded gun to be used by a criminal, who should not ever have been allowed access to it.

We are told over and over again that those with gun carry permits are law abiding and responsible.  Well, not so much, perhaps that we should blindly trust that. 

Based on his statements made to date, it does not appear that Kurt Daudt EITHER contacted the two states involved, North Dakota and Montana, to attempt to comply with their gun laws, OR that he was responsible in safely and securely transporting that firearm, in terms of controlling who had access to it, and transporting it in an unloaded condition,  as covered in the news reports.

The BCA site clearly advises, in order to comply with the state laws that a gun owner do this, in order to be law abiding:
"Minnesota permit holders who plan to visit another state, and who also wish to carry a concealed firearm while visiting that state, are urged to contact that state before traveling. This will allow Minnesota permit holders to determine all restrictions or prohibitions regarding the carrying of concealed firearms in those states, as well as their laws regarding firearms and weapons in general."
The gun huggers wonder why we, the general population who lives, walks, shops, dines, and drinks coffee among them don’t trust them? That is because they do things like Daudt and Weinzetl that are of questionable legality, and definitely irresponsible — and they don’t feel bad about it afterwards.  Pointing a gun at children is a bad thing, a bad thing which Daudt made possible by his decisions.  Kurt Daudt doesn’t seem to care or feel badly that a gun was pointed at children.  HOW IS THAT RESPONSIBLE?

Both North Dakota and Montana are listed as states with laws substantially different from Minnesota, under the state web site at the BCA for gun permit reciprocity, which I understand to mean that his permit did not qualify for reciprocity and was therefore of questionable legality.  Neither Montana nor North Dakota are listed as states to which Minnesota extends reciprocity for carry permits.
Here is what the BCA web site has to say:

Permit to Carry Reciprocity

Minnesota permit holders who plan to visit another state, and who also wish to carry a concealed firearm while visiting that state, are urged to contact that state before traveling. This will allow Minnesota permit holders to determine all restrictions or prohibitions regarding the carrying of concealed firearms in those states, as well as their laws regarding firearms and weapons in general. Most of these states have web pages dedicated to this subject.  State firearm laws and reciprocal agreements may change frequently, and are also subject to court interpretation.
Information contained on this page is not to be considered legal advice. You should always contact an attorney licensed to practice law in your state for any legal advice.

States With Laws NOT Substantially Similar to Minnesota

On an annual basis, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety is directed to establish and publish an online Internet listing of states which have handgun carry permit laws that are not substantially similar to Minnesota’s law under Minnesota Session Laws 2003, Chapter 28, Article 2 Section 21, Minn. Stat. 624.714 Subd. 16.  The department has determined that laws of the following states are not substantially similar to Minnesota (or have no handgun permit provisions) and are not valid in Minnesota:
Alabama ​Florida ​Maine ​New Jersey ​South Carolina
​Arizona ​Georgia ​Maryland ​New York ​South Dakota
​California ​Hawaii ​Massachusetts ​North Carolina ​Vermont
​Colorado ​Idaho ​Mississippi ​North Dakota ​Virginia
​Connecticut ​Illinois ​Montana ​Oregon ​Washington
​Delaware ​Indiana ​Nebraska ​Pennsylvania ​West Virginia
​District of Columbia ​Iowa ​New Hampshire ​Rhode Island ​Wisconsin

Out of State Permits Valid in Minnesota

Minnesota laws authorize individuals holding gun permits from the following states to carry in Minnesota:
​Alaska ​Kentucky ​Missouri ​Ohio ​Texas
​Arkansas ​Louisiana ​New Mexico ​Oklahoma ​Utah
​Kansas ​Michigan ​Nevada ​Tennessee ​Wyoming
Please note that the permit issued by your state does not supersede Minnesota’s laws or regulations. Legal conduct in your state may not be legal in Minnesota.

An excellent rule of thumb is to treat the transport of a firearm like an open bottle of alcohol.  You make it as safe as possible – unloaded.  You keep it in a location that is not easily or readily accessible to the front seat. You keep it away from prohibited people – an underage person in the case of alcohol for example (or the driver) and away from criminals who are not themselves eligible or desirable people to have access to guns. Daudt’s friend does not appear to be a felon, but he does appear to have engaged in aggressive and illegal actions before, and to have repeatedly engaged in really bad judgement, and therefore was not a suitable person to have access to Daudt’s weapon.

I would like to see any conviction of Daudt’s companion, Weinzetl, to prohibit him from gun ownership in Minnesota as a clear indication that he is a dangerously irresponsible individual with firearms.  This incident is a clear example of how some people escalate rather than defuse conflict when they have access to a firearm.

As reported in the STrib:
According to charges, authorities received a call from the alleged victim, Brock Roy, who said that he sold his 1966 white Bronco to a man from Minnesota, and that when the man came to pick up the vehicle, he confronted Brock “about the way the vehicle drove.” Brock told him the sale was final and the two began arguing.
“The altercation rose to a point where a friend of the male retrieved a black handgun and pointed the gun at the entire family, including the children,” the complaint said. “Fearful for the safety of his family, Brock accelerated away from the situation in his vehicle, leaving the two males behind.”
Police, who were on the lookout for Daudt and Weinzetl, stopped them in separate vehicles. The men were handcuffed and arrested, according to the report. Daudt said in his statement that he was never accused of wrongdoing.
According to Minnesota court records, Weinzetl, a construction worker, has landed in trouble before.
His record shows multiple traffic offenses and he was found guilty in 2010 of assault on a police officer and obstructing the legal process, both gross misdemeanors, following a March 2010 incident in which he punched a man outside his home. When an Isanti County Sheriff’s deputy arrived at the house to speak with Weinzetl and his brother, Weinzetl shoved and punched the deputy, breaking his glasses and tearing his uniform. The deputy reported that he tried unsuccessfully to use a Taser on Weinzetl.

Cross-posted from my co-blogger, Eric Ferguson at MNPP:

kurt-daudtWhy did Kurt Daudt take a loaded gun to go car shopping?

State House minority leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, took his sweet time talking to the press about his weird adventure with the gun and the Bronco (the SUV sort, not a horse or football player) and even then, seemed to be reluctant to say much. I can’t tell if one screamingly obvious question was asked, but it sure wasn’t answered: why did Daudt bring a loaded gun to go car shopping?

I don’t care that Daudt has a hobby restoring old vehicles. That’s common, and driving to other states to acquire desired vehicles, a 1966 Ford Bronco in this case, is something such hobbyists do. That he brought someone with him makes sense since somebody needs to drive his car back. I’m not even that concerned about the particulars of the argument with the seller because accounts of the participants will conflict and memories are pretty fungible sometimes. In other words, I’m offering no comment on who said what or who was right. If you want to look at court documents, they’re here, but whether the seller misrepresented the vehicle as Daudt says or there was something else they argued over, isn’t really the question.

Here’s the question: why did Daudt bring a gun just to go look at a vehicle? Actually, that begs a couple more questions. Why was he carrying the gun loaded? Why was he bringing a loaded gun in easy reach of a traveling companion who has had multiple problems with the law?

I know what answer some gun nuts will give: he had a right to carry a loaded gun! The smarter ones will anticipate my answer: so what? Maybe having the gun and having it loaded was perfectly legal. I don’t know Montana’s gun laws, but given how the conservative SCOTUS majority has seen fit to use some questionable history of the Second Amendment to make gun regulation very difficult, I’ll guess the gun was legal. Having it loaded and readily accessible was maybe legal too, and let’s say for argument’s sake it was legal. So what?

The closest Daudt has come to an answer is this paraphrase in the Star Tribune article, “Daudt said he had it in a small compartment under a seat in his car and had put it there just because he was on a 14-hour road trip to Montana.” What, if it was merely a 13-hour trip he wouldn’t have needed a gun, but that 14th hour is just so dangerous? Is Montana that scary? Are the Dakotas dangerous to passing restorers of old SUVs?

Those who maintain that responsible gun owners should be free to carry however they want should be willing to grant one thing: Daudt is not a responsible gun owner. Despite his claim he didn’t think his companion, Daniel Weinzetl, knew about the gun, clearly he somehow clearly passed on that information. Presumably Daudt knew Weinzetl has run afoul the law before. So he brought a gun to look at a vehicle, kept it loaded, kept it in reach of someone possibly dangerous, and let a disagreement blow up into a heated argument. Would he have allowed it to get that far without knowing he had the gun close by to trump any opposing argument? Something I would think even an NRA life member would acknowledge is that Daudt created a dangerous situation. He is the sort of person who should not have a gun.

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