The Minnesota legislature has been working hard this last session to pass new laws that affect consumers, crime, elections, energy, health, family, housing and much more. Below is just a few of the criminal laws passed and will take effect on August 1, 2008. To see a complete summary of all laws passed by the 2008 Legislature, go online to the House Public Information Services Office web site.
Here is summary of some of the Crime fighting laws that the Minnesota Legislature has passed.
Dogfight spectator penalties -Under current law, anyone who pits animals against one another, trains the animals, takes admission to the fights or allows others to use their premises for the games is guilty of a felony. Effective Aug. 1, 2008, anyone who buys a ticket to the fights is guilty of a gross misdemeanor; previously this was considered a misdemeanor offense. The new law does not apply to hunting a wild animal.
No touching peace officer gear - Trying to disarm a peace officer could lead to a felony charge. This new law clarifies that it is illegal to take from a peace officer any defensive device issued for their protection, including a firearm, tear gas, Taser or baton. Violation is a felony, with a possible five-year prison sentence and $10,000 fine.
Tougher nuisance law - Under current statute, a public nuisance exists if there are two or more separate instances of various incidents such as gambling and the unlawful sale of alcohol. When it comes to prostitution, unlawful drug sale or possession, or illegal use or possession of a dangerous weapon, the law is modified making it a nuisance if there is only one instance. In addition, the law also replaces the term â€œfirearmâ€ with â€œdangerous weaponâ€ to account for objects such as knives and machetes, or any other object capable of causing serious bodily harm or death.