Letter to Representative John Burkel

in News
23. 02. 16

February 15, 2023

Representative John Burkel

309 State Office Building

St. Paul, MN 55155

Representative Burkel,

I am writing you today over a greatly concerning proposed bill that has been introduced into legislation: HF396. This bill would require law abiding citizens to store firearms and ammunition separately inside their own homes. This is a dangerous overreach of State authority and a direct violation of the Second Amendment.

If passed, this bill would not only hinder law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves in their own homes, but also turn legal gun-owning citizens into criminals if they choose to be prepared to defend themselves from intruders, or for farmers to protect livestock from predators. In its current form, Minnesota State Statute 609.666 prohibits negligent storage of firearms. This current law is sufficient to protect our children from coming into unsupervised contact with firearms.

I fail to see how this law would have any positive impact on public safety in Pennington County. It will slow the response time for victims to defend themselves from a home invader. If a certain county or municipality wishes to create an ordinance that fits their specific public safety needs that is their right and responsibility to do so. Minneapolis/St. Paul’s public safety issues are far different than those of Pennington County.

This appears to be a knee jerk reaction to mass shootings that are occurring around the country. If these mass shootings are analyzed, the issue at hand is usually mental health. Law Enforcement has been begging for help with mental health issues for years. And the State Leaders continue to refuse to hear these cries for help. Rather they are more interested in imposing unconstitutional laws instead to address mental health problems. The State currently has a massive surplus of money and refuses to spend any of that surplus on mental health facilities.

Enforcement of any type of law would require law enforcement to violate the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. I would need to obtain a search warrant to ensure that citizens are following the new law for an item that is constitutionally protected. I took an oath to protect the rights of the citizens of Pennington County, and I will adhere to my oath.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. If you have any questions or concerns, please call me at 218-689-3050 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Respectfully yours,

Seth Vettleson

Pennington County Sheriff

New Direct Phone Numbers

The new Corrections (Jail) Phone Number is 218-416-7097. Please call this number for any inmate related questions.

Inmate voice mail line is 218-416-1120.

Sentence to Serve (STS) / Wade Cota - 218-683-7001

Jail Administrator / Dave Casanova -  218-416-7095 * Assistant Jail Administrator / Jo Williams - 218-416-7098 * Jail Programmer / Travis Black - 218-416-7082