Minnesota driver’s manual updates text for legal gun owners

Published 1:49 pm Monday, July 6, 2020

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota public safety officials are updating the state’s driver’s manual to give motorists who are legally carrying firearms some guidance on what to do if they are stopped by police. The change comes four years after Philando Castile was fatally shot during a traffic stop after he told an officer he had a gun.

The change being announced Monday was sought by Castile’s mother, Valerie Castile, and is one of 28 recommendations made by a working group on deadly police encounters. Though Minnesota’s driver’s manual already provides direction for motorists stopped by law enforcement, the new language details what someone should or should not do when informing an officer they are legally carrying a firearm.

The change also describes what motorists should expect from police.

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Philando Castile, a 32-year-old elementary school cafeteria worker, was shot on July 6, 2016, after he told then-St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez that he had a gun. Authorities later discovered Castile had a permit for the firearm. Castile’s girlfriend, who was in the car with her then-4-year-old daughter, livestreamed the immediate aftermath of the shooting on Facebook.

Yanez was charged with manslaughter and other counts but was acquitted in 2017, sparking days of protests. Valerie Castile reached a nearly $3 million settlement with the city of St. Anthony less than two weeks later.