A Minnesota deer farmer has been repeatedly harassed by the Minnesota government. Thanks to a new law passed by the Minnesota Democrat trifecta, law enforcement officers from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) may inspect private property without a warrant – a notion that spits in the face of the 5th Amendment.
Before 35.155 subd 7(a) was amended in the 2023 legislative session, the Department of Agriculture and Board of Animal Health inspected deer farms for evidence of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). However, the legislature shifted that responsibility to the Commissioner of Natural Resources, who uses armed law enforcement to visit deer farms. They also increased the budget for inspecting farms from $600,000 to $4,500,000.
In May, former Kittson County sheriff, Steve Porter, ran into trouble with DNR’s enforcement division when he refused to allow them onto his property. As someone who knows and understands law enforcement, Porter pointed out that the armed officers could not step onto his property without a warrant.
The officers said that he could deny them entry to his property, but they would revoke his deer permit in response. Porter told Action 4 Liberty that he eventually allowed them on the property under duress, for fear of losing his income.
The 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution protects citizens from self-incrimination. Individuals have the right to not talk to a law enforcement officer, and they need not allow them access to their private property without a warrant. The DNR enforcement arm told Porter that they are both an administrative officer and a law enforcement officer, but insisted they did not need a warrant to enter the premises.
“There’s no way a state can pass a law compelling people to talk to law enforcement,” Porter says. Many state legislators, including State Senator Nathan Wesenberg, believe he is correct.
Porter was accompanied by Wesenberg when the DNR inspected his farm on August 15th, when he gave in under duress to allow their search. The Senator told Action 4 Liberty that Porter's "constitutional rights had clearly been violated."
This is only the latest law passed by the Minnesota Democrat trifecta to see a probable legal challenge. Other challenges currently include a law that prohibits schools with a statement of faith from participating in the state’s PSEO program.