Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will sign a bill that allows any adult who takes training and passes a background check to get a permit to carry firearms in public, says the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The measure corrects a 2003 version that was struck down on procedural grounds. No new handgun permits have been issued under the 2003 law, although the 27,000 people who had already gotten them remained licensed.
The bill was approved despite an emotional debate over the first alleged killing by a permitholder, outside a Minneapolis restaurant last week. A bartender said the shooter had been in a bar bragging about his permit and his weapon. A judge has ruled that churches may bar guns from their property; one legislator called the measure “the most radical concealed-carry bill in the country” and noted that 12 other states with similar laws ban firearms in churches. But a cosponsor said restrictions would inconvenience churchgoers after a Sunday morning duck hunt and run afoul of biblical injunctions in favor of self-defense.