The Minnesota House yesterday approved a bill that would greatly increase the number of people who can legally carry concealed hanguns in the state. The action was taken after concessions were approved that are designed to appease schools, businesses, sheriffs and police chiefs, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Lhe legislation is expected to go directly to the floor of the 67-member Senate, where backers say they have 40 votes to approve it. It could be voted on by Monday. Gov. Tim Pawlenty has said he would sign it.
The bill would allow most law-abiding Minnesota adults to obtain permits. Currently, local law enforcement authorities have broad discretion to grant or deny them. A legislative estimate has projected that the number of Minnesotans with the licenses would rise from fewer than 12,000 now to 90,000 in three years. The bill would permit private establishments like the Mall of America to post signs barring guns.
The bill’s passage would culminate more than seven years of efforts by gun rights advocates to expand the permitting process.