A Minneapolis judge ruled yesterday that churches can ban guns in their buildings and parking lots. The St. Paul Pioneer Press says Hennepin County District Judge Marilyn Rosenbaum ruled that a state law allowing people to obtain handgun permits violated the churches’ “free exercise of religion as guaranteed by the Minnesota Constitution.”
John Caile, head of Conceal Carry Reform Now!, the organization that pushed for the state’s more liberal gun law, said, “We have enough liberal judges in Minnesota, so I’m not surprised they found one to broadly overinterpret the state constitution. Given the remarkably good behavior of permit holders over the last nine months, one must ask, ‘What’s the point?’ ”
Churches joined to protest the law, known as the Minnesota Citizens Personal Protection Act, which took effect on May 28, 2003. Churches argue that the law’s notification requirements constitute an unconstitutional infringement of religious freedom. The law requires churches to both post specifically worded signs and verbally inform parishioners at the door that firearms are prohibited.