Why Minnesota lawmakers — and members of the public — can carry guns almost everywhere at the state Capitol complex

Why Minnesota lawmakers — and members of the public — can carry guns almost everywhere at the state Capitol complex

18 seconds ago During a forum for Republican candidates for governor in Mankato in early November, state Sen. Paul Gazelka said he brings a gun to the Minnesota Capitol in St. Paul. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka “Frankly, I wish I didn’t have to carry at the Capitol,” said Gazelka , who stepped down as Senate Majority Leader earlier this year to run for governor. “But the fact is I’ve had death threats.” Some around the Legislature appeared surprised that Gazelka carries a weapon at the Capitol, and his comments also renewed a debate over the safety and necessity of firearms — at least those not held by law enforcement — at the Legislature. Gazelka is not the only lawmaker carrying a gun. The practice does not appear to be widespread, but legislative officials estimate at least a handful of other elected officials bring firearms to the Capitol. And while lawmakers and the general public once had to notify the state Department of Public Safety when they had a gun at the Capitol, the Legislature got rid of that requirement several years ago. Today, anyone with a state permit to carry can have a handgun on the Capitol complex, said Lt. Gordon Shank, a spokesman for the Minnesota State Patrol. Shank said there is no requirement that the gun be concealed when carried. There is one exception: guns aren’t allowed in the judicial building, Shank said. But lawmakers and the general public can bring pistols elsewhere on Capitol grounds. […]

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