Minnesota Prosecutors Can Now Carry Guns 13 Apr 12

Prosecutors now have the same rights of other Minnesotans to carry guns.

The new law, crafted by Rep. Tony Cornish of Good Thunder and Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen of Alexandria, easily passed the House and Senate to give county attorneys and their assistants the freedom to carry guns like others in the state.

Judges still will decide whether prosecutors may take weapons into courtrooms and in some cases into courthouses.

Democratic Governor Mark Dayton told Republican Cornish during a Wednesday ceremonial bill signing that prosecutors “will be safer because of your leadership.”

Cornish said the bill was in the works, at the request of the county attorneys’ group, when County Attorney Tim Scannell and two others were shot in the Cook County Courthouse last December.

None of the eight prosecutors at the signing ceremony said they planned to carry a gun, but neither did they rule it out.

Cornish and county attorneys said they would like to go another step by increasing the penalties for attacking a prosecutor.