ST. PAUL (AP) -- A day before it goes into effect, sponsors of a handgun permit law plan to make changes to it, House Speaker Steve Sviggum said Tuesday morning.
The change would allow a business or church simply to post a sign if they want to keep handguns out of their buildings.
As the law is now written, someone would have to verbally tell people, in addition to posting a sign, that they don't want anyone carrying concealed guns in the building. Only then would state trespass laws kick in.
After the change, a sign would be sufficient.
"I think there is a legitimate mistake that was made," Sviggum said. He said the sponsors of the bill in the House and the Senate have agreed to the changes.
Sviggum said he expects the changes to pass Tuesday, and said the governor would sign it.
The proposal follows comments made by the governor and top aides Monday voicing concerns over that portion of the law, which he called "burdensome."
It also follows a recent lawsuit over the provision filed by an Edina church.
"It's a simple change, from 'and' to 'or'," Sviggum said. "I will tell you up front it was drafted wrong."
If the bill is passed by the House and Senate Tuesday, the change would be in place by the time the law takes effect Wednesday, Sviggum said.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty's top adviser said Monday the administration would be open to making revisions to the bill. Charlie Weaver, Pawlenty's chief of staff, called parts of Minnesota's new handgun permit law "unwise,"
The law is expected to increase the number of permits to carry a pistol in public from about 12,000 currently to as many as 90,000 in a few years. The Legislature approved the bill in April and Pawlenty signed the legislation within hours of it landing on his desk.
Law enforcement officials will be required to issue "conceal and carry" permits to all applicants 21 or older who meet standards of U.S. citizenship, handgun safety training and a criminal and mental-health background check. Previously, police chiefs and sheriffs had discretion to grant or deny permits for occupational needs or personal protection.
Weaver said he thinks there is "a lot of hysteria" over the law, but he doesn't consider it perfect either.
"Some of the stuff they did in there was unwise," Weaver said. Specifically, he cited the requirement on businesses and churches to personally notify people that guns aren't allowed on the premises.
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