Minnesota's CCW law again being challenged...


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goose
August 2, 2005, 01:25 AM
by a bunch of church groups in MPLS/St Paul. We had a CCW law passed in 2003 but some funky judge put an injunction on it due to "it was attached to another unrelated bill." Heck, half of our new laws were attached to unrelated bills. I KNEW this would happen. Drove 140 miles round trip to take my required handgun classes this last Saturday. This morn I went to the courthouse and applied for my permit to carry license...and get relieved of $100. Sure enough, this group will find another (if not the same) lame brain judge to AGAIN put an injunction on the newly passed law. (I just took up handgunning in June...while the previous injunction was in effect. The previous injunction was headed to the Minn. supreme court and no doubt was dropped when the new law was passed. Also, while the injunction was in effect, the people who had their conceal carry permits, were not affected.) I hope my permit comes through before a judge does evil to the citizens.

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Janitor
August 2, 2005, 08:28 AM
"Minnesota's CCW law again being challenged... by a bunch of church groups in MPLS/St Paul."
Do you have a link to an article?

Thanks.
/J

phorvick
August 2, 2005, 08:35 AM
Lawsuit takes on guns at church
Margaret Zack, Star Tribune
August 2, 2005

Two Twin Cities churches have filed a new lawsuit claiming that the state's gun law, which prevents churches from prohibiting guns on their property, violates religious freedom.

Even though the churches had sued over an earlier version of the law, their concerns weren't addressed when that law was struck down by a Ramsey County district judge last year or when legislators passed a new law in May.

Minneapolis attorney David Lillehaug, who along with attorney Marshall Tanick is representing Edina Community Lutheran Church and Unity Church of St. Paul, said Monday that the law profoundly infringes religious institutions' rights.

"The religious organizations don't take any joy in having to resort to courts," Lillehaug said. "We would rather that a religious exemption would have been passed in 2005."

The suit, filed Friday in Hennepin County District Court, challenges two parts of the law.

One part prevents churches from banning guns, include those belonging to employees, in parking lots. The other mandates that specifically worded signs must be posted at all entrances.

Tanick said the lawsuit is not challenging whether the law is good or bad, but whether it violates the rights of religious organizations.

The 2003 conceal-carry law was struck down by Ramsey County District Judge John Finley because it was included in a law that was unrelated to guns.

The new law signed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty on May 24 contained only a small change from the original.

It says a property owner must either post a specifically worded sign at every entrance or personally telling individuals that guns are prohibited on the premises. The original law said property owners had to do both.

Lillehaug said the sign at Edina Community Church, which reads "Blessed are the peacemakers. Firearms are prohibited in this place of sanctuary," does not meet the language requirements of the statute.

The law has a chilling effect on the churches and their members' exercise of their constitutional rights, the new suit said.

Allowing guns on church property, except those carried by peace officers on official business, is inconsistent with the churches' sincerely held beliefs, the suit said.

William Mitchell College of Law Prof. C. Paul Jones said Monday that he believes the churches have a good point in wanting to protect people in parking lots from guns.

"It's like us prohibiting people with guns in our homes. There's no question but they should be able to do that," he said.

The lawsuit does not address a person's right to buy a gun.

Jones said the churches' wishes may be an inconvenience for someone who wants to go hunting after church, but they don't interfere with an individual's right to bear arms.

He compared guns in churches to guns in schools. "It's out of line for a person to have a gun in school," he said.

About 27,000 people had received permits to carry handguns before the law was struck down a year ago.

Joe Olson, president of the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, said Monday that he expects the law to withstand the challenge.

"They are not suing over religious freedom. They are suing because they don't like guns," Olson said.

Attorneys Tanick and Lillehaug said within a month they would seek an injunction from Hennepin County District Judge LaJune Lange to keep the law from being enforced against the churches.

Janitor
August 2, 2005, 08:47 AM
Thanks Phorvick.

"William Mitchell College of Law Prof. C. Paul Jones said Monday that he believes the churches have a good point in wanting to protect people in parking lots from guns."
Huh? Sometimes, it's even obvious to me how dumb I can be.

But I don't at all understand this line. Protect people from guns in the parking lot? How in the he11 do they intend to do that if they insist on the targeted disarming of the people who would protect them?

/J

yucaipa
August 2, 2005, 09:14 AM
It says a property owner must either post a specifically worded sign at every entrance or personally telling individuals that guns are prohibited on the premises

If they don't want guns on their property all they have to do is follow the law like everyone else.

It sounds like they want to use the law to mandate what every church has to be off-limits, so much for "religious freedom"

Allowing guns on church property, except those carried by peace officers on official business, is inconsistent with the churches' sincerely held beliefs, the suit said

"Some" churches sincerely held beliefs.

Janitor
August 2, 2005, 09:28 AM
"Allowing guns on church property, except those carried by peace officers on official business, is inconsistent with the churches' sincerely held beliefs, the suit said "
What would those sincerely held beliefs be? That it's ok in their religion to use a gun on another human being if you're an agent of the government?

Which religion is this? I thought that the churches that considered themselves to be a sanctuary believed that it's bad to let blood under any conditions by anyone. I've not yet heard of a religion that thinks it's ok if it's official violence.

HankB
August 2, 2005, 09:38 AM
Hmmm . . . by this logic, complying with the fire code, Americans with Disabilities Act, and providing handcapped parking also violates the church's rights.

And it seems to me that demanding the government establish churches and their parking lots as "gun free" zones is in effect asking the government to impose church policy as law . . . how does this NOT violate the separation of church and state?

Lastly, any gun owner in Minnesota who is a member of the churches involved in the suit, and who continues to donate to the church, is a FOOL who may just as well send his money to Sarah Brady. When church leaders go off on a tangent and get themselves involved in issues (like gun politics) that have nothing to do with glorifying the Almighty and saving souls, they need to be brought to heel.

Marshall
August 2, 2005, 09:52 AM
Not a smart move on their part.

ckyllo
August 2, 2005, 10:04 AM
you know the exit signs should be in the lawsuit too. along with handicaped parking signs, the this room has a maxium capacity of X people, the restroom signs, fire exits...
should go to a large church and count just how many signs are posted in it and on the property.

or they could just put in a flier that they would appriciate church members not bring firearms on to church property. that and maybe get a clue that 99.9999% of people that pack keep their firearms covered up when in public. :banghead:

Big_R
August 2, 2005, 10:44 AM
Here's another article from the Pioneer Press:

http://www.twincities.com/mld/pioneerpress/12279841.htm

Churches attack 'conceal carry' law

BY BILL GARDNER

Pioneer Press


New lawsuit calls re-enacted handgun law unconstitutional
The newly re-enacted conceal-and-carry handgun law is under legal attack by churches that say the Minnesota law is an unconstitutional interference with religious freedom.

The lawsuit filed Monday in Hennepin County District Court was an expected challenge to the re-enacted law, which the state Legislature passed in May to correct flaws in the 2003 law. The earlier law had been declared unconstitutional because it was tacked on to a bill on ice-fishing houses.

"Religious institutions should have the right to control their own property and to be able to worship without firearms,'' said David Lillehaug, attorney for Edina Community Lutheran Church, which is joined by Unity Church Unitarian of St. Paul in challenging the re-enacted law.

The law prevents churches from banning firearms in their parking areas or leased space and allows the churches to ban firearms in the churches only if they place very detailed signs at specific entrances or verbally tell each person of the ban at the door.

The churches contend that worshippers should be welcomed in a more hospitable manner rather than a demand that they leave their guns elsewhere.

The handgun-permit law requires county sheriffs to grant handgun permits to most adults who seek them. Previously, sheriffs and police chiefs had much more control over who got permits.

Edina Community Lutheran Church won an injunction in 2004 against enforcement of the previous handgun permit law, but the injunction was dismissed after the enactment of the new law.

The changes made in the new law are very minor, Lillehaug said.

"I thought the Legislature and the governor would have learned from the mistakes they made in 2003 and at least have solved the problems in this statute that affect religious institutions," Lillehaug said.

Unity Church Unitarian brought a separate lawsuit against the previous law, contending it was unconstitutional because the Minnesota Constitution required that laws deal with a single subject and the handgun permit law was part of an ice-fishing house law. A Ramsey County District Court judge struck the law down as unconstitutional, and the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed the decision.

Those rulings prompted the Legislature to re-enact the law in a single bill in May.

Joe Olson, president of the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, said he expects the new law to withstand the churches' challenge.

"They are not suing over religious freedom," Olson said. "They are suing because they don't like guns."

Hennepin County District Judge LaJune Thomas Lange will hear the case. A hearing date has not been scheduled.

DonP
August 2, 2005, 12:31 PM
From what I read the churches are unwilling to take the repsonsibility to control their own members behavior and are asking the state to step in and set rules for their attendees.

They don't want to post any simple signs according to the law. They don't want to say anything to their congregation but they want the government to solve all their problems.

Obviously the real agenda is to keep trying to get the law struck down again and again by sympathetic (and truly pathetic) anti-minded judges.

Sound to me like one of the church & state separation issues the ACLU sleazoids love to take to court. I wonder when they will step in?

Monkeyleg
August 2, 2005, 07:39 PM
Can anyone tell me what the law was prior to enactment of the shall-issue law? Was there a prohibition on carrying concealed in a church when Minnesota was discretionary-issue?

If not, then it would seem that the churches are being political activists. And, at some point, they should lose their tax-exempt status.

Marshall
August 2, 2005, 07:50 PM
Two Twin Cities churches have filed a new lawsuit claiming that the state's gun law, which prevents churches from prohibiting guns on their property, violates religious freedom.

Just out of curiosity, what denomination, if any, are theses two churches?

chaim
August 3, 2005, 04:32 AM
The churches contend that worshippers should be welcomed in a more hospitable manner rather than a demand that they leave their guns elsewhere

OK, it is 3:30AM but go with me here-

These churches know that most people don't care one way or another about CCW laws. Of those who care probably an equal number are for and against.

This sentence I quoted make me suspect they want to legislate their whim to ban guns so as to "have their cake and eat it too". They get to ban guns on their property without the consequences. Post a sign and it is "inhospitable" (borrowing from the quote)- those who are pro-CCW will be upset and some of the more pro-gun neutrals may not be pleased. So, challenge the law (most people won't know who brought the suit, or will soon forget), get the courts to ban carry at any house of worship and these churches can force their will on everyone without upsetting anyone.

... Edina Community Lutheran Church, which is joined by Unity Church Unitarian of St. Paul in challenging the re-enacted law. Why am I not surprised, I knew a Unitarian church had to be involved. Before I became an Orthodox Jew I spent years as a Unitarian and was headed towards becoming a Unitarian minister (I was born Jewish, it is a long story) so I understand them pretty well. Most Unitarians seem to see liberal political activism as a religious activity- the religion doesn't officially believe in God (it is up to everyone to decide their religious and spiritual values for themselves, "tolerance" as the left sees it is the main tenent of the religion) and they are populated mostly by Humanists so what do you have left but political activism.

ckyllo
August 3, 2005, 08:21 AM
Can anyone tell me what the law was prior to enactment of the shall-issue law? Was there a prohibition on carrying concealed in a church when Minnesota was discretionary-issue?

there were no provisions on where you cant carry with the old system (other than the capitol building, state parks, and the stuff banned by the feds ie post offices) there where no provisions for banning guns in private businesses other than tresspassing laws. basicaly if you noticed someone packing and ask them to remove the firearm or themselves and they dont than you can be ticked for trespass.

what the churches and signed businesses never figured out that when the law was overturned all of the no gun signs where tooth less since the law that enforced the sign was gone. funny how they thought that it was a victory for their side when the law got overturned (first time ) even though they had no way to stop someone from carrying in the church after that happened.

K-Romulus
August 3, 2005, 12:00 PM
Unlike the FL anti-animal-sacrifice laws, the MN CCW law is a different ballgame because it is not targetting any particular religious organization.

Since the MN CCW is a neutral law of general applicability, I don't see how the churches could get it completely struck down as an "infringement" :rolleyes: of their religion. I believe the best they can do is to get a special carve-out that only exempts the churches that sued from having to post the specific signs, and maybe allow them to control their parking lots as they see fit. Any others have an opinion on this?
:confused:

halvey
August 4, 2005, 02:29 PM
I am re-posting this from Joel's blog. Please help Larry Howes out!!!

----------------------------------------------------------
http://www.livejournal.com/users/joelrosenberg/

Scalps
When the MCPPA passed in 2003, the antis went after the political scalp of Lynda Boudreau, the chief author of the bill in the House. With carry reform off the table, she didn't get the support from the self-defense community that she should have, and her opponent squeaked out a win. Rebecca Thoman and the ill-named "Citizens for a Safer Minnesota" gloated over that on their website, and waved Lynda's political scalp about like a trophy.

Not good.

Not again. Larry Howes was the House member who shepherded the bill through the House this time, just as Pat Pariseau was the Senator. Pat hasn't, as far as I know, started fundraising. Larry has, as the anti groups have already started organizing to add his political scalp to their collection. I strongly encourage everybody who appreciates his essential work on getting the MCPPA repassed to do what I just did: put a check in the mail.

Howes Volunteer Committee
5340 Ladyslipper LN NW
Walker, MN 56484

Can I count on you to do your part?

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