MN: Conceal-carry ruling due soon from Ramsey County judge


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Andrew Rothman
August 9, 2004, 12:46 PM
http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/4918334.html

Conceal-carry ruling due soon from Ramsey County judge
Associated Press
August 9, 2004 GUNRULING0810


A Ramsey County judge plans to decide soon whether a new gun law that made handgun permits available to most adults should remain in effect until a higher court rules on its constitutionality.

Ramsey County Judge John Finley said today he would take the issue under advisement and issue a written decision on the matter.

Finley, in June, ruled the state's new handgun law was unconstitutional because it was passed after being attached to a seemingly unrelated bill for the Department of Natural Resources. He said that violated the Minnesota Constitution's prohibition on laws that embrace more than one subject.

Finley's ruling essentially turned back the law to a time when police chiefs and sheriffs had broad discretion to deny permits, but it has temporarily left many permit policies in flux.

Attorney General Mike Hatch appealed the decision, and is asking Finley to keep the law in effect while the appeal is pending.

William Klumpp, with the attorney general's office, argued today that the law should stay in effect ``so that the machinery of government can run smoothly.''

He also said officers in already financially strapped police departments may need to be pulled off the streets to again process permit applications.

``There obviously is a financial impact,'' he said.

David Lillehaug, an attorney who argued that the gun law should be repealed immediately, said the constitutional harm of the new law was worse than any administrative harm.

``The constitutional harm always trumps,'' he said. (Oh, yeah. This gun-grabber is very concerned about violations of constitutional principles. If he gave a rat's patoot about the constitution, he'd have been on the other side of this lawsuit.)

Lawmakers have long used a broad interpretation of the law to pass bills with many subjects, as long as they are deemed somehow related to each other.

Hatch is also asking the Supreme Court to expedite a review of the decision. He argued the matter is of broad public importance because law enforcement officers need to know how to handle the permits. He also said the ruling, if it isn't clarified, could invite challenges to additional bills.

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goalie
August 9, 2004, 05:08 PM
I actually have nothing against light rail in the Twin Cities, but if this holds up, I really, really hope that the congressman from Big Lake files the lawsuit he was talking about that challanges the bill that appropriated funds for light rail on the same grounds the MPPA was challanged. Actually making the legislature pass single-issue bills would creat the kind of gridlock in the legislature that I can only dream of. :p

SteelyDan
August 10, 2004, 01:28 AM
I didn't get around to taking my CCW class until 2 days before Judge Finley issued his decision. If he stays his decision (which I think is more likely than not), guess who will be standing in line to submit his application the next day...

ckyllo
August 10, 2004, 09:28 AM
there is a bigger picture to this. I have heard that it is estimated that 500 bills have gone through state congress in the same way in the last 10 years alone. safe to say many are spending bills, criminal stats, sentence guidelines and many social programs. there is the possibilty that hundreds if not thousands of convicts sitting in prison are checking to see if their law that put them there was passed in the same way. not only could it release alot of criminals on the street. it could give them footing to sue the state for damages for sitting in jail, lost wages and damages. funding that keeps cities going and many social programs could also go away also. it is a big can of worms to deal with if upheld by the court.

F4GIB
August 10, 2004, 01:32 PM
The latest e-blast from CCRN:

Repost Far and Wide

Hatch not playing his "A" Game!!

Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch's office today argued before Ramsey County district court judge John Finley for a stay pending appeal of his earlier ruling that the MCPPA was unconstitutionally enacted.
The stay, if granted, will leave the MPPA in operation until either the Appeals Court or Supreme Court reviews the decision.

According to the Judge Finley (we haven't seen a copy of the AG's brief), the AG's brief failed to even address two of the four required factors for seeking a stay. There was a failure to fully address the benefits of a stay (failing to point out that permit holders could now carry in schools), and a failure to address the benefits to the public good of granting a stay. There was a further failure to alledge any error in the district court's decision (the subject of the appeal) and the significant likelihood of reversal on appeal. Spectators mentioned that the oral presentation at the hearing was lackluster. The Judge seemed unimpressed with the argumentation in favor of the AG's motion for a stay.

Although we believe that a stay of the earlier order is desireable and appropriate; based on Judge Finley's comments and demeanor, it seems unlikely.


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Gray Peterson
August 10, 2004, 05:22 PM
Intervenor status?

SteelyDan
August 10, 2004, 11:31 PM
The article in the Strib this morning echoed the comments that Judge Finley was unimpressed with the State's submissions and presentation. We'll see what happens, but my level of optimism dropped about 25% today.

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