The Red Star 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.