by Harry Niska
Conceal and carry struck down by district court
Minnesota's conceal and carry gun law was declared unconstitutional today by a Ramsey County District judge.
Ruling in a lawsuit brought by several churches, Judge John Finley wrote in his decision that it was unconstitutional for the 2002 Legislature to bundle the conceal and carry gun language with a "totally unrelated bill relating to the Department of Natural Resources."
He said the state Constitution prohibits laws from embracing more than one subject.
Minneapolis attorney David Lillehaug, who represented Adath Jeshurun Congregation in challenging the gun law, said Finley ruled that passage of Minnesota Citizens Personal Protection Act of 2002, known as Senate File 842, was "contrary to Minnesota's tradition of open government."
Finley issued his order about 11 a.m. and was unavailable for comment on the immediate effects of the ruling. Under the law, citizens who obtain a permit are allowed to carry a concealed gun.
Minnesota Attorney General Michael Hatch said he will appeal Finley's ruling. Hatch said he was still researching the opinion, but believes that conceal and carry permits obtained since the law was passed are still valid.
He said the whole issue of laws embracing more than one subject has been in debate for the past 10 years.
Hatch also said he is not aware of any ill effects from the gun law.
As far as I can tell, there is no copy of this decision available online.