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Student demonstrators in the rainy weather protesting outside of Coffman Memorial Union on Tuesday.
Photos from April 23 protests
Published April 23, 2024

State lawmakers aim to ease gun laws for military members

Some state Republican lawmakers say that Minnesota National Guard and U.S. Armed Forces members shouldn’t be required to secure a permit to carry a firearm in the state, the Star Tribune reported.


Proposed Legislation allowing servicemembers to do so was announced by Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa and Rep. Josh Heintzeman, R-Nisswa, FOX 9 reported.


The proposal comes in the wake of attacks on military recruiting facilities in Tennessee, according to FOX 9.


“Like our police force, military servicemen and women are highly trained in firearm use and safety, and have undergone extensive background checks in order to serve our country,” Gazelka told FOX 9 “The least we can do is give them the ability to defend themselves.”


But not everyone agrees with the proposal, according to the Star Tribune.


“It’s an effort to roll back safeguards we have now with conceal-carry,” Heather Martens, executive director of Protect Minnesota, a gun control group, told the Star Tribune, adding that military personnel should not be exempt from the state’s gun laws.


Six states — Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee and Indiana — moved to arm National Guard members to protect military facilities and civilians after the attack in Tennessee, NBC News reported.


Gov. Mark Dayton said he won’t order any security improvements at military or Minnesota National Guard facilities in the state, the Star Tribune reported.


The orders by the six governors were prompted by the shooting deaths of five service members last Thursday that spanned two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn., according to NBC News.

The gunman, Mohammod Abdulazeez, 24, was killed by police the same day, the Boston Globe reported.  

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