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Published April 08, 2012, 08:08 PM

Minnesota bill may allow prosecutors to be armed

Clay County (WDAY TV) -- A law that would arm prosecutors in Minnesota has flown through the legislature and now sits on Governor Dayton's desk. But how could it affect us here?

Clay County (WDAY TV) -- A law that would arm prosecutors in Minnesota has flown through the legislature and now sits on Governor Dayton's desk. But how could it affect us here?

The bill breezed through the Minnesota House and just passed the Senate by a vote of 53-10, but if it does become law, it would likely have little effect here in Clay county.

Michelle Lawson/Asst. Clay County Attorney: "There is an exception for the courts, that the court can order no guns in the courthouse and our courthouse has such a standing order."

Not only does the courthouse have that stipulation, but also a metal detector and armed Sheriff's Deputies, something many smaller counties do not.

The bill gained steam after an attorney was shot in Cook County by a man he had just prosecuted.

And Lawson hopes, if the bill is signed into law, prosecutors will go through extensive training.

Lawson: "I would hope that any county attorney that would come to that conclusion, would also come to the conclusion that they train with law enforcement about the proper way to handle that gun."

Bill Bergquist/Clay County Sheriff: "Even on the range, if they wanted our assistance, I would be more than happy to assist them with anything they needed and would feel comfortable doing."

The bill states prosecutors would only be allowed to carry the gun while on duty, as long as they have a permit.

The new law would take effect the day after the bill is signed.

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