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Update: No guns, no set signs for Minnesota churches

Nearly five years after Edina [Minn.] Community Lutheran Church led a legal challenge to a “conceal-carry” gun law, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled unanimously in February that religious groups can ban guns from their property—without following provisions that specify how to post or word signs (August 2003, "Minn. church gains reprieve on gun law").

PistolThe law allows people to carry firearms into any private establishment unless signs that it “bans guns in these premises” are posted and people are “personally informed” of the ban at all entrances. Edina’s sign — “Blessed are the peacemakers. Firearms are prohibited in this place of sanctuary” — didn’t fit state requirements.

The Appeals Court agreed with Edina’s contention that the law placed an undue burden on religious groups and infringed on their property rights. It also allows them to ban guns in their parking lots, day-care centers and other charitable, educational and nonprofit facilities they own. Erik Strand, a pastor of Edina, said, “We’re especially thankful that the court recognized and protected our congregation’s witness to peacemaking and nonviolence in all relationships.”

But in early March the state filed an appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

“We’re disappointed that the state is spending more time and energy and money on this issue,” Strand said. “But we don’t mind waiting. The case is important as a witness to the gospel.”


Comments

Bruce W. Stanton

Bruce W. Stanton

Posted at 5:24 pm (U.S. Eastern) 4/1/2008

The Edina Community Lutheran Church may have felt it necessary to challenge this law, but they have now identified themselves as a 'gun free' zone to anyone who would wish to do them harm.

 /s/Bruce Stanton

George J. Dagis

George J. Dagis

Posted at 7:59 pm (U.S. Eastern) 4/1/2008

If the churches refuse to recognize the peoples' rigts; how can they expect the people to respect their rights when the time comes ?

Jack Labusch

Jack Labusch

Posted at 3:54 am (U.S. Eastern) 4/4/2008

I'm not a gun owner myself, but have no objection to strong protections for those who wish to lawfully own and carry handguns.  I've felt that way ever since a relative of mine expressed fear for her personal safety while taking her garbage out early mornings.  Ohio's fairly recently liberalized gun carry law has been successful according to press accounts.  I'd like to think controversies similar to the Edina case might be resolved by a good-faith working out of differences and a shared sense of citizenship. 

Bryan Simmons

Bryan Simmons

Posted at 4:25 pm (U.S. Eastern) 4/7/2008

I would draw peoples' attention to the church shooting that occured at New Life Church in Colorado.  Even with armed security guards, it did not deter a gunman from entering and opening fire.  Whether or not you beef up security or announce you are a "wepaons free" zone, you will encounter opposition and suffering for the gospel. 

I applaud the creative way this church in Edina is supporting non-violence on their premises in response to this law.  But let us not delude ourselves into thinking this or anything else will prevent those who want to harm us from doing so.

Steve

Steve

Posted at 9:44 pm (U.S. Eastern) 11/10/2008

Criminals will not be deterred by gun bans or signs if they intend to do harm.  That's why they are "criminals".  Gun bans only disarm the good guys, so the ban is just illogical.

 



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