ST. PAUL (WCCO) — As part of a new law signed by Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota prosecutors now have the right to carry firearms — even in the courthouse.
County attorneys say they are threatened every day, and it’s not hard to believe. In fact, a County Attorney was shot in Grand Marais earlier this year.
Until now, they were banned by law from carrying weapons.
This new law will give county attorneys and their assistants the right to carry guns in their offices, in some courthouses and in courtrooms, if a judge allows it.
At a bill signing ceremony Thursday, County Attorneys say people charged with crimes often blame prosecutors for their predicament, and sometimes take it too far.
“I think most of us try to minimize that threat. It would be hard to go to work every day thinking, ‘who’s going to shoot me today?’ or ‘who’s going to blow me up today?’ or ‘who’s going to put a hit on me today?’ It makes it difficult to go to work every day thinking like that. So, I don’t think a lot of us like to think about it. It does occur,” said Rice County Attorney Paul Baumaster.
Prosecutors say they would also like to see enhanced penalties for threats or violence against prosecutors.