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Pawlenty wastes no time signing handgun bill

ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty's pen was faster than a speeding bullet. A couple hours after Minnesota senators wrapped up 7½ hours of debate on a more lenient pistol-packing law Monday night, the Republican governor signed the measure into law.

ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty's pen was faster than a speeding bullet.

A couple hours after Minnesota senators wrapped up 7½ hours of debate on a more lenient pistol-packing law Monday night, the Republican governor signed the measure into law.

The law requires county sheriffs to issue handgun permits to most adults. Now, sheriffs and chiefs of police have lots of latitude in issuing permits.

"Some have abused this discretion," Sen. Gen Olson, R-Minnetrista, said as the Senate began its debate marathon.

Democrats complained that more handguns -- 90,000 according to one legislative estimate -- allowed under the bill would make the state more dangerous.

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Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, said Minnesotans must protect themselves.

"There is no possible way at that moment that government can protect a threatened citizen," Limmer said.

The law takes effect May 28.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Don Davis at (651) 290-0707

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