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New recommendations likely on guns in Minnesota Capitol

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An advisory panel on security at the Minnesota Capitol later this month will refine recommendations related to people carrying guns in the building.

One proposal from the committee's chairwoman, Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon: The adoption of a standard form that gun owners would have to complete before they could bring a weapon into the Capitol. The new document would be a more precise form than one currently in use, the Associated Press reports. A hearing on the issue is set for Nov. 25.

Currently, the Department of Public Safety has received notice from more than 800 people that they might be carrying a gun into the Capitol, but the department does not check in all cases to determine if the gun owner has a valid permit, and it doesn't track guns in and out of the building, the Associated Press notes.

The issue has received new scrutiny in recent months in the wake of recent high-profile mass shootings nationwide.

The Minnesota Capitol is one of 14 states that allow gun owners to bring the weapons in the building, and 27 states – not including Minnesota – use metal detectors to screen visitors for weapons, WCCO reports. Metal detectors and more armed security are measures under consideration, WCCO notes.

Other high-tech security improvements are being made as part of a three-year renovation project.

Passions ran high among people on both sides of the guns-at-the-Capitol issue at a public legislative hearing in August.

KSTP summed up the debate: Gun rights advocates say they shouldn't have to check their Second Amendment rights at the Capitol doors, and critics say people should feel free from intimidation as they participate in the democratic process.

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