Minn. House panel passes bills aiming to protect prosecutorsby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A Minnesota House committee approved two bills Thursday designed to make county prosecutors safer.
One would allow prosecutors to carry guns on the job. The other would increase the penalties for those who assault or kill prosecutors.
The vote came less than a month after County Attorney Tim Scannell was shot at the Cook County courthouse. He told the committee that he supports efforts to increase penalties against anyone who targets a prosecutor for violence.
"When you attack a prosecutor, you are not just attacking an ordinary citizen, you are making a political statement that the crimes against you, the crimes that the state believes you have committed, should somehow be nullified and that's what I think occurred in my situation," he said.
The firearms bill would exempt county attorneys from a state law that forbids local government employees from carrying guns.