Sandra Peterson's school gun crackdown OK'd by House

Minnesota Rep. Sandra Peterson

Minnesota Rep. Sandra Peterson

Judges handling cases in which someone illegally brings a gun to school will have the option of imposing tougher sentences under a bill headed to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's desk.

The bill, HF3423, sponsored by DFL Rep. Sandra Peterson of New Hope, passed the House 111-18 on Thursday. A similar Senate bill, SF2339, sponsored by DFL. Sen. Ann Rest, also of New Hope, has already passed.

Peterson's bill would increase the maximum penalty for knowingly possessing, storing or keeping a firearm on school grounds from two years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine to five years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine. It also downgrades the possible sentence for someone who "uses or brandishes a replica firearm or a BB gun while knowingly on school property" to a misdemeanor.

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