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Associated Press, Published February 23 2013

MN sees spike in visitors carrying guns inside Capitol

ST. PAUL — Handgun holstered on his hip, Anthony Triemert showed up to the Capitol on Friday for another day of legislative hearings on various gun control proposals.

“I just came down here today to show support for Second Amendment rights,” he said.

But Triemert's right to carry is safe in this building, where anyone with a state handgun permit can bring a loaded weapon inside the seat of state government as long as they notify the Minnesota Department of Public Safety in advance.

With the gun control debate ruling legislative sessions nationwide and in Minnesota House and Senate committees, those notifications have spiked, as hundreds of pro-gun activists have streamed into recent hearings.

Between Jan. 18 and Feb. 22, 150 people notified DPS of the intent to carry their weapons on the Capitol complex. By contrast, only 56 such notifications were filed in all of 2012. And since the state's current permit law took effect in 2006, a total of 723 individuals have notified the agency.