BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) today congratulated gun owners in Minnesota for reforming the state’s concealed carry law, and applauded Gov. Tim Pawlenty for signing the bill.

“Gov. Pawlenty did the responsible thing in signing this common-sense legislation,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “Minnesota’s new law affirms and reinforces the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms for their personal defense, and affirms that the Second Amendment protects an individual civil right. Gun owners should congratulate Senators Pat Pariseau of Farmington and Julianne Ortman of Chanhassen for putting the issue in perspective. Likewise, gun rights experts Joe Olson and David Gross must be recognized for their perseverance to get this reform measure passed into law.

“Gov. Pawlenty deserves appreciation for immediately signing this bill,” Gottlieb continued. “He courageously ignored hysterical rhetoric from anti-gunners in the Democratic Farm Labor party and the press to make Minnesotans safer from crime.”

Minnesota becomes the 35th state to adopt a “shall issue” concealed carry statute. States with similar laws have shown significant declines in violent crime, with few, if any, cases of wrongdoing by citizens who have concealed pistol licenses. There is also a reciprocity provision to recognize licenses issued to citizens of other states.

CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron pointed to the obvious, noting: “Law-abiding armed citizens are not very likely to misbehave with their firearms. In case after case, legally-armed citizens have proven themselves not only to be responsible, but have also stopped crimes in progress and saved lives, including their own. Unarmed people never have that option. They are simply victims.”

“Skeptics in Minnesota will join the doomsayers in Michigan, Florida, Texas and elsewhere that sensible concealed carry laws have been enacted,” Waldron predicted. “They’ve been proven wrong everywhere else, and they will again be proven wrong by Minnesota’s responsible armed citizens.”