Vikes Dodge A Bullet

Long before the Vikings have to worry about a drunken fan with a gun being a problem, Minnesota legislators and Metrodome officials will have at least one test-case guinea pig to muddy the waters.

Today is a day that many Minnesotans have been discussing for the last few weeks. As you read this, Minnesota's carry and conceal gun law takes effect – even though it may be amended by the time you read this. Using other states' guidelines as a reference point, Minnesota rushed into a gun law that left many people – including those surrounding the Vikings – in a sticky situation.

As the Minnesota Legislature met late into the night Tuesday in special session, the gun conceal and carry law was likely to be changed by today – its effective date. Under the wording of the law originally passed, anyone allowed to carry a firearm had to be informed both by signage and by personal statement that a firearm would be inadmissible on a given property. With a Minnesota Twins game scheduled for noon today Central Time, whether or not a revised law has been passed or not won't matter. The Metrodome will be gun-free – or at least as far as anyone knows without metal detectors or pat searches.

VU has been told that Metrodome officials are prepared to live up to any extent of the law. As it stands today, from what a solid VU source with the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission has told us, signs will be posted at every entrance expressly prohibiting any firearms being brought into the stadium. In addition, public address announcements will run continuously saying the same thing. Under the current version of the conceal and carry law, both printed and spoken denials are needed. By the time many of you read this, that may well be changed. However, it doesn't answer the simplest question – will there be compliance? By the time the Vikings play their first home preseason game, don't be surprised to see metal detectors. They're needed now more than ever. As much as those who feel the need to carry firearms, the odds of them leaving them unattended in their vehicles might be unlikely.

The only good thing for Vikes fans in all of this is that some Twins fan will get busted – bet the house on it – with a handgun and metal detectors will be in place before it becomes an issue for the 2003 Vikings season.

WEDNESDAY NOTES
* The Vikings open the first of 11 developmental camp sessions today. These are voluntary camps and will include veteran free-agent signees, undrafted free agents and, from what VU has been told, first-round draft pick Kevin Williams.
* Attorneys for Randy Moss have said that the incident stemming into a lawsuit from a traffic control officer was precipitated by her actions – not those of Moss. While many questions remain about specifics of the incident, it is clear that the officer went beyond the scope of her duties – sitting on the hood of Moss' car to try to prevent him from moving. Bottom line – Moss can afford good attorneys.

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