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Senate backs concealed weapons in churches but not in schools

BISMARCK -- Senate lawmakers said Thursday that concealed weapons should not be allowed in schools, but they are welcome in churches.

The Senate voted 27-18 against House Bill 1215, which would have allowed school boards to decide who can carry a concealed weapon on school grounds.

But House Bill 1283 was approved 28-17. That legislation allows religious leaders to determine who can carry into their churches. Law enforcement would have to be told who is carrying a firearm.

The votes came during floor discussion over six firearm-related bills that included the passage of legislation to require nonviolent felons to file a petition with the state's attorney where the offense occurred to gain their gun rights and allow concealed weapons in most gaming sites.

Two other bills that failed include one that would have prohibited enforcement of new federal fire