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Gun law's sponsor acknowledges stealing as teenager

St. Paul, Minn. — (AP) The lawmaker who successfully pushed for changes in Minnesota's handgun laws acknowledged Friday that a crime she committed as a teenager could keep her from getting a permit.

In response to media questions, Rep. Lynda Boudreau said she was convicted of stealing money from two stores in her hometown of Faribault.

"At the age of 16, I made some bad choices," said Boudreau, R-Faribault.

She and a girlfriend stole money from two neighborhood stores that no longer are in business. She said they didn't use weapons but walked into the shops and told the clerks to give them money. They took less than $100 total, Boudreau said.

The pair ran away to Minneapolis, but later returned home and turned themselves in. Boudreau said she paid the shops back and completed probation.

"It was a stupid, rebellious thing," she told reporters. Boudreau also mentioned the incident Friday in a brief address to her colleagues on the House floor, a day after KMSP-TV first reported on her past.

Boudreau sponsored the bill that revised Minnesota's law about carrying concealed handguns in public. She doesn't believe her past would automatically exclude her from getting a permit because she doesn't consider it a crime of violence.

The law, which takes effect May 28, requires sheriffs to issue handgun permits to most mentally competent, law-abiding adults 21 or older who complete training.

But, Boudreau said, the Rice County sheriff could use her juvenile record to deny a permit. She said she probably would apply for one.

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