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Statehouse Tightening Security, Closing Entrances

Eleven of the 13 entrances to the statehouse will close June 4, with metal detectors added to two others. A study group has been reviewing how to tighten security at the Statehouse for two years. Its conclusions are still a work in progress, and include exceptions.

Guns, explosives, knives, and chemical sprays will be banned. But judges and legislators will still be allowed to carry guns. A state law specifically allows judges to carry firearms. Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Edward Najam, a member of the counterterrorism task force, says judges have been asking for stepped-up security since 1996.

Brian Renner with the department of administration says screening standards will be looser than at airports or the city-county building. He says some small pocket knives may be allowed in, on a case-by-case basis. Officials are still discussing whether to follow the policy to the letter for elementary-school tour groups. Similar restrictions take effect at the neighboring Indiana government center buildings after January 1, 2008.

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