ST. PAUL, Minn. (Feb. 17, 2022) – A bill filed in the Minnesota House would legalize permitless carry of concealed firearms in the state, fostering an environment hostile to federal gun control.
Rep. Erik Mortensen filed House Bill 3303 (HF3303) on Feb. 3. Under the proposed law, anyone who is legally allowed to own a gun could carry it concealed without a state-issued license. Currently, Minnesota gun owners must be 21 or older and submit an application to their county sheriff to obtain a license.
Under the legislation, gun owners would still have the option to obtain a concealed-carry license if they wished to do so.
EFFECT ON FEDERAL GUN CONTROL
While permitless carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, the widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway.
The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”
Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.
State actions such as passing HF268 would lower barriers for those wanting to the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.
HF3303 has been referred to the Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Division, where it must pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process.