St. Paul, Minn. (Jan. 13, 2022) – A bill filed in the Minnesota Senate would remove permit requirements to carry within the state. The enactment of a so-called “constitutional carry” bill would also foster an environment more hostile to federal gun control.
Sen. Mark Koran (R) and three other Republican cosponsors filed Senate Bill 88 (SF88) on Jan. 9. Under the proposed law, anyone who is legally allowed to own a gun could carry it without a state-issued permit, though they would still be able to apply for one.
Currently, Minnesota gun owners must apply for a five-year permit at their county sheriff’s office.
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 SF88 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.
SF88 has been referred to the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, where it must receive a hearing and pass by a majority vote before moving forward in the legislative process.
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