Minnesota Supreme Court Upholds State’s Gun-Carrying Law

AUSTIN, TX - JANUARY 1: Art and Diana Ramirez of Austin with their pistols in custom-made holsters during and open carry rally at the Texas State Capitol on January 1, 2016 in Austin, Texas. On January 1, 2016, the open carry law takes effect in Texas, and 2nd Amendment activists hold an open carry rally. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

From The Epoch Times:

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that a state law requiring individuals to possess a permit to carry a handgun in public is constitutional and doesn’t contravene the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The ruling comes as President Joe Biden presses for a ban on so-called assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and for more background checks, as Biden’s controversial nomination of anti-gun activist David Chipman to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) flounders in the U.S. Senate.

This particular case however, State of Minnesota v. Hatch, was decided on August 4 by the Minnesota Supreme Court.

In 2018, Nathan Ernest Hatch’s truck broke down while he was driving to work.

When Metropolitan Airport Commission police stopped to render assistance, Hatch volunteered that “he might have a handgun in a backpack in the back seat of his truck,” and that “he did not have a permit to carry a pistol,” according to court documents.

Hatch was arrested after police found a loaded, uncased pistol in his bag. He was charged with a gross misdemeanor.

Hatch filed a pretrial motion to strike down the permit-to-carry statute, arguing the requirement that an individual obtain a permit to carry a firearm violates the Second Amendment. The district court denied his motion. Hatch then waived his right to a jury trial and submitted his case to the district court on facts agreed upon by the defense and the prosecution.

The district court found Hatch guilty and sentenced him to 180 days in the county workhouse but stayed the execution of the sentence for two years. On appeal, Hatch argued that the permit-to-carry statute violates the Second Amendment because it fails to survive strict scrutiny, the highest level of judicial review.

The state argued that the law was subject only to a lower standard of judicial review, that of intermediate scrutiny, which requires merely that a statute be substantially related to an important governmental objective.

Because the court of appeals “did not resolve the parties’ dispute because it concluded the permit-to-carry statute survives the more stringent standard of strict scrutiny,” the Minnesota Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, that court stated in its opinion.

The court held that there was an “undisputed compelling governmental interest in ensuring public safety and the narrowly tailored provisions of the statute to achieve that interest,” and that therefore “the permit-to-carry statute withstands strict scrutiny,” and “does not violate the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

The court observed in its opinion that getting a carry permit is easy in Minnesota.

“Indeed, it is hard to imagine a less restrictive firearm permitting scheme than the one provided by the permit-to-carry statute and its related provisions. Law-abiding citizens over the age of 21 need only show that they have passed a gun safety course and that they are not a danger to themselves or others to receive a permit to carry a handgun in public,” the justices wrote.

It wasn’t clear at press time whether Hatch will appeal the decision.

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