I’ve never met Minnesota state Senator John Marty, so I can’t judge which is the more likely possibility, but I do know that it’s been a long time since I’ve run across a lawmaker who’s so clueless about what existing gun laws look like.
Marty is proposing a bill mandating licensing for all gun owners; a proposal that the Democrat says would make it harder for juveniles to obtain a firearm.
Marty told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he is trying to target juveniles and young adults whom he said often have an easy path toward buying guns.
“For young people, the 15-year-olds who can easily access guns now and commit armed carjackings and murders and other things, you know, they would have to go through training and they would have to go through a process to do this,” said Marty. “And, we would have limits so that some of these 16-year-olds couldn’t go out and buy guns.”
On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co we delve deeply into Marty’s misconceptions, starting with his apparent belief that 15-year olds can currently walk into a gun store and purchase a handgun after going through a background check. Why else would Marty claim that the teens who “can easily access guns now” would “have to go through training” and “a process” going forward? Is his bill actually going to allow 15-year olds to lawfully purchase a firearm as long as they get a license first? I doubt it, given that a change of that magnitude would violate federal law as well as upend Minnesota state statutes.
Still, it’s hard to come up with any other conclusion, given that Marty went on to say that if his bill passes “some of these 16-year olds” would be unable to buy a gun.
Here’s a news flash for Sen. Marty: no 16-year old is legally purchasing a firearm in Minnesota right now, and mandating a license for all gun owners going forward would have no impact whatsoever on teens getting guns. Under both Minnesota and federal law, buyers of long guns must be 18-years of age and 21-years old to purchase a handgun at retail. And while state law is silent on a minimum age to purchase a firearm in private sales, state statute generally bars possession of a firearm by minors unless they have permission of a parent or guardian.
What’s more, Minnesota state law bars anyone from lawfully carrying a firearm, either openly or concealed, without a carry license, and you must be 21-years of age in order to obtain a carry license. In other words, there’s no way for a 16-year old to legally acquire and carry a gun in order to commit a carjacking, murder, or any other violent crime.
Sen. Marty isn’t letting a little thing like the truth stand in the way of his new anti-gun proposal, however. He even has a fallback argument, though honestly it’s just as dumb as claiming that a gun licensing mandate will prevent teens from illegally arming themselves.
“It seems to me that it is no more of a burden on lawful gun owners than driver’s licenses are a lawful burden on drivers,” said Marty.
It seems to me that the good people of Minnesota Senate District 66 would be better off voting for a turnip next time around rather than sending Marty back to Minneapolis for another four year term. Never mind that driving isn’t an enumerated right like the right to keep and bear arms, or that no drivers license is required to own a car or to drive it on your own private property (unlike Marty’s proposed gun licensing bill, which would apply to everyone who wants to have a gun in their private home). Marty’s whole schtick is that 15-year olds will be stopped from committing carjackings if there’s a gun licensing law in place. If that were true, then why are 15-year olds getting behind the wheel of a car they’ve stolen at gunpoint, given that you have to be 16-years old to get a drivers license in the state?
Amazingly, Marty seems completely unfamiliar with the concept of criminals not giving a sh*t about what the law actually entails, especially if they don’t fear the consequences of getting caught.
Unfortunately Marty was handily re-elected two years ago in a deep blue district, so odds are his current gig is his as long as he wants the job. There is one small bit of good news about Marty’s dumb idea, however. While the gun licensing bill does have a House co-sponsor, neither bill has received a single committee hearing this year, which at this point in the session is a pretty good sign that the legislation is going nowhere.
Juvenile crime is a serious problem in Minnesota these days, but Marty’s bill is a decidedly unserious solution. Rather than expecting 15-year olds to obey a gun licensing law when they’re already violating the state’s statutes on carjackings, aggravated assault, home invasion, and murder (not to mention the state’s carry laws), Marty should go back to the drawing board and come up with a bill that ensures young offenders face some genuine consequences for their gun-involved offenses.