Minnesota's recent government shutdown may open the door for the mentally ill to legally carry handguns, according to Fox News.
The closure of the state's Department of Health and Human Services has left deputies unable to check a potential gun owner's mental health status prior to issuing him or her a license. Under normal circumstances, HHS would contact county authorities if an applicant has ever been hospitalized by court order. Passing a mental health check is part of the state's criteria for its 10-point background check
that also involves a review of criminal history
and driving record. KMSP-TV reports that sheriffs are issuing a letter with each permit awarded since the shutdown that explains why a standard check could not be conducted, and that each person is at risk for disqualification if new information arises once the government reopens. However, Sheriff Dave Bellows believes there's not much to worry about. "I just want to emphasize that the number of people that have ever been disqualified through this one particular check is extremely small," Bellows told Fox News. "Is there is risk? Yeah. But it's a very small risk."