State handgun carry permits nearly double

Published 10:51 am Saturday, March 1, 2014

ST. PAUL  — The number of handgun carry permits has nearly doubled in the past year in Minnesota, according to data collected by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

The agency released its annual report Friday summarizing the data it’s collected from law enforcement agencies around Minnesota. It said 60,471 permits were issued in 2013, compared to 31,657 issued in 2012. Although 60,471 permits were approved last year, there were 62,950 permit applications.

Individuals who want a handgun carry permit apply at their local sheriff’s office and must provide proof of approved firearms training. Sheriff’s departments then check FBI, state and local records for any disqualifying information. Individuals who are denied a permit have the right to appeal.

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The agency said the total number of handgun carry permits in Minnesota is about 165,000. Minnesota law enforcement agencies report that individuals with permits committed 1,023 crimes or offenses in 2013. More than half were drunken driving or other traffic offenses.

The top counties for permits issued last year are Hennepin, Anoka, Dakota, Ramsey and Washington.

Law enforcement agencies are then required to report their data on gun permit applications, issuances and denials to the BCA.