ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP/WCCO) — Minnesota sheriffs have issued a record number of permits to people who want to carry handguns in public, with 31,657 permits granted in 2012.
That's a considerable spike from recent years. In 2011, there were just shy of 21,000 five-year permits issued.
An annual report by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension that tallies the permit data was released Friday. It includes a county-by-county breakdown of permit holders.
NewsRadio 830 WCCO's Susie Jones Reports
Gun Permits/Steve Hovland
The number of valid permits in Minnesota now tops 125,000.
Gun owner Steve Hovland thinks possible changes in gun laws are a major reason for the jump.
"I've been a hunter all my life, and now I've bought some weapons I would have never bought because this issue came up," Hovland said. "If they eliminate the tactical weapons, then anybody that wants to use weapons is going to go to the hunting weapons."
Last year, there were 33,816 requests for permits. Fewer than 300 were denied and roughly 1,800 applications were pending when the report was produced.
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