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Minnesota Sees Another Record Year For Gun Permits

Originally published March 1

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- For the second year in a row, Minnesota sheriffs issued a record number of permits to carry in 2021, according to data from the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

The 106,488 permits issued last year were the most since Minnesota enacted the Personal Protection Act in 2003, the BCA's annual permit to carry report shows. In 2020, sheriffs handed out 96,554 permits.

Hennepin County issued twice as many permits as any other county (16,888). Ramsey (7,467), Anoka (6,988), Dakota (6,744) and Washington (5,761) were the other counties in the top five.

In total, Minnesota has 387,013 valid firearms permits. In 2021, 176 permits were suspended, 40 were revoked, 1,165 were voided and 1,627 were denied.

Permit holders committed 3,863 crimes last year, the BCA said, though only about 2% of those crimes involved a firearm.

Matt Dufner from Hopkins got his permit in November. He practiced shooting Tuesday at the Stock and Barrel Gun Club in Chanhassen.

Guns, Handguns, Gun Permits, Gun Stores, Gun Sales
(credit: CBS)

"Definitely have taken classes," Dufner said. "Obviously with permit to carry you learn a lot about obviously disassembling a firearm and what could go wrong."

A woman next to Dufner at the range had also gotten her permit in November.

"It doesn't surprise me, there's been a tremendous surge in the interest in the shooting sports," said Kevin Vick, the president of Stock and Barrel and the club's senior instructor.

Applying for a permit to carry in Minnesota requires training in the safe use of a handgun from a certified instructor.

"The first thing we always recommend is that you always take at least a basic handgun course … just to familiarize them with firearms and with the four basic safety rules," Vick said.

He says the number of people taking classes the last two years who are new to the sport has tripled. At Frontiersman Sports in St. Louis Park, a gun store, salespeople say three to four people a day come in who have never owned a gun.

Safety concerns are the most common reasons they're hearing. The store says they regularly turn customers away if it's clear they don't know what they're doing.

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