SAINT PAUL, MINN. – The number of valid Minnesota carry permits is now 221,712, an increase of more than 6,000 in the last month, according to figures released by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
That’s the second-largest increase ever. The largest increase occurred in March 2013, in the wake of calls for increased gun control following the murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
The sharp increase following the San Bernadino, California mass murder — and subsequent calls for more restrictions on firearms — was entirely predictable, according to GOCRA President Andrew Rothman. “Nothing gets people more interested in exercising their rights than the threat of having them taken away,” he said, noting a similar increase after Sandy Hook.
GOCRA’s founder and chairman, Professor Joseph E. Olson, emphasized that although police arrived at the San Bernadino scene in under five minutes, the killers had already taken 14 lives and fled the scene.
“The only solution to a mass murder incident is instant counterfire,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who is shooting back: police, security, or an ordinary citizen. All that matters is that someone is. As history shows, after the first armed resistance, the murderer will almost always either give up, or run for cover — and often commit suicide. Either way, the presence of instant counterfire ends the murdering. Nothing else does.”
The number of active permits has grown by more than 20,000 in the last six months, a 9.3% increase.
Those numbers mean that more than one in 19 eligible Minnesota adults has a Minnesota Permit to Carry (approximately 3% of Minnesota permits are held by residents of other states).
Since the passage of the Minnesota Citizens Personal Protection Act in 2003, permits to carry a firearm have been available to any adult 21 and over who successfully completes training and passes multiple criminal, mental health, and substance abuse background checks. Prior to that law, permits were issued at the discretion of law enforcement, and numbered about 12,000 statewide in 2003.
While the “Minnesota Permit to Carry A Pistol,” commonly known as a “Carry Permit,” is sometimes mistakenly referred to as a “concealed carry” permit, the law allows either open or concealed carry by licensed individuals.
Data is summarized from monthly reports issued by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Copies of the last seven years of reports may be accessed here:
We have tabulated the monthly numbers here:
Population percentages are based on a U.S. Census Bureau 2015 estimate of Minnesota population at 5,489,594 and 2010 age demographics.