Minnesotans are getting their permits in record numbers. The total number of Minnesotans who have a Permit to Carry license at the end of 2013 was 165,295 out of an estimated 5,420,380 citizens (3%). The number of permits issued in 2013 nearly doubled from 2012. These numbers (raw numbers here) are reported by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety and are available to anyone who cares to look at them. In 2013, there were 62,950 Permit to Carry licenses and 60,471 licenses were issued. Hennepin county denied the most number of permits – 153, followed by Ramsey county at 103. The two most common reasons for denials were “danger to self or others” (418) and “other reasons” (232).
In 2013, it appears that there were zero instances of the justifiable use of firearms by permit holders. From a financial perspective, the permit to carry system, across all 87 counties, generates $1,777,166 in profit for the various county sheriff’s departments. The Department of Public Safety raked in $567,185 in 2013 from the permit to carry system here in Minnesota.
20% of the permits issued last year were to women. This is great to see. We are strong believers in women carrying firearms. Our belief that women carrying is beneficial to them is grounded in solid research. Using data for all 3,054 U.S. counties from 1977 to 1994, University of Chicago Prof. John Lott found that for each additional year a shall-issue concealed handgun law is in effect, the rate of murder declines by 3%, robbery by over 2%, and rape by 2%. American women use a firearm to deter a rapist 416 times each day, which is 12 times more often than rapists use guns (http://www.mcrgo.org/mcrgo/doc_pdf/mi_cchl_brochure.pdf). Since 1930 the US population has doubled and the number of guns has quadrupled, gun accidents are down. Gun ownership went up 69% between 1974 and 1988. Accidents during the same time decreased 27%. (John Lott) Only 2% of defensive gun uses result in shots fired. (Gary Kleck)
Since 2003, Minnesota has experienced overall decreases in the rates of murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault from 2008 to 2012 (5 year period). For example, in 2008, the number of rapes reported were 2,292. In 2012, that number was 2,060. Meanwhile, the number of permits increased from 20,783 issued in 2008 to 31,657 issued in 2012. While violent crime increased from 2012 to 2013, the longer trend rates show that violent crime is going down in Minnesota while the number of permit holders is increasing. Whether this is a causal relationship can be debated, but based on John Lott’s various books (such as More Guns, Less Crime), it seems reasonable to at least draw a level of correlation between these two trends.
In nearly no other country on earth do you have the right and freedom to have your own weapons. Be sure to exercise your right to keep and bear arms and if possible, get your Minnesota Permit to Carry license. In our view, legally carrying a firearm contributes to an increasingly safe society.