Minnesota Carry Permit Applications Up by More Than 6,000

photo from startribune.com

The number of residents getting concealed carry permits in Minnesota is soaring so far in 2016 as the state experiences its second largest surge in 3 years, according to this startribune.com story.

There are at least 221,712 active permit holders in the state, a 6,189 increase from December 2015, according to a report from the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the story says.

The spike isn't the largest, with 7,213 new permit holders seen in March 2013, the story says.

Similar spikes in the number of people acquiring permits has been seen after prominent mass shootings, such as the November Paris terrorist attacks and the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California.

The Minnesota Citizens Personal Protection Act was passed in 2003, making permits to carry a firearm available to any adult 21 and over who successfully completes training and passes multiple criminal, mental health, and substance abuse background checks. Before 2003, permits were issued at the discretion of law enforcement, and numbered about 12,000 statewide, the story says. That number has steadily grown ever since, and is rapidly approaching 250,000 today, the story says.

Permits are valid for five years and must be renewed.

"It's not always a reaction to mass shootings, although there is some of that," Rothman said in the story. "But probably the bigger part is the reaction when people hear about the political rhetoric following a horrible murder…that's what gets people very interested in exercising their rights."

In the past six months, the number of CCW permits in the state has grown by 20,000. Today, about one in 19 eligible Minnesota adults have a permit to carry, the story says.

Employees have been moved from other departments and staff hours have been increased in various departments throughout the state to handle the increase in workload, the story says.