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Permitless Carry Bill

Summary of the Permitless Carry Bill

This dangerous bill will repeal Minnesota state statutes mandating background checks, gun safety training, and other permit requirements to carry loaded firearms of any sort in public places. A permit will be “optional.”

Although the bill’s authors claim that it still prevents prohibited individuals from carrying guns in public, by eliminating the criminal background check requirement to get a permit to carry, this bill makes it easy for anyone to carry any type of gun, including handguns and semi-automatic military-style assault weapons, without having to prove they may legally do so. If passed, it will be impossible for law enforcement to PREVENT gun violence before it occurs by denying permits to dangerous individuals with histories of violence, lawlessness, or suicidal threats.

In addition, this bill defines “public places” as any governmental unit, as well a private, non-residential, non- business property that is regularly and frequently open to the public. This conflicts with current laws banning guns in many public and private places and creates confusion about whether guns could be banned in schools, courthouses, churches, synagogues, mosques, hospitals, college campuses and the State Fair grounds. Ironically, the bill specifically EXEMPTS gun shows, gun shops, gun ranges, and hunting lands from the definition of public places. So guns could be banned at a gun range, but not an elementary school!

Why this bill is so dangerous

This bill will prevent local law enforcement officers from fulfilling their sworn duty to protect the communities they serve. Currently, individuals who want carry permits need to pass a criminal background check and be approved by local law enforcement. Between 2006 and 2016, over 4,300 Minnesotans were denied the right to carry in Minnesota because of prior violent acts and suicidal threats. These individuals were judged by local law enforcement to be too dangerous to carry guns in public–but If this bill passes, they will be able to do so. Source: Bureau of Criminal Apprehension reports, 2006-2016.

This bill will allow people with NO EXPERIENCE OR TRAINING to carry loaded guns in public places. Hunters need a firearms safety certificate and a permit to carry loaded guns in woodlands and empty fields in Minnesota, but this bill will eliminate the training requirement to carry a loaded gun in crowded public places. It also casts real confusion about where guns could and couldn’t be carried or banned in our state.

This bill will NOT make Minnesota safer! Minnesota’s gun death rate is 8.2 per 100,000 people. The 17 states with permitless carry laws have an average gun death rate of 17 per 100,000 people—more than twice Minnesota’s rate. NONE of those states has a lower gun death rate than Minnesota. Source: https://wonder.cdc.gov.

The cost of a permit to carry is NOT prohibitive. A $100 permit lasting five years costs just $20 per year, less than the price of an annual deer hunting permit! And to get a hunting permit, you need to pass a gun safety course.

This bill represents a serious threat to law enforcement officers, who cannot possibly discern who is a “good guy with a gun” and who’s a “bad guy with a gun” during the few seconds they will have to respond to a lethal threat. If passed, this bill will force police officers to treat everyone they encounter as armed and dangerous.

States that have passed permitless carry legislation have seen a substantial increase in firearm violence.

In 2003, Alaska became the first state to enact permitless carry legislation. Aggravated assaults committed with a firearm have increased incrementally since the law went into effect. Since 2003, the rate of aggravated assaults committed with a firearm in the state increased by 82 percent by 2017. That increase represents 526 more gun related aggravated assaults committed in 2017 than in 2003.

Sources: Alaska Department of Public Safety, Statewide Services. 2003 data https://bit.ly/2Hy475w. 2017 data https://bit.ly/2G0nq4R. Rates were calculated using population data from the United States Census Bureau.

Since Arizona enacted permitless carry legislation in 2010, the rate of aggravated assaults committed with a firearm in the state increased by 39 percent by 2017. That increase represents 1,797 more gun related aggravated assaults committed in 2017 than in 2010.

Sources: Phoenix, Arizona: Arizona Department of Public Safety. 2010 data https://bit.ly/2Uffq3Q. 2017 data https://bit.ly/2Rds4hV. Rates were calculated using population data from the United States Census Bureau.

After Missouri passed a permitless carry bill in January 2017, the city of St. Louis experienced a nearly 25 percent increase in the rate of aggravated assaults with a gun in 2017 compared to 2016. That represents 484 more gun related aggravated assaults in 2017 than in 2016.

Source: Crime Comparison Based on UCR Reporting Neighborhood Report. City of St. Louis, MO: Metropolitan Police Department.January 8, 2018. https://bit.ly/2HDE8tA. Rates were calculated using population data from the United States Census Bureau.

Protect Minnesota’s analysis of permit to carry application denials in Minnesota showed that only 1.2% were denied.

Our current permit to carry requirements are NOT onerous! Protect Minnesota obtained Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) reports on permit to carry applications submitted to the Sheriff’s department in each Minnesota county for the years 2006-2016 and analyzed them for overall trends and specific details related to permit denials.

Over the 10-year period, 2006-2016

  • Total permit to carry applications in the State of Minnesota — 364,171
  • Total Approved — 359,830 (98.8%)
  • Total Denied, Suspended, Revoked, Voided, or Cancelled — 4,341 (1.2%)


Analysis of Reasons for Denials

Of the total number of denials in this time period 4,341), Sheriff departments provided the BCA with specific reasons for 2,323. Those reasons break down into the following categories:

Denial Reason and % of total

  • Suicide/Suicidal Threats 32.82%
  • Criminal Assault 24.32%
  • Conflict with Law Enforcement 14.45%
  • Firearms Violations 11.42%
  • Domestic Abuse 10.89%
  • Terroristic Threats 2.12%
  • Predatory/Stalking/Sex Crimes 2.02%
  • Child Abuse 1.96%

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