More than 42,000 people are licensed to carry handguns in public in Minnesota, says the Minneapolis Star Tribune, quoting the the state Department of Public Safety. The total represents more than 1 percent of adults in the state; it falls far short of legislative estimates that 90,000 permits would be issued within three years of enactment of the 2003 law that made permits available to people 21 and older who get handgun training and pass a background check.
Since passage of the law, which replaced a system that gave police chiefs and sheriffs wide discretion to deny permits, the number of permits has more than tripled. The increase has been more marked in the Twin Cities area, where officials previously kept a tight rein on permits. Statewide, 9,064 permits were granted last year, 177 were denied and 13 were suspended, revoked. or canceled. The most common reason for denial — invoked 147 times last year — was a finding that the applicant was a danger to himself or to others. Other reasons included convictions involving violence or drugs and commitment for mental illness.