When Minnesota’s permit to carry law was liberalized in 2003 the anti-self-defense crowd screamed there would be blood in the streets. Here we are 11 years latter and the number of permit holders in the state is way up but the violence permit holders were supposed to perpetuate is almost entirely nonexistent:
A gun safety instructor, shown in 2012, for a course that is required to have a concealed carry permit in Minnesota. A record 200,000 Minnesotans now have permits to carry handguns.
A record 200,000 Minnesotans now have permits to carry handguns, an increasingly diverse group that includes two men who recently made split-second, life-altering decisions to fire their weapons.
Opponents had feared that the law would lead to a surge in shootings and gun deaths. But Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension data show that fatalities involving permit holders are rare. In the past five years, there have been five deadly or nonlethal instances of justifiable use of a firearm by permit holders.
How can this be? Simple. Most people want to carry a firearm for self-defense, not to perpetuate violence. When it comes to carrying a firearm in Minnesota there are two options: legal or illegal. Carrying a gun illegally requires nothing more than carrying a gun but carrying a gun legally requires spending money and jumping through hoops. To legally carry a gun in Minnesota you have to take a class, apply for a permit, and hand your local Sheriff a payoff (often called a fee). Permit holders jump through those hoops because they want to avoid being harassed by the police. For that same reason most permit holders go out of their way to avoid violent situations.
What we have here in Minnesota are 200,000 people who want a means to defend themselves without worrying about police harassment.