The 2019 Permit to Carry Report is here

March 2, 2020

A handgun

When it comes to Minnesota’s Permit to Carry annual reports, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is like a scribe: It takes information reported by local law enforcement agencies and compiles a report. In fact, firearms permits seem to be one of the topics people are most interested in. Web pages about permits to carry regularly account for about half of the top 10 pages visited on the BCA’s site.

The 2019 Permit to Carry Report was released March 2. Among interesting data tidbits, the report shows that the number of permits issued is actually down from past years: 51,404 permits to carry were issued in 2019, compared to 66,053 in 2018. The number of active permits changes every day, though, because they’re good for five years from the date of issuance as long as the permit holder passes a background check every year.

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) plays a role as well: it determines which permits from other states are recognized in Minnesota, and sets firearms training requirements. The latter is important because, among the requirements to get a permit to carry a firearm, you need to complete training in the fundamentals of pistol use, pass a shooting qualification exercise, and have instruction on the legal aspects of pistol possession, carry, and use – that includes subjects like self-defense and deadly force restrictions. Only instructors certified by an entity that has been approved by DPS can provide the training.

The Permit to Carry Report, which is required by state law, includes such information as the number of applications per year and how many are actually approved; why any permits were suspended, revoked, voided or denied; and what sorts of crimes were committed by permit holders. You can also find the amount of application fees agencies take in, and how much local agencies spend processing applications. This information is provided to the BCA by sheriffs’ offices from around the state. They’re in charge of processing firearm applications and determining eligibility.

The roles of the BCA, DPS and sheriffs’ offices are all defined in Minnesota state law, which also specifies how to transport a firearm in a motor vehicle (unloaded and in a closed case), whether you have to conceal it (you don’t), and what happens when you carry a firearm without a permit (first time: gross misdemeanor; subsequent times: felony).

Yes, the annual Permit to Carry report is interesting to many Minnesotans. But it’s also very important – for law enforcement, courts, and historical purposes. If you’re interested in the data about gun carry permits in Minnesota, the latest information is now available in the BCA’s 2019 Permit to Carry Report.