Permit to Carry annual report shines light on handguns in Minnesota

March 8, 2023

A man shooting a handgun at targets

Just under 400,000 people have a permit to carry a handgun in Minnesota, according to the 2022 Permit to Carry Annual Report released March 1.

Our Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) compiles the report based on data submitted by Minnesota law enforcement agencies. Minnesota law requires us to release the report, but, more than that, it is information the public has a right to and an interest in.

Minnesota saw a significant drop in the number of firearms permit applications and issuances after historic highs over the past two years. Minnesota sheriffs reported to the BCA that 70,443 permits were applied for and that they issued 65,257 permits in 2022.

To carry a pistol in Minnesota, you must apply for a permit from your local county sheriff's office in person and meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 21 years of age.
  • Complete an application form.
  • Not be prohibited from possessing a firearm under Minnesota Statute 624.714.
  • Not be listed in the criminal gang investigation system.
  • Be a resident of the county from which you are requesting a permit, if you reside in Minnesota. Non-residents may apply to any Minnesota county sheriff.
  • Provide certificate of completed authorized firearms training. Training by a certified instructor must be completed within one year of an original or renewal application. (624.714, Subd. 2a).

State law requires sheriffs to follow an approval process, checking FBI, BCA and DHS records as well as their own data for any disqualifying information. People denied a permit have the right to appeal the denial. If you have questions on the permitting process, check out our webpage here.

The report also contains information on crimes committed by people with permits to carry. Last year saw the highest number since the state's Personal Protection Act was became law in 2003 — 4,199 — however, the percentage of permit holders who committed crimes stayed consistent at 1 percent.

Those crimes included:

  • Just over 3 percent where firearms were used in furtherance of a crime.
  • More than 60 percent DWIs or other traffic offenses.
  • 15 percent were from the “Other" category which includes both less serious offenses such as city ordinance violations and DNR hunting, fishing and recreational vehicle violations and less common but more serious offenses such as stalking and rioting.

Sheriffs reported there were 177 permits suspended, 27 revoked, 1,414 voided and 866 denied in 2022.

Read the full report on our website.​