Concealed gun permits issued in Minnesota last year nearly double 2012 total

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Minnesota counties issued nearly twice as many permits to carry a concealed firearm last year compared to the year before, law enforcement agencies say.

According to figures provided by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, more than 60,000 permits were issued in 2013. In 2012 the total was fewer than 32,000. The BCA tallied data provided by local law enforcement agencies around the state.

The Pioneer Press reports more than 63,000 people applied for permits to carry guns, meaning 96 percent of those applications were approved. The newspaper explains that people seeking a permit apply to their county sheriff's office and must show proof of approved firearms training.

The sheriff's office checks their record for any information that would disqualify the applicant. The name is then shared with the FBI, BCA, and Department of Homeland Security, each of which searches its databases.

2013's permits bring the number of Minnesotans licensed to carry a gun up to 165,000. WCCO says the Twin Cities area accounted for about 40 percent of last year's permits. The five counties that issued the most are all in the metropolitan area.

As Northland's News Center reports, there were 1,023 crimes committed by permit holders during 2013. The BCA says the majority of them were drunk driving cases or other traffic offenses. That crime total is far more than in previous years but so is the number of people with concealed weapon permits.

FOX 9 shows a breakdown of the non-traffic related crimes committed by permit holders. The 42 domestic assaults comprise the largest category, although officials say none of those assaults involved a firearm.

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