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.
In 2003, the year Minnesota passed its permit-to-carry law, 15,000 five-year permits were issued. The number issued annually then decreased for several years. But by 2014, 184,985 Minnesotans held permits. Today, one in 20 Minnesotans has a permit, 19 percent of them women.
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.