Permits to Carry and Gun Sales for Personal Protection Soar in Minnesota

There’s a new application for the law stating for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Permits to carry and gun sales in the state were already up considerably the first part of this year. But the rioting, arson and wave of violence in the Twin Cities following the death of George Floyd opened the floodgates of Minnesotans reacting to the potential threat to their personal safety, according to MPR.

“Getting a permit to carry right now — it’s ridiculous,” said [Euric] Rutherford after speaking with someone from the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office. “And they tell me it’s going to take four months to turn in my paperwork.”

Whenever Rutherford is able to submit his application, he’ll become one of the thousands of Minnesotans applying for new permits this year. In Ramsey County, where Rutherford lives, the number of new applications in June, July and August rose sharply over the summer of 2019. In July, Ramsey County received 567 new permit applications, an increase of nearly 250% over July of 2019. The data do not indicate how many people had never carried a permit before or, like Rutherford, didn’t renew permits in time before they lapsed.

Same story in Hennepin County, which also saw a dramatic summer surge in permit to carry requests. More metro residents in particular appear to have lost confidence in law enforcement’s ability to protect their families and property.

Firearms industry professionals say the current rash of violence in the cities, the unrest following the police killing of George Floyd and the coronavirus pandemic is driving a growth in new customers.

“We’re seeing an influx of people who have never thought they would own a gun before — never shot a gun before,” said Chris Williamson, who works at the Osseo Gun Club. “And they’re coming in for personal protection, home protection.”

Gun sales have also increased significantly, partly due to election year politics and a perceived threat to ownership of some firearms under a different administration.

Gun sales have been happening at a fast clip since March at Bill’s Gun Shop stores in Robbinsdale, Circle Pines and Hudson, Wis. Owner John Munson said customers are telling him they’re looking for guns for protection in the midst of the unrest and the pandemic. But he said they are also worried about the upcoming election and the potential for new restrictions on firearm ownership.

Regardless of the outcome of the election, the surge in firearm sales seems likely to keep pace with the surge in violent crime in the Twin Cities and residents lack of confidence in government’s ability and resolve to protect them.