When the state of Minnesota passed a permit-to-carry law in 2003, gun control advocates said it would lead to increased violence and mayhem.
Today, more people in Minnesota have permits than ever before – yet gun violence involving permit-holders remains virtually nonexistent.
The total number of active permits in Minnesota has gone up every year since the permit law passed in 2003, growing from less than 50,000 to more than 200,000 this year, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Since then, examples of violence involving permit-holders have been few and far between. There have been just five deadly incidents involving permit-holders in the past five years, none of which resulted in criminal charges. Overall, gun crimes involving permit owners fell by half between 2013 and 2014.
“Virtually every case has been a person defending themselves,” James Franklin, executive director of the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association, told the newspaper. “And I can’t recall a single case where a person hurt themselves with a gun [used for self-defense].”
The surge in permits in Minnesota reflects a nationwide trend. In 2014, the US saw the largest jump in active permits ever, despite the fact that a number of states no longer require a permit to carry, gun rights expert John Lott to the Star-Tribune.
Andrew Rothman, the head of the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, said, “Over they years, the idea of carrying a gun has become much more normalized in society.”