Minnesota concealed carry permit holders surged in January with more than 6,000 new licensees added in that month alone.
The Star Tribune puts the exact figure at 6,189 new licensees–the second largest one month surge in state history. The largest surge came during the height of Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) gun control push in March 2013. The number of “active permit holders” added that month was 7,213.
There are currently “221,712 active permit holders” in Minnesota. The Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (GOCRA) says this means “the number of active carry permits in the state has grown by more than 20,000 in six months” so that “about one in 19 eligible Minnesota adults have a permit to carry.”
According the Tribune, the numbers have historically spiked after high profile shootings or terrorist attacks, but it appears the current surge is a response to Obama’s unilateral gun control push. GOCRA’s Andrew Rothman observed, “It’s not always a reaction to mass shootings, although there is some of that. But probably the bigger part is the reaction when people hear about the political rhetoric following a horrible murder … that’s what gets people very interested in exercising their rights.”
Heather Martens is with Protect Minnesota, a gun control advocacy group that supports the passage of universal background checks and “closing the gun show loophole.” Martens lamented the growth in concealed carry, saying, “A significant number of Minnesotans believe that having a gun makes them safer, and unfortunately, this is not true except in very narrow circumstances. It means we have a lot of work to do in educating the public about the hazards posed by guns.”