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St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The number of handgun carry permits issued in Minnesota last year was almost double the total from 2019 and was the highest since the Personal Protection Act went into effect in 2003.

A new report from the  Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says Sheriff's throughout the state received nearly 102,000 permit applications and issued 96,554 firearm carry permits in 2020. The total from the previous year was just under 51,500 and the previous record high total was 71,156 in 2016.

The Olmsted County Sheriff's Office reported receiving 1877 applications.1580 permits were issued last year, 43 applications were rejected, and 253 of the applications are still pending. Hennepin County issued the most carry permits last year at 11,346.

The report from the BCA indicates just over 3100 crimes were committed last year by individuals with permits to carry. 51 percent of the crimes were DWIs or other traffic offenses. Another 30 percent fell into the "other" category that includes city ordinance violations, hunting and fishing regulation violations, and other less serious offenses. Fewer than two percent of the crimes involve the use of firearms.

State officials report there are currently 358,897 valid permits to carry in Minnesota.

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