The number of handgun permits newly issued or renewed in Minnesota in 2014 dropped after a spike the year before, according to an annual report released Monday by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Sheriff’s offices statewide reported about 41,500 permits issued last year. Here’s what the numbers look like over the past five years:

  • 2014: 41,493
  • 2013: 60,471
  • 2012: 31,657
  • 2011: 20,772
  • 2010: 17,240

About 1,800 people who applied in 2014 did not receive a permit. Of those, 422 were denied; about 1,300 more are pending. A handful of others were suspended, voided, revoked or canceled.

Most permits are issued for five years. New permits outnumbered renewals in 2014 by about three to one.

The top permit-issuing counties were the state’s most populous. Hennepin County led the way with about 5,300 permits issued, followed by Anoka, Dakota, Ramsey and St. Louis.


Among permits that were denied, the most common reasons included:

  • Deemed a danger to self or others (322)
  • Barred by federal law (69)
  • Rights not restored after charge or conviction for crime of violence (64)
  • Convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence (32)
  • Convicted of drug crime other than marijuana (19)

Applicants could be denied for more than one reason, which is why there are more reasons than total denials.


In all, the state has about 181,000 permit holders -- who committed 1,320 crimes between them last year.

The most common of those were:

  • Traffic offenses (651)
  • Driving under the influence (155)
  • Weapons violations, including carrying without a permit (24)
  • Drug offenses (24)


A handful of gun-permit holders committed violent crimes, including:

  • Homicide (3)
  • Assault, including threats with a firearm (18)
  • Domestic assault (14)

A pistol was determined to have been used in 20 of the offenses -- most commonly in the assault cases. About a third of the offenses were not categorized and listed as "all other not covered."


According to the report, there were no recorded instances last year of lawful and justifiable use of firearms by permit-holders -- for instance, a shooting in self-defense.

Application fees brought in about $3.7 million. Most of that -- $3.2 million -- was spent processing permits.

The full report is available on the BCA’s website,