Minnesota gun permit holders: Five justifiable firearm uses, 124 crimes on record since 2003

Categories: Guns
gun shop rect.jpg
The BCA's numbers complicate arguments that gun permits deter crime.
Since the "shall issue" permit law went on the books a decade ago, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has recorded five instances of permit holders justifiably using a firearm. During that same timeframe, permit holders have committed 124 firearm-related crimes.

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Making sense of those numbers requires context, but even so, they suggest the benefit some believe packing heat plays in deterring crime might be overstated.

As the Star Tribune reports, the "justifiable use" number cited by the BCA is low, as some instances have gone unreported. For instance, there have been three much publicized cases of permit holders legally using guns in Minneapolis since 2010, but city officials apparently didn't realize they're legally mandated to report those cases to the BCA until the requirement was brought to their attention by a reporter.

Furthermore, John Munson, owner of Bill's Gun Shop in Robbinsdale (Check out "John Monson, owner of Bill's Gun Shop: 'The bad guys don't really care what the law is'"), pointed out to the Strib that the BCA numbers don't include instances "when a firearm deters an actual crime from taking place."

"Visibility or knowledge of a firearm is a deterrent, but those don't get reported," Munson added.

But those caveats aside, gun control advocates argue that the BCA numbers reveal a fundamental flaw in the "more guns, less crime" philosophy.

Heather Martens, head of the gun control advocacy organization Project Minnesota, told the Strib: "The small number of these defensive uses [contradicts] arguments that were made for putting more guns in people's hands in public places. [T]hat was supposed to confer more safety, and it didn't."

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23 comments
laxx1559
laxx1559

Visibility or knowledge of a firearm IS a deterrent.  If someone comes up to you and says "HEY! GIVE ME YOUR WALLET" and you lift up your shirt and flash your gun, 99% of the time- they will run.  

MotherJones
MotherJones

I notice how most of you are ripping on this article. Aaron Rupar is stating FACTS. This is not a biased article. It is a known fact that most of the gun-related deaths are due to so-called "legal" owners of guns. Take a look at the gun deaths in North Minneapolis over the years. The vast majority of the gun deaths were due to people who purchased their guns legally. We need to ban guns altogether. Spare me the Republican bullshit that "guns don't kill people, people do". People do not kill other people unless they have a weapon. If we make guns illegal, they won't be able to kill people at the push of a trigger. 

John
John

This is a very biased representation of the facts and does not include data of when permit carriers are forced to draw but able to then de-escalate the situation without discharging the firearm. This also does not include any reference to statistics regarding that knowledge of people carrying will cause some criminals to think twice before committing a crime (but understand that this value would be hard to quantify).

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

I'm not in favor of concealed-carry, and I exercise my right to opposition in the best way I know how.  I don't carry a gun.

I'd like to see some real numbers on either side of this debate.  As the story indicates, the BCA numbers are junk because at least Minneapolis claims not to have known they were supposed to be reporting legal use cases.

On the other hand, supporters of concealed-carry aren't opposed to their own use of magical thinking.  The best example of this is that almost every discussion I've ever heard of the preventive powers of concealed-carry ends up with John Lott's apocryphal study, which Mr. Lott claims was lost when his computer crashed (although it's telling that only one person has ever surfaced claiming to have been part of his "vast" survey research).  And it's awfully hard to quantify assertions that the mere suspicion of the presence of a gun deterred a potential crime.  I'm reminded of the little boy who wouldn't stop snapping his fingers.  His parents took him to a psychologist.  The boy said he snapped his fingers to keep the tigers away.  The psychologist said, "There aren't any tigers within at least 5,000 miles of here."  The little boy said, "It works, doesn't it."

As a practical matter goes, I find it useful to assume that anyone I encounter might be carrying a gun.  Based on the way I tend to behave, only the unreasonable or evil ones will pull it out against me..  Which is true regardless of concealed-carry legislation.  And while I've certainly dealt with some bad and crazy people, and I've encountered people in dark alleys and the like, I've never actually seen a gun in that context.

_Joe_
_Joe_

To really put things in perspective, you not only have to take into account the unreported data, but also this:

120,000 people have carry permits in MN

124 crimes over a decade means that 0.1% of the people with carry permits have committed firearms related crimes.  This also does not require a "victim" and could include improper transport, carrying somewhere you're not supposed to, carrying with a BAL of more than .04, etc..

Also, of those 120,000, there are those who would carry anyway, even if they could not legally.  It's not hard to assume they are the same kind of people who might be committing these crimes anyway.

The 99.9% of us who haven't done anything wrong would really like you to focus on the REAL issues and leave us alone.

bethann.bloom
bethann.bloom

How many times were these weapons stolen and used for crimes? How many family members or even gun toters themselves committed suicide with these legal guns? How many folks were accidentally injured. There are many ways to measure the burder of widespread firearms. Minnesotans need to see all the data.

suckit
suckit

Nice fucking sensational hearsay reporting. "City officials apparently didn't realize they're legally mandated to report those cases to the BCA until the requirement was brought to their attention by a reporter." In other words, those statistics are worthless. Also, "124 firearm related crimes"? Bullshit. How is being drunk a firearm-related crime? This is just bad reporting all around. Here's a question. How many armed carry permit holders used a gun to commit a crime? Only 2 were cited in the strib article (if, like city pages, we are to take reporting by other hack reporters as fact).

brasstacs
brasstacs

It was stated in this story that there were 5 justified firearm use's since 2003...and this is misleading...In most case's just the presence of a firearm was all that was needed to prevent a violent crime...and probably wouldn't even have been reported...In over 2 million times a year nation wide, a firearm is used for self defense..and most of the time a shot wasn't fired.

Brett Andreas Campbell
Brett Andreas Campbell

I'm curious to know which of the governor's toadies is running the BCA these days?

Michael Flowers
Michael Flowers

Nonsense. Hardly ANY defensive gun uses are ever reported. I myself have used my concealed weapon twice to prevent mugging/assault. Both times, I didn't even have to take it out of its holster, I just let the prospective assailant know that I had it. Nothing to report, but I wasn't mugged the one time, and my wife wasn't, the other.

Dan Mason
Dan Mason

gun control advocates are lousy with misrepresentations and cowardice. in the face of violent criminals are you going to cower in the corner frantically dialing 911 or are you gonna grow a pair and take responsibility for your life and the world around you. you can be the coward your parents raised you to be but don't try and regulate my freedom away.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@MotherJones If more guns made us safer America would be the safest place on Earth.

Thom
Thom

@MotherJones Eliminating guns from society and making them illegal are two entirely different things. I would gladly give mine up if there were not any others around, but that simply is not the case. I'm all ears if you have a way to completely eradicate guns from the world. And cars, and booze, and any other instrument to bring destruction.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@_Joe_ Here is a fact for you.  In 1996 the NRA lobbied Congress to make it impossible for the government to study gun violence.


"The federal Centers for Disease Control has cut firearms safety research by 96 percent since the mid-1990s, according to one estimate. Congress, pushed by the gun lobby, in 1996 put restrictions on CDC funding of gun research into the budget. Restrictions on other agencies were added in later years."

 If what you are saying is true then why is the NRA so afraid to study it?   They have studied this issue worldwide.  Numerous studies have found homes with guns are more likely to have murders and suicides.  

_Joe_
_Joe_

Also....  according to a recent strib article, 1,335 'gun incidents' occurred in 2012.  

If permit holders committed 124 in the last decade, that works out to 12.4 per year.  Meaning that 1322 were committed by NON permit holders.


By my math, all of you without carry permits need to chill the fuck out with your guns.

suckit
suckit

@bethann.bloom Stolen? So if these legal gun carriers shouldn't own guns because a criminal could steal them and commit crime? Suicide? Because anyone serious enough to put a bullet in his head wouldn't find some other way? Accidental injuries? You mean like the 93 people who die on US roadways every day? Get fucked you spineless victim. 

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@Michael Flowers so you the type who starts some shit then flashes a gun. wow badass

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@Michael Flowers You are a liar.  So you stopped a mugging but didn't bother to report it?  Why did you let the criminal go free?  Where were you walking?  What neighborhood?  You didn't call the cops?   Why not?   Why was your wife going to get mugged but you weren't?    Anyone with a brain can tell you are lying.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@MicheleBachmann Fuck the NRA.  Why are you even responding to me about the NRA?  I didn't mention a single thing about them.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@MicheleBachmann I'm not making up anything. And I don't need talking points.  I have my own opinions.  What I DID do, was cite the Star Tribune figures that came out recently and then applied simple math.  Granted I don't expect you to be able to follow it.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@_Joe_  You are spouting their bullshit made up talking points.  Guns cause murder and suicides.  It's a fact.  

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