When Minnesota passed its permit-to-carry law in 2003, anti-gun opponents argued that allowing civilians to have firearms in public spaces would lead to chaos and rampant violence. Now the law has been on the books for over a decade, and a record number of Minnesotans have carry permits: 200,000, or roughly one in 20 residents of the state. Fatalities linked to permit holders are rare—and their numbers are falling at the same time as the total number of active permits goes up.
“Most criminals aren’t trained ninja assassins, they are opportunists,” explained Andrew Rothman, president of the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance. “When they find out they don’t have an easy victim, they change their minds about pursuing a crime.” James Franklin, executive director of the Minnesota Sheriffs’ Association agreed: “Virtually every case has been a person defending themselves.”