From January through April of 2012, the Sheriff's Office took in 1,875 applications for permits to carry. In comparison, the department netted 1,220 applications during the same time frame in 2011-- an increase of nearly 54 percent.
Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek said the increase surprised him because 2011 was the busiest year for new gun permit applications since 2003, which is when the permit law took effect.
If 2012 stays on pace, it will dwarf the previous year.
It is, in fact, good news to see more Henco residents taking their moral civic duty to be proficient with firearms seriously.
The funny part?
Two, really. When Fox9 was presenting the report last night, in their little clip of putative analysis, they noted (by way of intended irony) that it's odd so many people would get handgun permits since crime in Henco is down 38% this year.
Now, why would that be?
No, not entirely due to gun permits - to claim it would be wrong, and to demand it would be a straw man. But every time a citizen gets a permit, the deterrent value of the statute grows - and Minnesota's number of permittees is on the higher end of the national average.
Now, criminals aren't known for reading newspapers. And yet violent crime in Henco has dropped.
Why could that be? Why, oh why?
Bonus: Kudos and Brickbats: Kudos to Henco Sheriff Stanek, who has by all accounts run an honest shop in re handling permit applications, even though he works for a government that gives Berkeley a run for his money.
And a kudo and a brickbat for Channel 9 News. When wrapping up the story last night, anchorette Heidi Collins asked the reporter (Eric Runge, I think) if all these permits in the hands of law-abiding citizens were a cause for "concern".
The reporter, to his credit, noted correctly that carry permit holders tend not to commit crimes, more or less. It's not a big reach; at any given moment in Henco, there are probably 15-20,000 people with permits; since 2003, they have committed exactly zero murders, two homicides ruled justifiable, and countless defensive gun uses that deterred countless (because literally - nobody counts them) crimes.