As groups of mostly young men in Texas attract news coverage in the Lone Star state and across the country for carrying rifles on their backs into retail stores like Target and restaurants, it’s unlikely you’ll see the same types of demonstrations in Minnesota. Under Minnesota state law, people with permits to carry hand guns can legally carry rifles or shotguns in public. But, “most people are polite and courteous and aware of the society they live in and they choose to carry a pistol openly, rather than a long gun,” said Hamline University law professor and gun rights advocate Joseph Olson. He also said most people who have permits to carry choose to conceal their weapons.
Olson said the demonstrators in Texas are carrying long guns in protest of a law that prohibits Texans from openly carrying pistols – which is legal in Minnesota. Olson said most of those demonstrators have vowed to stop carrying their rifles in public if the law changes.
Minnesota also allows businesses, like Target, to post signs banning customers from bringing firearms in their establishments.
Speaking of guns in Minnesota, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) released the 2013 U.S. trace reports today. According to the report, 2,636 firearms recovered in Minnesota were traced with the help of the ATF. That’s slightly more than the 2,603 guns traced the previous year. The report shows 33 of the guns traced last year in Minnesota were used in homicides, and 47 in suicides.