Presidential election shows little impact on gun registrations in Minnesota

Worried that the Obama administration would stage an assault on the 2nd Amendment, people around the country have been rushing to stock up on guns and ammunition. That’s the narrative from several stories by the national media in recent months.

Gun permits surge in state,” the Boston Globe reported this week, as a “steady decline” in gun permits ended after a decade. There, however, the economy was cited as the primary reason.

“I think it’s a sign of the times,” said Mike Burchman, who teaches gun courses in Hopkinton, where the number of permits rose 25 percent. “There’s a general insecurity, and people are looking for personal protection. In the past two years, I’ve seen a real shift.”

What about Minnesota?

The number of concealed carry (handgun) permits in the state is up only 9.2%. 22,697 “permit to carry” permits have been issued through yesterday. The number includes people renewing their five-year permits. New gun-carrying permits accounted for 17,000 of that figure, an increase of 24.2%.

But, as the chart below show, 24.2% is not a significant increase in the year-to-year growth of gun permits in the state. The largest one-year jump was 2006, a year of relatively comfortable economic news during the Bush administration.

Permits Issued

The large jump in 2008 is mostly attributed to the expiration of the initial five-year permits issued in 2003, after the Legislature approved the concealed carry legislation.

With just a few days to go in the year, 22 of Minnesota’s 87 counties have recorded a drop in gun permits, including the state’s largest counties. Hennepin has recorded the same number as last year. St. Louis and Ramsey counties have recorded declines.

The relationship between politics and guns may be further diluted by comparing the counties to the 2008 election for president. Of the counties carried by President Obama in 2008, 69% reported an increase in the number of gun permits issued this year. Of the counties carried by Sen. John McCain in 2008, 68% reported an increase in the number of gun permits issued this year.

  • John

    Some day, the NRA loyalists will figure out that no one is trying to take their guns.