St. Paul shootout may rekindle concealed carry debate

An incident in St. Paul Monday afternoon should give everyone who likes to debate the concealed carry law a chance to say, “See? I told you.”

The predictions of in-the-street shootouts when the bill was being debated never came to pass. At the same time, though, it’s been difficult to get a handle on how often a permitted gun was used to thwart crime because the law makes it illegal for police to tell us.

Somehow, however, that part of the law didn’t get followed (Update: This is in dispute. Minneapolis police and other departments have said a section of the law authorizing release of data to the Department of Public Safety precludes release to the public). Police told the Pioneer Press the would-be victim of a robbery near Hmongtown Marketplace at Como and Pennsylvania Avenues in St. Paul had a permit to carry his gun.

The scene, as described the the Pioneer Press, is the rare instance that meets the predictions of the anti-gun crowd at the Capitol.

As the men were attempting to rob him, he pulled out his own handgun and exchanged gunfire with the two men. Police said the man had a permit to carry his handgun.

The would-be assailants fled in a car — and the man got into his own car and chased them, police said. They drove just over a mile, before engaging in a second gunfight in the 900 block of Thomas Avenue.

The man, who was not injured, then returned to the scene of the initial gunfight and spoke with police. The initial incident took place about 5:30 p.m. and remained under investigation late into the evening.

At the same time, it’s a “win” for concealed carry supporters. Obviously, a crime was stopped because someone had a legal weapon.

There’s no mention of whether other people were around at the time of the shootout, nor where all the bullets that missed their intended targets went.

  • Duke Powell

    MPR should know that it is the Second Amendment that secures its First Amendment rights…..

  • Erik Petersen

    Bob, what dictate of the law do you assert the police are out of compliance with in this case?

    The data requirements of the law specify what data is to be furnished to the annual statewide report. It does not in any way preclude the police from telling the reporter that the victim party in a reported altercation was found to have a valid carry permit, and that this is a reason for not referring to prosecution.

    • Good point. I had the wrong link up and was referencing the Minneapolis police department’s declaration that it was against the law for them to release whether jeffrey Engledinger had a permit.

      Other departments have made the same claim when we’ve requested information, though I’m not aware Saint Paul ever has.

      I assume they’re using Subsection 20 paragraph D of the law (624.714).

      “(d) Nothing contained in any provision of this section or any other law requires or authorizes the registration, documentation, collection, or providing of serial numbers or other data on firearms or on firearms’ owners.”


      • Erik Petersen

        The law has confidentiality protections for permit holders so that this private data, like most private data, is not publicly distributed and misused. This extends to police reports for crimes thwarted or committed by permit holders. You may want to know, pruriently, if a suspect has a ptc but it’s of no bearing. Committing a felonious assault with a handgun, while being a permit holder, is not a crime in the code. The assault is.

        Beyond that, the law dictates what data is to be pushed up to the annual report. It’s fair to say that the lack of a summary for ‘crimes thwarted by permit holders’ or ‘crimes committed by permit holders’ is discouraged or restricted because you can’t get that by tallying anything that has been adjudicated. Because that stuff isn’t adjudicated.

        Bob what I see here is you have a little bit of a bias (…and that’s OK) and you want to be able to confirm that bias. But there ain’t no ‘muzzle’ that doesn’t exist broadly in ways completely unrelated to ptc.

        • Can you try to rephrase that because what I’m coming away with is you’re saying (a) data on permit holders is confidential and (b) data on permit holders isn’t confidential.

          Are you saying if you haven’t committed a crime — and I presume the guy who defended himself didn’t commit a crime — the data isn’t confidential but if he did — like the Mpls shooter — it is?

          This time leave all that cliche bias stuff out of the explanation.

          • Erik Petersen

            Data definition is the operative Bob. To be a police dept and to reveal a citizens name and permit status is to reveal data. To be a cop and tell a journalist following a crime report that the victim who repelled a robbery had a carry permit and will not be referred for prosecution… that’s not revealing data, and it’s not a breach of the laws confidentiality provisions.

            What you’re also asking for…. A tally of crimes committed by permit holders and crimes thwarted by permit holders… is not something that is tabulated, because those are things for which there are no court adjudications…. People don’t get prosecuted for being a permit holder and assaulting someone, they just get prosecuted for the assault, and there are no court cases for justifiable self-defense where there are no charges. So it’s just to say that the data you’d like is impossible to collect, and departments are restricted from rolling up conclusions from stuff which isn’t qctually prosecutable crime. Stands to reason, without an adjudication, a real court finding, it would all be a bunch of wild guesses, completely subjective.

            There’s no muzzling of data.

          • // because those are things for which there are no court adjudications…

            I’m not seeing anything in the law that distinguishes data and the release thereof on the basis of court adjudications. I *am* seeing the provision that the section on monitoring does not ” authorize(s) the registration, documentation, collection, or providing of serial numbers or other data on firearms or on firearms’ owners.”

            I am assuming, however, that this is what Minneapolis and other departments — Washington County comes to mind on one or two incidents years ago — hang their hat on in refusing to make the data available to anyone but the commisisoner of public safety.

            It would be great if the Legislature would revisit the question because obviously some of the largest police departments in Minnesota have codified it … rightly or wrongly.

          • Erik Petersen

            That 7d is an irrelevancy Bob. I’m sure there are a lot of requests that the various depts could accommodate, up to individual identites of permit holders, which are for the most part protected under other privacy / confidentiality rules that are not explicit to ptc.

            To the extent they do not accommodate…. that’s got nothing to do with the ptc law, thats just those depts not accommodating and giving you a bs reason.

            Subd. 20.Monitoring.

            (a) By March 1, 2004, and each year thereafter, the commissioner must report to the legislature on:

            (1) the number of permits applied for, issued, suspended, revoked, and denied, further categorized by the age, sex, and zip code of the applicant or permit holder, since the previous submission, and in total;

            (2) the number of permits currently valid;

            (3) the specific reasons for each suspension, revocation, and denial and the number of reversed, canceled, or corrected actions;

            (4) without expressly identifying an applicant, the number of denials or revocations based on the grounds under subdivision 6, paragraph (a), clause (3), the factual basis for each denial or revocation, and the result of an appeal, if any, including the court’s findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order;

            (5) the number of convictions and types of crimes committed since the previous submission, and in total, by individuals with permits including data as to whether a firearm lawfully carried solely by virtue of a permit was actually used in furtherance of the crime;

            (6) to the extent known or determinable, data on the lawful and justifiable use of firearms by permit holders; and

            (7) the status of the segregated funds reported to the commissioner under subdivision 21.

            (b) Sheriffs and police chiefs must supply the Department of Public Safety with the basic data the department requires to complete the report under paragraph (a). Sheriffs and police chiefs may submit data classified as private to the Department of Public Safety under this paragraph.

            (c) Copies of the report under paragraph (a) must be made available to the public at the actual cost of duplication.

            (d) Nothing contained in any provision of this section or any other law requires or authorizes the registration, documentation, collection, or providing of serial numbers or other data on firearms or on firearms’ owners.

          • But what makes a provision that says they’re not authorized to release the data irrelevant?

            Perhaps Duke Powell could weigh in on why that provision was worded that way, as he was in the Legislature then.

          • David Gross

            Bob, for Minnesota Government Data Practices questions, you need to look at the MGDPA, Chapter 13 Minnesota Statutes. You’re looking in the wrong place. You won’t find it there.

          • Where’d Duke go?

          • OrderoftheCoif

            Go to law school Eric before you start practicing law. All disclosures by any employee of the Department are in violation of the MGDPA. All.

      • OrderoftheCoif

        NO, it is in section 13.87 of Minnesota Statutes.

    • OrderoftheCoif

      Ever since permits were first required, in 1974, the Data Practices Act has classified the data as “private data on individuals”. It is a 40 year-old rule. NO disclosure is allowed.

      • Erik Petersen

        I know I muddied the waters on this topic with some awkward explorations of legal language, but that’s basically been my point.

        Where Bob wants the permit status of people who appear in police reports revealed…. That information is protected by basic data privacy rules. Its not a ‘muzzle’ on data that is a feature of the ptc law.

  • Gary F

    Now we need to wait for the details.

    Hopefully the thugs in that neighborhood will all realize that the neighborhood has some people legally carrying.

    Self defense is a human right.

    • Would be interesting to know if the perps had permits.

      • Gary F

        Right. Uh, huh.

      • Michael Flowers

        Well, since the best predictor for criminal activity is prior criminal conviction, and such conviction would preclude the obtaining of a permit, it seems unlikely. But you are right, it would indeed be interesting, if they did.

      • Trevor

        I would bet a very large amount of money that those who instigated the attempted robbery had permits to carry.

        Do you really believe the perpetrators had permits to carry?

  • BReynolds33

    It should be noted that anyone who has taken the carry class would know that the instant the original criminals fled, he was required to stop. By chasing them, he is now the aggressor and can be arrested and lose his permit.

    • There was a case in Bloomington a few years ago where an elderly woman (I believe she was elderly anyway) had her purse snatched outside a Cub and a permit holder chased the perp and shot him. He wasn’t charged.

      • Erik Petersen

        South Minneapolis. He did confront the robber for the purse, and the robber pointed a gun at him.

      • BReynolds33

        I’m not saying he *will* be charged. Only that he could be. They make it very clear in the class to not pursue.

  • Justin McKinney

    When someone leaves the scene of an automobile accident, they are breaking the law. Is the law similar in this situation?

  • Jim in RF

    Did anyone get the name of the well-regulated militia he belonged to? Those pesky three words that seem so invisible.

    • Gary F

      Heller vs. District of Columbia
      McDonald vs. City of Chicago

      I guess these must be invisible to you .

      • Jim in RF

        So where does his militia meet up? What’s their dues structure? Do they do drills in the village square? Do they have officers and plebes?

        • Gary F

          Supreme Court says, twice, that 2nd Amendment just isn’t about militias. Read up.

          • Jim in RF

            Hence the 3 invisible words. When we see something we don’t like, we ignore it. They’re there. The Founders put them in on purpose. (Yes, I’ve read and written a lot about this.)

          • Gary F

            Sure, the 2nd Amendment covers that too. Nothing to do with that in this case. The individual’s right to keep and bear arms meaning a person right to defend’s one’s self as part of the 2A has been decided twice recently by the Supreme Court. I don’t know if there have been challenges to the militia part of the 2A. But if there are, I know you will be on it.

          • We’re not going to break any new ground in this thread. Whether people have a right to have guns has been settled so let’s move on.

            Here’s the interesting part of your note that hits the question: At what point does the defense of oneself end? When the threat does? If you show a gun and two guys run away, is the threat over?

            Assuming this guy wasn’t actually robbed, once you are the chaser? Are you the aggressor? Does the would-be perp now become the potential victim?

          • Erik Petersen

            It ended when the assailants fled.

          • Gary F

            That’s what we will find out. That’s why we need to get more information. We don’t know the details yet and it’s very important that everyone including the media, because they have the power to shape the story, report only the details.

            I will say again, the thugs in Frogtown have been notified that there are people legally carrying in their neighborhood.

          • Gary F
          • I think about getting a gun from time to time. When I do, I imagine myself as Raylan Givens. But when I don’t it’s because I’m pretty sure when the **** hit the fan, I’d be Barney Fife.

          • Gary F

            I’d take you out to the range, first one is always my treat.

    • Michael Flowers

      The name is “Militia of the United States”, which by Federal Law is composed of “all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.”

      -10 USC p. 311.

  • birddie

    During the time when reasonable people were trying to get the carry permit law passed the liberals were lying to all of us and saying that there would be shootouts in the streets on a daily basis by permit holders. They would be shooting up every town in the state. It would be OK Corral in every city. Yep, they lied. Most of us expected that from the far left. It is widely known how they feel about our 2nd Amendment rights.

    But guess what? Their lies caught up with them and the only ones shooting up our cities are those who don’t hold permits and could care less about obeying our laws. Once again, the far left have been proven wrong.

    • I tend to agree with you that the predictions of shootings in the street was way overblown hyperbole. At the same time, I’m not sure how a shootout in the street is the proof you want to hang a hat on that they “lied”.

      • birddie

        It is my contention that they were not “predictions” but out and out lies by the liberal left to keep the permit bill from being passed. At the time we were trying to get this bill passed there were several other states that had already passed similar bills and there were not mass shoot outs in the streets. Permit holders were not running around shooting everything that moved. The liberals were trying desperately to frighten the voting public, and it worked nicely for them for many years.

        But those of us who knew they were “misleading” others were persistent of all of the data . As you most likely know, it took several years to get the bill passed and as you may also know, those “predictions” have never materialized.

        In the years since the bill was passed I submit that all of the fear tactics used by the liberals have been shown to be far from being accurate.

        • No doubt. But that was the debate at the time. Both sides were doing it, though, I think we have to acknowledge that. I recall one debate in which one of the scenarios was people’s wives being raped outside the Metrodome. It was crazy hyperbole all around.


        • jon

          I’ve yet to see all crime stopped because any one could potentially be armed. People who are willing to risk their lives for quick material gains apparently are still willing to risk their lives for material gains.

          I’ve yet to see an “armed society” become a “polite society.” People are still jerks to each other despite the possibility that any of them could be carrying a gun…

          Seems like the BS runs on both the left and the right.

          Politicians lie.
          Or to be more exact politicians tell you what you want to hear, and provide only the facts that back up those statements and belittle any one disagreeing with them. In many parts of the world it’s called propaganda. And it spews from both sides…

        • Brian

          I think this video is relevant here:

          It is human nature for both sides of any argument to quickly begin to argue past each other, assuming the other side believes whatever makes them the most angry.

  • Chris

    Chasing the suspects and getting into another shoot out should result in charges for the pursuer. The resulting second gun battle could have resulted in innocent lives lost for no good reason.

    • James Dawson

      Not necessarily. It is being reported that he “chased” them, a term that can be argued, as he could always state that he was following them in order to report their location to police. No doubt the robbers knew that they were being followed and when they stopped on Thomas Avenue the criminals decided to stop this guy who was so persistent in following them. If the suspects then started shooting at the intended victim then the guy had every right to return fire.

      At this point there just isn’t enough information released to determine exactly what happened. What is quite evident is that this would be robbery went bad for the robbers and it is too bad that the would-be victim didn’t hit both of these knuckleheads and kill them. Then it would have been a much more acceptable outcome.

  • Jerry

    I’m curious what he was carrying that was so valuable he was willing to kill a man for it.

    • TCguns_carry

      His life.

      • Jerry

        If they were going to kill him, why hold him up first?

        • TCguns_carry

          Yeah, because that’s never happened. Derp.

      • Jim E

        Then wasn’t chasing the assailant, and provoking a second confrontation, an incredibly stupid thing to do?

        We don’t have gun fights in the street, but we do have permit holders shooting at fleeing purse snatchers in a city park:

        And some are out-right criminals:

        The carry community could earn some more credibility with the general public if they loudly, and repeatedly, pointed out the safety and training issues when permit holders misbehave or act like idiots.

        Instead we get the knee-jerk defense of every incident involving a permit holder. And we don’t get to hear about some incidents due to reporting restrictions purposely built into the statute.

        As the number of permits increases, the number of people with permits who abuse the privilege will also increase. Permits don’t make people saints.

        Attempting to justify the actions of every permit holder who is involved in an incident makes it look like you’re trying to hide something.

        • TCguns_carry

          Yeah, I don’t condone that part of it. But being initially confronted with a firearm, he had every right to defend himself with any means necessary.

    • James Dawson

      You seem to believe that if someone is being robbed they should just give up their property and do nothing. This type of response is acceptable to most people and they and others who accept such a action of surrender to evil will continue to give thugs reason to rape, rob and kill innocent people. It sets up the situation where it is only evil vs. authorities.

      Now if a certain percentage of citizens decides not to just hand over their personal property, or allow themselves to get their bodies assaulted, their loved ones raped, etc. then the bad guys will have a situation where they don’t have the dominance of the wolf over the sheep. It changes the risks to evil when some sheep are shepherds. Armed shepherds.

      • Jerry

        Yes I am. I am willing to give up whatever is in my pockets rather them take away everything my assailant has. To paraphrase Unforgivan: it’s a hell of thing killing a man, you take away all he has, and all he ever will have. You are killing the bad man he might be now, and taking away his chances of ever being a good man. Nothing I own is worth that.

        And even if you are willing to have that on your conscience, are you willing to kill some innocent bystander when your shots invariably miss? Some kid playing in their yard? Some young mother in her kitchen? Both of these gun battles took place in residential neighborhoods. Are you willing to have someone pay that price to protect your possessions? I know I’m not.

        • James Dawson

          Bad people like this will continue to commit crimes until one the following occurs. 1. They suddenly get religion and give up their evil ways. 2. they are caught by authorities, jailed, tried at great public expense and put in prison, again at great public expense. 3. Are stopped cold by a citizen who has decided, unlike you, they they are unwilling to submit to criminals and risk the actions of people who could very well be on drugs, desperate to get money for a fix so badly that they would kill you and your loved ones without a thought, or injure you so badly that you life will never be the same.

          Recall if you can that a few years ago a series of violent robberies were happening in the Uptown area. A group of 4-6 youths were robbing people at night as they walked to local entertainment locations or to their homes. They were appearing suddenly and smashing them over the head then taking their valuables. One man never fully recovered from his injuries. In another instance they shot and killed a young college student who, with his visiting family, verbally objected to these thugs manhandling his mother for her purse. They shot him dead right in front of his mother and father.

          These series of horrible crimes ended when they assaulted an older man as he got out of car, knocking him down next to his door where he lay along the curb bleeding from a severe head wound. The victim then reached back in to his car, pulled a permitted handgun from under his seat and started firing at the thugs, hitting one of them is the buttocks. The guy showed up at a hospital 3 days later with a severely infected rear end and they police later rounded up the whole crew.

          There are many occasions where citizens fight back and win against evil. Perhaps you enjoy being subservient to criminal evil and feel bad for the thugs who care nothing for your life and will take it away for a few dollars. I can only suggest that you research the news, not just out local criminal events but nationwide, to see and fully comprehend the rising tide of violent crime in our country. If you choose to submit then you are a sheep. To which I wish you good luck. Wear a helmet and sew your valuables in your underwear.

          • Jerry

            Gun owners think they are heroes walking the streets keeping us “sheep” safe from the “bad men” when they are really just living out their action movie fantasies. So many times after mass shootings did I hear gun owners claim they could have prevented them. Like in a chaotic situation they could have identified the right man and accurately taken him out. And of course not get shot by some other gone owner who identified him as the shooter. You are not John Mclane.

  • Real names, people.

  • Steve

    “St. Paul shootout may rekindle concealed carry debate”. I’m not seeing suggestions to open the debate anywhere but here. I’m assuming it’s the writers opinion that this “may” rekindle the debate, but in the comments I’m seeing Bob suggest that this is an
    isolated incident. Once again, we’re potentially letting the actions of
    one person control the outcome for all (right or wrong).

    If it’s determined that he should not have given chase, are you suggesting we pull the estimated 190,000 permits? If your answer is “yes”, then I say that there are more arrests and deaths per year due to driving under the influence. Should we also discuss pulling everyone’s drivers license or requiring ignition interlock systems on all vehicles? If your answer is “no”, then why are we even discussing this?

    • I’m pretty sure you’re the only one discussing whether we pull the estimated 190,000 permits so I can’t answer your question.

      But, yes, it’s always a danger that one person control the outcome for all, as the discussion surrounding the Lufthansa pilot also shows. It’s the way of the world.

      • Steve

        I guess I’m asking you what the point of the story is. You’re the only one (that I’ve heard) suggesting that these conversations may “rekindle”. Why would that be necessary considering this is an “isolated incident”, and especially since we’re not sure he did anything wrong?

        Secondly, I appreciate your attention to the (serious) comments. It’s nice to discuss with the author.

        • Rekindle is the wrong word since it implied the gun deb ate ended.

          But what I thought was most interesting about the story is what I indicated in the first paragraph.

          • Steve

            I’m still failing to recognize any debate
            material for either side.

            I think you’re trying to turn this in to more than what it is.

          • As they say it is what it is — a post I put up several days ago. I’m not campaigning for a new debate. Have it. Don’t have it. Whatever.

          • Steve

            Then what is your intention with this article, if not to “rekindle” the debate?

          • I’m assuming you’re new here. I write about things I find interesting. I explained in the opening paragraph why I found it interesting.

            I’m not saying it’s the second coming of the Lindberg kidnapping.

            So my “intention” is to say I found this interesting.

            You’re under no obligation to find it interesting, too. Or to read it.

          • Steve

            It’s very frustrating to see so many people passionate about gun control, with the goal being to “save lives”. In my opinion, if “saving lives” were the true motive, there are so many fruits that hang lower than gun control. If you really cared about saving lives, I would enjoy reading your article fueling the debate points on mandatory ignition interlock systems on all cars. Did you know that just as many people die as a result of impaired (drunk) driving, as do homicide by firearm?

          • Yes, I did. And also more people die on roads than died on 9/11. But we sent more than 7,000 kids to their deaths because of it.

            BTW, I’ve written over 10,000 posts here, including one or two on drunk driving, oddly enough.

          • Steve

            I applaud your attention to drunk driving, and hopefully many other topics that cause loss of life beyond firearms. As I stated, I find it rare that people focus on “saving lives”. Usually they hone in on one offender as if that offense has to yield zero deaths before we can consider any other. Did your one or two drunk driving posts include debate points for anyone who likes to debate the subject?

            We have lost many lives in the fight to gain and keep our liberties. Sadly, there are people here at home that are willing to sacrifice the very liberties that those soldiers fought and died for.

            Lastly, and I don’t expect a response to this but I’ll throw it out anyway… Do you know that the United States is responsible for 1 million abortions every year? That’s roughly 83 years worth of homicide by firearm. Lets keep ignoring that fruit though.

  • Tim Utz

    Just for fun I will toss this out; the purpose and foundation of the 2nd amendment.

  • Behning Brad

    Did the criminals have permits? My guess is no.