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You asked: What exactly does a permit to carry entail?

Have you ever been out and about and seen a citizen carrying a pistol? Initially, this may be a bit alarming, but usually there is nothing to fear. According to Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen, there are approximately 1,900 active permits t...

Have you ever been out and about and seen a citizen carrying a pistol? Initially, this may be a bit alarming, but usually there is nothing to fear.

According to Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen, there are approximately 1,900 active permits to carry in Douglas County.
“People around here aren’t used to seeing openly carried firearms,” Wolbersen explained. “Minnesota does have an open carry law. If you have a permit you can carry it openly displayed or concealed.” He also added that there is nothing in place that mandates how the pistol has to be carried, as long as it is carried safely.
To apply for a permit to carry, a Minnesota resident must go through the sheriff of the county they reside in. They must also be at least 21 years of age, must not be prohibited from possessing a firearm and must not be listed in the criminal gang investigation system.
Applicants must also complete an authorized firearms training course within one year of applying for the permit. These permits apply to pistols and handguns, not long barrel firearms.
Despite having a permit to carry, there are some limitations as to where a person can be in possession of their pistol.
“Any business that has a sign posted that prohibits firearms,” Wolbersen gave as an example of a place you cannot carry a firearm into. “That’s something you see quite often; banks are one of the most common.”
Wolbersen also mentioned that guns are prohibited, regardless of having a permit to carry, in K-12 public schools, daycares, jails, courthouses, and other state properties. Or, anywhere a property owner does not want firearms on the premises.
“Someone can verbally tell you that firearms are prohibited and you have to leave,” Wolbersen added. “It’s very similar to the trespass law.”
Permits are active for five years. Permit holders who wish to renew after the five year period must retake the approved firearms training class before applying for the renewal.
“I’ve seen a lot of husbands and wives and fathers and daughters go through the course together,” Wolbersen said. “In the past five years we have seen an increase in females with permits to carry.”
Wolbersen speculates that the increase could be motivated by women feeling the need for protection. He believes that this also could be the case in why 43 percent of the permit holders in Douglas County are ages 50-69. According to him, that is the age when people start to feel a little more at risk.

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