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Beltrami gun permit requests remain steady

BEMIDJI – Beltrami County does not appear to be seeing a large increase in gun permit requests in the aftermath of Friday’s tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

The Associated Press reported Minnesota metropolitan counties are seeing increases in the number of people applying for firearm permits.

But Beltrami County does not appear to be following that trend.

“We’re not seeing a huge spike,” Kay Swanson, records supervisor with the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, told the Pioneer Wednesday afternoon.

She reported 16 people applied for permits to purchase or carry firearms from Friday through noon Wednesday.

Fifteen people applied for permits the week prior, from Dec. 7-13, Swanson noted.

Swanson said she looked up Beltrami County’s numbers Friday morning after hearing reports of higher-than-normal applications in the metro.

To date, Beltrami County has had 682 applications for permits to purchase or carry firearms this year, Swanson said.

The AP reported 36 people applied for permits to carry on Monday at the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, a record day for that county. A typical day was reported to have 10 to 15 applications.

Other Twin Cities counties reporting significant jumps in applications include Hennepin, Washington and Dakota, according to the AP report.

Ramsey County was the only county to report no detectable difference in applications, the AP reported.

Statewide, there has been a 25 percent increase in the number of people with carry permits as of Dec. 1, compared with the same date the year before, according to state data provided to the AP.

To buy a handgun and some kinds of rifles from licensed dealers in Minnesota, people must first apply and receive a permit to purchase from local law enforcement, according to information provided to the AP. It should result in a permit within a week after a background check.

In order to carry a firearm outside of one’s home or place of business, one must take a carry permit class, then apply to the county sheriff for a permit to carry. Those applications must be processed within 30 days.