ST. PAUL — More Minnesotans applied for permits to carry a firearm than any year in recent history, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension data released Monday, March 1, showed.

In 2020, 96,554 people were issued a permit to carry, almost double the 51,404 that received a permit in 2019. BCA officials said the requests in 2020 were the most they'd seen since the state enacted the Minnesota Personal Protection Act in 2003.

The bureau reported that 101,897 applications were submitted in 2020, with most permits issued in the Twin Cities metro area. Hennepin County reported the most new permits issued last year at 11,346. Dakota, Anoka, Ramsey and Washington counties rounded out the top five counties to issue the most permits to carry.

Minnesotans seeking a permit to carry have to apply with their local sheriff's office and prove they've completed approved firearms training. And sheriffs conduct background checks on each individual to determine whether they should get a permit.

In total, 358,897 Minnesotans had permits to carry as of Monday. Minnesota sheriffs reported that 103 permits were suspended in 2020, 36 were revoked and 968 were voided.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

The BCA also reported that the state tracked the highest number of crimes convicted by permit-holders in 2020, though the vast majority didn't involve a firearm. Permit holders were involved in 3,110 crimes in 2020, according to the BCA report, of those less than 2% involved a firearm in the commission of a crime.

Follow Dana Ferguson on Twitter @bydanaferguson, call 651-290-0707 or email