On Monday, The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office released statistics on applications and permits to carry a handgun, finding a large increase so far in 2012.
From January through April of 2012, the Sheriff's Office took in 1,875 applications for permits to carry. In comparison, the department netted 1,220 applications during the same time frame in 2011-- an increase of nearly 54 percent.
Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek said the increase surprised him because 2011 was the busiest year for new gun permit applications since 2003, which is when the permit law took effect.
If 2012 stays on pace, it will dwarf the previous year. Renewal applications typically account for 20 percent of the total applications, said the report. Permit renewal is required every five years.
The department provided a statistical breakdown of recent years:
Since the law began through April 30, 2012, Hennepin County has issued approximately 21,908 permits. An estimated 3,301 are renewals. This makes for 18,607 permit holders in Hennepin County.
All Hennepin County residents who want to apply for a permit to carry a handgun must do so through the Sheriff's Office. If the applicant has moved to a different county, he or she must apply for a renewal at the sheriff's office in the county where they currently reside.