North Dakota, Minnesota concealed gun permits spike in 2009.

The number of concealed weapon permits issued in North Dakota…

The number of concealed weapon permits issued in North Dakota and Minnesota increased sharply last year, but that trend is showing signs of slowing down.

Many observers attribute the increase of permits to worries that President Barack Obama’s administration would attempt to place further restrictions on gun ownership.

“A lot of people were saying they wanted to get their permit before the right to have them was taken away by whomever,” said Laura Ramirez of Menahga, Minn., who conducts training for gun-carry permits, including classes in Fargo. “I think that was the big push.”

In 2009, 65 percent more permits – new and renewals – were issued in North Dakota than in 2008, a jump from 3,857 to 6,352, according to statistics collected by the attorney general’s office. The number issued in 2008 had been the highest of the decade by far, with nearly 600 more issued than the previous high in 2007.

The picture is somewhat muddled in Minnesota, as 2008 was the first year that the state’s permits came up for renewal. In 2008, a total of 20,783 were issued, and in 2009, that increased to 21,944 – a jump of nearly 6 percent, according to the annual reports on permits released by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

However, the percentage of applicants seeking renewals was higher in 2008 than in 2009, 39 percent compared to 22 percent. If renewals are factored out, the jump in new permits in 2009 in Minnesota figures to be roughly 35 percent.

Source: Dave Roepke for INFORUM.

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