The impact that shall-issue concealed weapons licenses has on reducing crime has been hotly debated for decades. Many people have asked, Do states with concealed weapons reduce crime? Despite dozens of studies, the answer to whether or not concealed weapons reduce crime or not is murky. While some studies suggest a mild reduction in crime, others imply there is no effect at all.
No matter the impact of these statutes, it is important to remember that violating them can have serious consequences. Minnesota prosecutors often aggressively pursue violations of state concealed carry laws. If you have been charged with unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon, the attorneys of Gerald Miller can help.
Crime Statistics in Concealed Carry States
There were dozens of studies over the last 20 years into the effectiveness of concealed carry laws on the crime rate. In breaking down the results of these studies, the RAND Corporation found the evidence to be inconclusive.
The RAND Corporation points to two major studies from the past 20 years: one by the National Research Council and another by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In the end, the national Research Council found the following to be true:
The evidence to date does not adequately indicate either the sign or the magnitude of a causal link between the passage of right-to-carry laws and crime rates. Furthermore, this uncertainty is not likely to be resolved with the existing data and methods. If further headway is to be made, in the committee’s judgment, new analytical approaches and data are needed.
In other words, the data does not clearly link concealed carry statutes to the crime rate at all, much less show that they reduce violent crime. If you’re wondering do states with concealed weapons reduce crime, there isn’t a definitive answer, unfortunately.
Minnesota Concealed Carry Laws
Minnesota law allows for the concealed carrying of a pistol under certain circumstances. Like many states, Minnesota’s concealed carry license policy is “shall issue.” This means that state or local authorities do not have the leeway to reject a license application from a person that meets all of the requirements.
In Minnesota, the license needed to carry a concealed pistol is known as a Minnesota Permit to Carry a Pistol, or PCP. Minnesota also honors similar permits from other states.
To qualify, you must be at least 21 years of age or older. Additionally, you must complete a firearms course prior to applying for a PCP. There are permit options for Minnesota residents as well as non-residents. Additionally, you must not be prohibited from owning a firearm by law. This includes convicted felons or those found guilty of domestic violence crimes.
A concealed carry permit is only necessary for individuals to conceal a pistol on their person in certain places. A permit is not required to transport a weapon from one place to another or to keep it at your place of business or your home.
Like with most laws involving firearms, the failure to adhere to Minnesota concealed carry laws can come with steep consequences. It is unlawful to carry a concealed handgun without a license in Minnesota. Additionally, carrying a concealed weapon is unlawful if you are intoxicated—even if you have a PCP. For a first-time offender, an arrest for unlawfully carrying a handgun is a misdemeanor. However, if you have been convicted of this offense before you can expect to be charged with a felony.
A conviction for unlawfully carrying a handgun can result in more than just time in jail or a steep fine. Having a criminal record at all could cause issues with maintaining your employment or finding a place to live. In some cases, a conviction could even cost you the right to own a firearm at all.
Discuss a Firearm Charge with Gerald Miller
If you have been charged with a gun offense in Minnesota, understand that a conviction could dramatically impact your legal rights. Do not delay in discussing your case with a skilled attorney, as the consequences of a conviction might last forever.
The attorneys of Gerald Miller are experienced with defending weapons offenses. If you have been accused of carrying a handgun unlawfully in Minnesota, our team is ready to discuss your options. To learn more, schedule your free consultation with Gerald Miller as soon as possible.