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Published March 01, 2013, 11:49 AM

2012 was record year for handgun permits in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota sheriffs have issued a record number of permits to people who want to carry handguns in public, with 31,657 permits granted in 2012.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota sheriffs have issued a record number of permits to people who want to carry handguns in public, with 31,657 permits granted in 2012.

That's a considerable spike from recent years. In 2011, there were just shy of 21,000 five-year permits issued.

An annual report by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension that tallies the permit data was released Friday. It includes a county-by-county breakdown of permit holders.

The number of valid permits in Minnesota now tops 125,000.

Last year, there were 33,816 requests for permits. Fewer than 300 were denied and roughly 1,800 applications were pending when the report was produced.

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