Testing Minnesota's gun show loophole

How easy is it to buy a firearm in the Twin Cities?

Pop! Pause. Pop! Pop! Pause. Pop! Pop!

After seeing the five shots land true, Rothman instructs me to reload ten more rounds and squeeze them off. I oblige. Nerves settled, I begin to understand the elusive appeal of the gun. To be in control of a tool this powerful and deadly is to experience a visceral, almost intoxicating degree of autonomy. It's sort of like the initial few days of giddy emancipation one feels after receiving a driving license, all contained in a flex of an index finger.

"I won't tell the other guys," Rothman says as the target reels back six additional feet, "but you're shooting a perfect score so far."

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Nick Vlcek

The words of encouragement proved to be a jinx. The next two shots veer five inches off-target, one high and to the left, the other just high. Ignoring the occasional spent shell casing peppering my head, I continue to blast away, each shot about two seconds apart. I regain control and finish with a score of 146.

I'm now eligible for a permit to carry in Minnesota.

I leave the Burnsville Pistol Range parking lot with a tattered paper target, 28 unspent 9 millimeter rounds, and a mild headache.

But no gun.

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