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Monday was a record day for number of gun permit applications in Anoka County

Guns (or at least permits to buy them) are hot items this holiday season.
Guns (or at least permits to buy them) are hot items this holiday season.

In the wake of the Newtown school shooting, guns aren't just a hot topic of conversation -- they're also in high demand.

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Monday was a record day for gun permit applications in Anoka County, and the number of applications in Hennepin, Washington, and Dakota counties also spiked in recent days.

According to the PiPress, 36 gun applications were filed in Anoka County on Monday. That's a record -- 10 to 15 are filed in a typical day. The previous record was established November 7, the day after President Obama won reelection.

In Dakota, Washington, and Hennepin counties on Monday and Tuesday, officials processed two to three times the number of gun applications they would've seen during a typical pre-Newtown day.

But the trend isn't universal. For some reason, residents of Ramsey County are resisting the allure of gun permits -- according to the Star Tribune, 15 applications were filed in Ramsey County on the first post-Newtown Monday (December 17), compared to 16 the week prior.

The Star Tribune provides information about what happens once county officials receive an application, which pretty much boils down to this -- a gun permit is granted:

Minnesota law allows counties up to 30 days to review gun-permit applications, [Anoka County Sheriff's Commander Paul] Sommer said. That process includes background checks by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, local police and county human-services agencies.

The background-check process does not include an intensive inquiry into the applicant's mental health [Dakota County Sheriff Dave] Bellows said.

Only about 1 percent of applications are rejected, while statistics show that 20 percent to 25 percent of the population has some form of mental illness, and 6 percent to 10 percent have more severe forms, he said.

Jim Rauscher, owner of Joe's Sporting Goods in Little Canada, connected the spike in permit applications with the vague pro-gun control speech Obama delivered in Connecticut on Sunday night .

"The president went on TV and said something would change," Rauscher told the PiPress. "Not knowing what that change will be, if it will make [obtaining guns] tougher... some people want to take the steps now to protect themselves."

Statewide, the number of residents with permits to carry guns increased by 25 percent from December 1, 2011, to December 1 of this year, the PiPress reports -- and that number doesn't account for the dramatic post-Newtown spike in permit applications.


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