Push for more background checks stalls; 99 percent of gun applications approved last year

The number of Minnesotans with gun permits jumped dramatically last year.
The number of Minnesotans with gun permits jumped dramatically last year.

On the same day that Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, D-Cook, said it'll be "tough to get the votes" to pass a bill expanding background checks for prospective gun owners, data released by the state shows that just about every gun permit application filed last year was approved.

-- Minnesota gun permit holders: Five justifiable firearm uses, 124 crimes on record since 2003
-- More Minnesotans were killed in fist fights than by rifles in 2011

In 2012, 31,657 permits applications were received by county sheriffs, and 31,492 were approved. That's good for a 99 percent approval rate, which is pretty scary when you consider that a homicidal manic like Christian Oberender wasn't red-flagged when he applied for a permit.

The number of permit applications approved last year surged about 50 percent from 2011 -- from 20,772 to 31,657 in 2012. Of course, not all of Minnesota's 125,339 permit holders necessarily own guns.

During a news conference earlier today, Bakk said combined opposition from Republicans and conservative Democrats will almost certainly kill any effort to expand the scope of required background checks this legislative session.

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