Permit-to-carry holders make for good citizensWORTHINGTON — It’s the end of January and, from what I can see, the wildlife is having a pretty tough time. It’s no secret the deer are herded up and the pheasants can no longer use any type of grass cover as it is now completely blown in with snow. Even in areas that have or had good quality grass cover suffer from blowing snow.
By: Scott Rall, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — It’s the end of January and, from what I can see, the wildlife is having a pretty tough time. It’s no secret the deer are herded up and the pheasants can no longer use any type of grass cover as it is now completely blown in with snow. Even in areas that have or had good quality grass cover suffer from blowing snow.
With no other wind breaks of consequence in many areas, these good areas act as the catch basin for all the snow that is blown their way. Even a really big area of good cover stands little chance when snow can be blown uninterrupted for many miles.
In order to help out the area wildlife, Nobles County Pheasants Forever, in cooperation with our area wildlife office, has a wagon of shell corn available in the parking lot at Runes Furniture. This corn is placed there to allow individuals to feed pheasants. I strongly encourage you to use it frequently and in moderation to allow many folks to take advantage of this expensive resource. It is no secret pheasant feeding can only make a small impact on pheasant numbers, but a little benefit is better than no benefit at all.
When you are done feeding pheasants and are looking for something else to do during the mid-winter doldrums, consider some adult firearms training. The adult firearms training will begin on Saturday, Feb. 12, and continue on the second Saturday of each month following. I am teaching a class in Worthington that allows Minnesota residents to apply for a permit to carry a firearm on their person.
The “carry class” is a 6-hour class that each person must take and pass in order to apply for a permit to carry. Taking the class does not mean you will get a permit to carry. It allows you to apply. Minnesota is a “shall issue” state. What this means is that if you pass the background check and are not a danger to yourself or others, you will be issued a carry permit.
Statistics show that in Minnesota the approval rate runs around 97 percent to 98 percent. The 2 percent to 3 percent that are declined are due to the background check identifying these individuals as having a criminal background and thus ineligible for a carry permit. In these instances, the background checks work to keep firearms out of the hands of these types of people.
Most of the permit denials are due to drug or domestic assault records.
Upon completion of the class, you can take your course completion certificate and apply to the County Sheriff and pay the appropriate fee.
The law enforcement agency will then conduct a thorough background check on each applicant. If the applicant passes the background check, they are issued a permit to carry that is good for five years. Every five years the permit carrier has to re-take the same class. A renewing permit holder will take the same class as a first-time applicant. The class covers all of the necessary information an applicant needs to know about this firearms privilege.
Minnesota passed the legislation that allows law-abiding citizens to carry a firearm back in 2003. I have written several columns about the effects of this new law. I spoke with the sheriff in detail a while back as to how this legislation has affected him and other law enforcement officers. Just as it has been in other states that passed theses laws years before Minnesota did, there has not been any measurable or noticeable change in gun-related enforcement calls. This information does not surprise me
The facts about permit holders are quite amazing. Permit holders show much greater responsibility when compared to the population at large. A few examples follow. When counting DWI arrests, there are 74.8 arrests per 10,000 individuals who do not have a permit to carry. Compare that to 5.3 arrests per 10,000 individuals in the permit holder population. The same trend is evident when it comes to assault arrests. There are 46 assault arrests per 10,000 non-permit holders and only 1.6 assault arrests per 10,000 individuals that have a permit to carry. The same is true for narcotic arrests and other crimes, but by now you get the picture.
These facts show permit-to-carry holders are less likely to commit crime than those who do not have such permission — and by a large margin. I have visited with many students who have taken the class. Many students intend to get a permit, and some have no intention.
The class covers many areas that all adults should know in order to not be a victim of violence. I have said that every child should take firearms safety even if they have no intention of hunting in the future. The same can be said of this class for adults in that you will learn what you need to know when you are in the parking ramps or other areas where bad things can happen. I don’t care if you are a women or a man, this class would be beneficial.
Education is the key to being safe and staying safe. Interest has been very high, and the first class is getting full. Additional classes currently accepting student registrations are March 12 and April 9. If you would like more information on the “permit to carry” class or the other firearms safety programs taking place in southwest Minnesota, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-6027.
Scott Rall is the Daily Globe’s outdoors columnist. His column can also be read weekly at www.dglobe.com.