Press Releases

   

Twin Cities group plans “open carry” meet ups to coincide with “Open Streets” events

posted Jun 18, 2013, 2:06 PM by Ronnie V

Minneapolis, MN (June 18, 2013) - A local gun owners group is aiming to make a positive impact during a planned series of social meet ups they’ve dubbed “Open Streets – Open Carry,” which will coincide with the “Open Streets” events already planned in Minneapolis and St. Paul throughout the summer months.

A spokesperson for the group, Twin Cities Gun Owners & Carry Forum, says he hopes that their visibility at the events will help to increase awareness about lawful and responsible gun ownership, as well as help to educate the public on Minnesota’s right-to-carry law.

“There’s a lot of misconception about Minnesota’s carry law,” spokesperson Ryan Krieg said. “If you have a permit-to-carry recognized by this state, there is no requirement to conceal your firearm.” He explained that the confusion originates when, instead of using the preferred term, “right-to-carry,” people use the generic terms “concealed carry” or “conceal and carry” when referring to Minnesota’s carry law. He stated that those terms are often even used by firearms instructors and law enforcement, which he claims further adds to the public’s misunderstanding of the law. “The result ends up being a very confused public that panics and calls the police when they see a ‘good guy or gal’ who has a visible but securely holstered firearm at their side.”

To emphasize the point, Krieg relayed the details of an experience that the group had in March during one of their monthly coffee meet ups that resulted in the police being called and three squads responding. “There were about twenty-five of us having coffee, laughing and socializing at a coffee shop in Hopkins when another customer walked in, saw a few of us with holstered firearms, turned around and left and called the Hopkins police. The person apparently had no concept that it was legal for citizens to have an exposed firearm, so they panicked without thoroughly assessing that there was no ‘threat’ present.”

Police calls like that end up being a waste of public safety time and resources, Krieg insists, and maintains that criminals and those without permits would be unlikely to openly carry their firearms in public. “The police were cool,” laughed Krieg. “They even said they had ‘no problem’ with us carrying but said they need to check it out when people call about a ‘person with a gun.’”

Asked why the group decided to schedule the open carry meet up events to coincide with the Minneapolis and St. Paul “Open Streets” events, Krieg stated that the group had been exploring options to organize their own stand-alone “open carry” events through their affiliated online forum, Minneapolis Open Carry, but decided that attending as a group at the already scheduled events was a “perfect opportunity” for the gun owners’ group to take advantage of the highly visible public settings and share information with the community through active participation. “Plus, we’re no different from everyone else,” Krieg insisted. “We like to have fun and participate in community events with our friends and families, too. The only difference is that we legally carry a firearm.”

Responding to questions about why someone would open carry versus conceal carry and whether there are any safety concerns, Krieg replied that many of the people he knows open carry for different reasons. “It can be a comfort issue, [or for] accessibility in an emergency. If seconds are at stake, you don’t want to have your response time impeded by clothing.” For some, he said, having a concealed holster inside a waistband can become irritating, and for women, who are usually more fashion conscious and wear more form-fitting clothes, he said they may not want the bulges or they may have trouble fitting a holster inside their clothing. “For others, they open carry simply because, by law, they can.”

Krieg contends that some even feel that open carrying a firearm is a crime deterrent. “Of course, we can’t measure crime that doesn’t happen, but if a bad guy is profiling for his next target, why not remove yourself from being sized up as a potential victim in the first place?” When asked about the possibility of people having their guns taken from them in an open carry situation, Krieg said that borders on “Urban Legend.” “There’s no doubt that it’s happened,” he said, “but the statistics just don’t bear out as a whole in comparison to the number of people who lawfully open carry. If you want to talk about who’s safer, compare assaults of people who aren’t carrying against the number of people assaulted who are legally carrying.”

As of June 1 of this year there were 144,127 persons with a Minnesota permit-to-carry, and nearly 59,000 of them in the seven county metro area according to the Minnesota Association of Defensive Firearms Instructors (MADFI) website. According to MADFI, the June total increased by 5,564 from the prior month making it the fourth largest monthly gain since the Minnesota Citizens’ Personal Protection Act (MCPPA) was passed in 2003. The MCPPA moved Minnesota from a "may issue" to a "shall issue" state, meaning that with some exceptions the law requires sheriffs to approve all applications, provided those who request permits are at least 21 years old and have recently undergone handgun safety training.

Krieg suggested that it appears that 2013 permit-to-carry numbers could be on pace to nearly double the number of permit holders Minnesota had at the end of 2012, which was approximately 90,000. “That means you’ll likely be seeing a lot more people carrying, Krieg claimed, “making public awareness and education even more important.”

 
   

Businesses give discounts for those packing heat

posted Jun 18, 2013, 1:59 PM by Ronnie V

A number of Twin Cities area and other Minnesota businesses are offering discounts to customers with permits to carry a firearm.

The growing list of businesses is the creation of Twin Cities Gun Owners & Carry Forum. A spokesperson from the group said that they started the list on their website as a way to create awareness about lawful carry in Minnesota as part of their proactive visibility mission. 

"We have a lot of negativity and misinformation about gun owners in the media lately," said Ryan Krieg, a spokesperson from the group. "We're trying to counter that negativity with something positive." 

The list of businesses offering discounts covers an interesting mix of products and services including: appliance repair, a florist, computer products and services, automotive services, hardwood floor services, construction, real estate and specialty reptiles. Businesses on the list span across the state from Hastings to Baxter to Cloquet and cities in between.

Krieg said that businesses can get their discount listed for free on the group's website. "We're posting the discounts as a public service for permit holders and the businesses willing to offer them," Krieg said. Businesses can submit their offers through a special form available on the group's website

The group also has an additional page on their website listing "2A Friendly" businesses. Krieg stated that the list was started at the request of group members who wanted to favor businesses that don't have anti-gun policies or that don't ban guns carried by legal permit holders. "Gun owners tend to be particular about spending money at businesses that support their rights, and avoiding businesses that don't," Krieg said. 

As of April 1, 2013, Minnesota had 132,552 active permit holders in the state. That number grew by a record amount of over 7,200 from the previous month. And, according to the Dept. of Public Safety 2012 Permit to Carry Report, Minnesota saw nearly a 50 percent increase in permits to carry issued in 2012 over the number issued in 2011.

Minnesota law does not require concealment of firearms carried by those with a valid permit to carry recognized by the state of Minnesota.

Twin Cities Gun Owners & Carry Forum is a subsidiary group of Minnesotans for the Right to Keep & Bear Arms. 
   

Law Abiding Gun Owners to Air Grievances

posted May 6, 2013, 12:24 PM by Ronnie V   [ updated May 6, 2013, 2:06 PM ]

Law Abiding Gun Owners to Air Grievances

May 6, 2013

Minneapolis Minn. - Law abiding Twin Cities area gun owners are planning to gather Monday evening, May 6, to air their grievances about metro DFL legislators and Protect Minnesota, a gun control organization, both of which the group says proposed and supported misdirected gun control legislation that targeted law abiding gun owners in the 2013 session.

"Instead of focusing their efforts on legislation that would have strengthened our existing background check system and would have strengthened penalties against those who commit gun crimes, metro democrats and Protect Minnesota set their sights on the easy target, law abiding gun owners," said Ryan Krieg, a gun rights activist and spokesperson for Minnesotans for the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and Twin Cities Gun Owners & Carry Forum.

Krieg listed an array of bills introduced, well over a dozen, including some that he says proposed everything from bans and confiscation of common use firearms all the way down to and including simple five and six shot revolvers, bans on standard capacity magazines, a bill requiring that permit holders who accidentally step on school property be charged with a felony, a bill that would have repealed state preemption that would have created a patchwork of differing firearms laws throughout the state and a bill giving local police jurisdictions arbitrary authority to deny permit applications.

"They tried to throw everything including the kitchen sink at us law abiding gun owners," Krieg said, stating that none of the proposed bills would have stopped future mass shootings or would have kept criminals from obtaining firearms illegally. "Criminals and deranged people don't care about laws," insisted Krieg. "We have an existing system [National Instant Check System, NICS] that isn't being properly supplied with information about prohibited persons, and we have existing laws that aren't being enforced or properly prosecuted. We all want to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, and this legislature missed their opportunity to do something meaningful toward that end."

Krieg noted the exception of metro DFL representative Debra Hilstrom (40B DFL) who introduced a bill, HF 1323, that addressed fixing the gaps in NICS by requiring the state to timely report information into the system and which also proposed increased penalties for straw buyers and those who commit gun crimes. "That bill had the support of nearly 80 bi-partisan co-authors and had the support of Minnesota sheriffs, including Hennepin County's sheriff [Rich Stanek], but [Rep. Michael] Paymar (64B DFL) refused to give the bill a hearing in the public safety committee, and Protect Minnesota came out against the bill by playing the race card and specifically opposing increased sentences for criminals who commit gun crimes," said Krieg, "that's unconscionable and they need to be held accountable for their actions."

Krieg also said that the attempt at adding a provision for watered down "background checks at gun shows" amounted to nothing more than "feel good legislation" that would not have kept criminals from obtaining guns illegally. "The forty percent gun show loop hole is a myth," Krieg said. "It's been debunked repeatedly."

The group of gun owners had been planning a peaceful demonstration on Monday evening to oppose the gun control proposals until House speaker Paul Thissen announced last week that no gun bills would be voted on this session. "We changed the demonstration to a 'battle' victory celebration and chance to re-energize to strengthen us for the next wave of attacks on law abiding gun owners," said Krieg. The group is meeting at The Library Bar in Dinkytown at 6 p.m., Krieg stated that it's a casual social gathering and an opportunity for gun owners to make connections and strategize about upcoming elections. "We have every intention of actively mobilizing to unseat the politicians who targeted us and attempted to infringe on our civil rights."
 
 
 

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