In the last decade, nearly 160,000 Minnesotans have lawfully obtained the Permit to Carry a Pistol — and now you can add a few more to that statistic. Last week, YALers from across the state got together to successfully complete the first step in gaining approval to carry a firearm for purposes of self defense.
While the 2nd Amendment to the Bill of Rights clearly states, “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed,” the democratically-controlled Minnesota legislature severely threatened our individual rights to do just that in its last legislative session. They worked to make it even more difficult to obtain a Permit to Purchase, tried to increase fees on law-abiding gun owners, and even tried to ban any magazines that held seven or more rounds. These attempts were fortunately met with fierce resistance from the general public, and after several weeks of intense hearings, testimony, and rallies at the Capitol Building, we prevented the legislation from being enacted…for now.
Because this issue was at the forefront of the political discussion for most of the year, YALers decided to act upon our convictions and practice our rights. With the help of Blue Line Defense and one very gracious donor, 12 of us were able to take our training course at almost no cost (usually $125+). We took an extensive five-hour indoor training, and an additional hour long training out on the gun range.
In our training, we learned how to safely handle a firearm, where we can carry a firearm, how to make the right decision on when to use the firearm, along with legal details on how to respond to law enforcement when they inquire about your firearm.
At the end of the day, we can talk the talk all we want, but the safest and surest way to defend your rights is to practice them. Spending a summer weekend day getting our training complete shows the older generations that we are serious about our Constitution and gives them hope for the future.
Minnesota YALers have a history of actively supporting gun rights. We have held shooting events before, and are planning yet another in the near future. Many have even gone out of their way to start their own gun clubs on campus. I encourage other chapters to organize similar events because it offers a way for us to practice our rights together and have fun doing it!