ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)- With meetings taking place this week at the White House regarding gun control, it raises the question about the firearm situation closer to home.
The gun laws do vary from state to state, so it is understandable where it may get confusing as to what is legal and what is not.
From Washington to Rochester, a discussion on gun control is topic number one. For Minnesota, what weapons can be purchased with a weapons permit may be a bit ambiguous.
"There's a single permit to purchase and it doesn't matter if it is an assault rifle, assault weapon or a handgun," explains Stacie Sinner with the Olmsted County Sheriff's Department.
The type of gun able to be purchased is broken down by age.
"A person must be 18 years old to purchase an assault rifle and they must be 21 years old to purchase a handgun and handgun ammunition."
The applications for these permits are on their way up, nearing record levels.
"Previous to 2012, we were issuing 700 to 800 permits a year," says Sinner. "In 2012, we issued about 1,200 permits and currently we're receiving 40 to 50 applications per day."
Once a permit is issued, the legal firearms can be purchased. People tend to go to firing ranges to practice, including the Southeast Minnesota Sportsman's Club in Rochester.
In a statement issued to KTTC, the club states that "Southern Minnesota Sportsman's Club allows the use of legally purchased semi-automatic firearms to be used in a responsible manner at its facility. Semi-automatic firearms have been made in this country since about 1907, and they had extended magazines then too."
The Sportsman's Club continues to stay that, "The terms 'assault rifle' and 'assault weapon' are media driven phrases meant to demonize semi-automatic firearms that simply look a certain way."
It is unknown what kind of weapons people are buying with their legal permits, but the number of issued permits is undeniable, and the national discussion on gun control continues.
Lawmakers are still trying to figure out what will be done regarding gun control at a national level, but here for now it is important to know the laws as they stand and pay attention to the ongoing government discussions both at the state and national levels.
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