MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan says Andrew Engeldinger, the shooter in the Bryn Mawr massacre, purchased his weapons legally.
What Dolan could not tell me in an interview on WCCO-AM on Saturday is whether Engeldinger had a conceal and carry permit. Dolan told me he had to “careful” because the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department told him that information was private and protected by state privacy laws. Minnesota has had a conceal and carry law since 2003. It’s one of 30 states to have one.
The New York Times reports FBI statistics that say nationally, the applications for background checks to purchase firearms increased from 8.9 million in 2001, to 16.4 million in 2011.
Like it or not, we are a nation of gun owners. While other permits such as driver’s licenses are public, conceal and carry apparently brings with it a shield of privacy.
There are many unanswered questions surrounding the tragic murders in Bryn Mawr. We will likely never have answers to all of them.
But whether Andrew Engeldinger had such a permit is one question I hope is eventually answered. Because it’s one the public and the victim’s families deserve to know.