St. Paul shootout may rekindle concealed carry debate

An incident in St. Paul Monday afternoon should give everyone who likes to debate the concealed carry law a chance to say, “See? I told you.”

The predictions of in-the-street shootouts when the bill was being debated never came to pass. At the same time, though, it’s been difficult to get a handle on how often a permitted gun was used to thwart crime because the law makes it illegal for police to tell us.

Somehow, however, that part of the law didn’t get followed (Update: This is in dispute. Minneapolis police and other departments have said a section of the law authorizing release of data to the Department of Public Safety precludes release to the public). Police told the Pioneer Press the would-be victim of a robbery near Hmongtown Marketplace at Como and Pennsylvania Avenues in St. Paul had a permit to carry his gun.

The scene, as described the the Pioneer Press, is the rare instance that meets the predictions of the anti-gun crowd at the Capitol.

As the men were attempting to rob him, he pulled out his own handgun and exchanged gunfire with the two men. Police said the man had a permit to carry his handgun.

The would-be assailants fled in a car — and the man got into his own car and chased them, police said. They drove just over a mile, before engaging in a second gunfight in the 900 block of Thomas Avenue.

The man, who was not injured, then returned to the scene of the initial gunfight and spoke with police. The initial incident took place about 5:30 p.m. and remained under investigation late into the evening.

At the same time, it’s a “win” for concealed carry supporters. Obviously, a crime was stopped because someone had a legal weapon.

There’s no mention of whether other people were around at the time of the shootout, nor where all the bullets that missed their intended targets went.