FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (KMSP) - Family along with Philando Castile's girlfriend said he had a permit to carry a gun. But what exactly does that mean especially when police are involved?
The police officer, who is shown in the video with his gun still drawn, is heard saying, "I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hand off it." Castile's girlfriend is then ordered to get out of the car by another officer. As she exits the vehicle, the video shows several officers with their guns drawn and an officer holding her daughter. READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT
There are 217,000 Minnesotans who have a permit to carry a firearm. Officially, it is called the Minnesota Personal Protection act, which was enacted in 2003. At its basic level, the law allows people to carry a pistol in public if they have a permit. That's why this law is called "permit to carry."
Oftentimes, people will incorrectly call it the “conceal-carry law,” and use the term interchangeably – but it is not. Minnesota’s permit to carry law does not require citizens to conceal their pistol, although most people do.
To get a permit to carry a firearm, you have to be at least 21 years old and you have to have completed a firearms training course. The permit holder must carry that permit and a driver’s license with him or her at all times when they’re carrying that firearm -- and according to statute, “must display the permit and identification document upon the lawful demand of a peace officer."
The section of the statute that could apply to Castile's traffic stop states: "Upon request of a peace officer, a permit holder shall disclose to the officer whether or not the permit holder is currently carrying a firearm." There is nothing in the law that requires a person to voluntarily disclose to a peace officer that he has a permit or a firearm on him.
The 217,000 names of people who have permits to carry is not public information. Therefore, it is not in fact known if Castile really did have a permit. Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman would not confirm that information because it is part of the official investigation.