Arrests involving people carrying firearms up 25 percentby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — New numbers show Minnesota police arrested more people carrying firearms last year.
County attorneys reported 778 crimes that allegedly involved weapons in 2009, an increase of nearly 25 percent from the year before.
The number of crimes allegedly involving a firearm in Hennepin County jumped from 122 in 2008 to 216 last year while, during the same period, violent crime in Minneapolis fell dramatically.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman explained the apparent contradiction as a matter of priorities.
"Frankly we feel right now the most important thing to do is be very aggressive about the most serious crimes," Freeman said. "Many of the serious crimes include carrying guns and that's why I think our numbers are up."
Hennepin County prosecutors brought charges against all the offenders in firearms cases, and courts convicted four out of five offenders.