County board OKs fee hike for weapon permits

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 14, 2003

The cost to carry a concealed weapon just went up.

The Mower County Board of Commissioners raised the fees to $100 for a new concealed carry weapon permit and $75 for a renewal.

The fees are the maximum that can be charged.

Email newsletter signup

Under the old fee system, CCWs cost $10 and the permits had to be renewed annually.

Minnesotans are expected to literally inundate county sheriff's for the new CCWs as soon as a new concealed carry law goes into effect. That will mean increased administrative costs to run the permit program plus additional expenses because of the possibility of appeals.

Beginning May 28, the state of Minnesota will have its new CCW law.

Among the changes in the law are that county sheriff's will now issue the permits instead of police chiefs.

Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi went to the Mower County Board of Commissioners Tuesday to seek the permit increase.

According to Amazi the Minnesota Department of Public Safety keeps only $10 and $5 respectively from the new and renewal permit fees.

"The money we collect can be used to help pay for any legal fees the county would incur if I am forced to go to court to defend my rejection of a permit application," Amazi said. "The new law has a provision for an automatic appeal to district court if a permit request is rejected by a county sheriff."

Amazi does have the power to reject applications from citizens, who could for mental or other reasons be considered unfit to carry a concealed weapon.

The new permits are for five years. There was little discussion at Tuesday's meeting over Amazi's request.

Ray Tucker, 2nd District, made the motion,and Dick Lang, 1st District, seconded it. The motion received unanimous approval of all five county commissioners.

According to the county sheriff, Fillmore, Olmsted and Freeborn counties have already obtained their county boards' authority to charge the maximum fee amounts.

In other action Tuesday, the county commissioners authorized the Austin Elks Lodge No. 414 to conduct charitable gambling at the Windrift Lounge.

The request was approved by a 4-0 vote. County Commissioner Dick Lang, 4th District, abstained.

Garry Ellingson, 5th District county commissioner and chairman of the county board, reported on the fairgrounds building projects.

According to Ellingson, the new agricultural display building behind the Mower County Historical Center is nearing completion.

Also, the concrete floor is being poured this week for the south building near the Crane Pavilion.

Two other multi-purpose, livestock buildings are being constructed around historic Crane Pavilion in a U-shaped fashion.

All four buildings are expected to be completed in time for use at this summer's Mower County Fair in August.

New suicide prevention equipment for the Mower County Jail will be purchased with jail canteen funds.

The cost of the equipment is estimated at $1,500, according to Bob Roche, jail administrators report to Craig Oscarson, county coordinator.

The commissioners authorized the purchase.

Lee Bonorden can be contacted at 434-2232 or by e-mail at