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The Requirements For Carrying A Firearm Or Gun In Minnesota


In this article, you will learn:

  • Who may carry a firearm in Minnesota
  • The requirements for doing so
  • Possible penalties for failing to follow these guidelines

To legally carry a gun in Minnesota, you must have a permit issued by a county sheriff in the state of Minnesota. Sheriffs will issue permits after reviewing your application and conducting a background check.

The Requirements For Obtaining A Permit To Carry A Gun

To get a permit to carry, you must submit your application through the county sheriff in the county where you live. You have to provide demographic information like your name and your birth date, your address, phone number, and driver’s license number.  They also require you to disclose your address over the previous five years.  You must have taken a gun safety course as well as authorize the sheriff’s office to conduct a background check.  Convictions for most misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor offenses will not automatically disqualify you, but the law does allow the sheriff to exercise some discretion in either granting or denying the application.  If you have a felony conviction, you’re likely prohibited by law from carrying a firearm, and the application would just be denied summarily.

The Most Common Gun Charge Cases

The most common gun charge cases that I handle are people who have felony convictions who are not allowed to be in possession of a firearm under any circumstance. Typically, they either get caught driving and there’s somehow a search of their vehicle, or there’s something else that happens that leads them to have contact with law enforcement that leads to the discovery of the gun.  The other type of case that I see somewhat frequently is people possessing a firearm without a permit, but with no prior conviction history, but they get caught transporting a firearm without a permit, or improperly transporting it, which can be a gross misdemeanor level charge.

One’s Ability To Own Or Possess A Gun With A Felony In Minnesota

If you have a felony conviction, you cannot own or possess a gun in Minnesota.  However, it is possible with some felony convictions, if they’re not considered crimes of violence, that you can seek to have your firearm rights reinstated, but in most cases, you’re not eligible to carry a firearm in Minnesota if you have a felony conviction.

Potential Jail Time A Convicted Felon Could Get For A Possession Of A Firearm In Minnesota

The statutory maximum sentence a felon in possession of a firearm can receive is 15 years.  Even if the maximum sentence does not apply, there is a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years. Under certain circumstances a judge can depart from the mandatory sentence, but a skilled attorney would need to make a motion for a departure for that to happen.

When And Where It Is Illegal To Carry Guns In Minnesota

In Minnesota, individual landlords can determine whether they will allow firearms on their premises.  Most large companies, for example like Mall of America, or other shopping malls prohibit firearms on their premise, and then there are generally signs posted at the entrances indicating this.  It’s illegal to carry in some county, government buildings, and courthouses, and every local government jurisdiction gets to have discretion to create their rules regarding their own government buildings.  So, they must post whether it’s allowed at the entrance, and if it’s not posted, you can presume that it’s okay, but if it is posted, you carry it inside, and you’re caught, you may be facing a felony charge. If it’s a private business, it’s probably a misdemeanor, but there are certainly penalties for disobeying the signage as well.

There is a misconception in Minnesota, many people think you have to conceal-carry, but Minnesota is actually an open-carry state. If you have a valid carry permit, you can walk down the sidewalk with your rifle or handgun out in the open and it is legal.  Law enforcement may stop you to verify you have a valid permit, but once you provide the proper permit documentation, you will be free to go.

Possession Of A Firearm Or A Handgun In Public Without A Permit Or While Under The Influence

If you carry a handgun in public without a permit, your first offense is a gross misdemeanor.  If you do it repeatedly, you could get to a felony level offense.  If you’re under the influence, even if you have a permit, you could be facing charges for carrying while under the influence because the statutes, while they allow people to carry firearms with the permit, do not allow you to be under the influence while you do so.  Additionally, if you were to be in a situation where you actually discharge your firearm and you’re under the influence, you’re going to be looked at and scrutinized much more significantly than if you were sober as far as whether you’re at fault. For example, if you had a duty to retreat, you could retreat so you’re opening yourself up to a significant liability, both civilly if somebody sues you for damaging their property, or criminally if you were to be charged with an assault, homicide, or a manslaughter charge.

For more information on Gun Charges In Minnesota, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (651)-964-4512 today.

Jennifer Congdon, Esq.

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