Minnesota Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Minnesota

The state of Minnesota has a juvenile possession laws and juvenile sale or transfer laws in place along with a Child Access Prevention law. Minnesota does not require a permit to carry a rifle or a shotgun but it does require a permit to carry a handgun. Firearms–including handguns, shotguns, and rifles–do not need to be registered nor does there need to be a permit in place to purchase them from a dealer. The owners of any rifles, shotguns, or handguns do not need to be licensed to possess them.

Minnesota LawsThere is a waiting period in place that can last up to seven days before a permit can be obtained to buy a handgun. The Federal Bureau of Investigations has the right to check any and all firearm negotiations using a National Instant Check System. Through this power rifles, shotguns, and other large guns are checked through a federal system while all handguns are check through a state system. All records of sale through dealers are kept on file for government and law enforcement purposes.

Minnesota is nicknamed the Land of 10,000 Lakes and is found in the Midwest of the United States. As the second northernmost state (second only to Alaska), Minnesota is bordered to the north by Canada, North Dakota and South Dakota to the west, Iowa to the south, and Wisconsin to the east. Minnesota makes up almost 2.25% of the entire area of the United States. Open carry is legal in Minnesota with a valid license to carry.

Possession Eligibility

Minnesota gun laws have been set up to protect citizens from unnecessary incidents where individuals are accidentally injured. These laws are to help keep firearms from reckless individuals and individuals who are prone to violence. To do this Minnesota has created different groups for those who are eligible and those who are not eligible to possess firearms.

Those who are noted as unfit to possess firearms includes those who have previously been convicted of a violence crime where ten years have not yet passed to restore civil rights; those who are considered mentally unstable or mentally ill and dangerous to others; those under the age of eighteen; those who have been charged with the use of, the sale of, or the possession of a controlled substance other than marijuana; those who have been treated for controlled substance addiction; and those who regularly abuse alcohol. Under these categories certain time limits apply for how long ineligibility lasts and can be between two years and ten years, and in some cases eligibility can never be restored.

Those who have been convicted of felonies in the first class while possessing a handgun lose their right to possess a firearm in the future. Individuals who have been convicted of misdemeanors while using a handgun also those this Constitutional right. Certain circumstances can allow for these rights to be re-established, which is usually done through a court of law.

Waiting Period

Minnesota imposes a seven (7) day waiting period before purchasing a handgun or assault weapon. This waiting period is waived for people who possess a valid Minnesota carry license.

Open Carry (Without a Valid Permit/License)

Open carry is legal in Minnesota but you must have a valid permit/license to carry openly. Places as listed in the “Criminal Provisions” above apply to those who open carry. The state preempts all firearm laws in the state and local authorities cannot have laws/ordinances against open carry. Remember that if you enter any property and the owner/responsible person asks You to leave, You must leave. Failure to leave can result in trespass charges.

Whoever carries a BB gun, rifle, or shotgun on or about their person in a public place is guilty of a gross misdemeanor, unless they have a license/permit. A person under the age of 21 who carries a semiautomatic military-style assault weapon on or about their person in public is guilty of a felony.

Carrying Firearms in Vehicles

A permit is required to legally transport a firearm. Minnesota allows the transportation of firearms in a motor vehicle if the gun is unloaded and either: 1) in a gun case made to contain the firearm, and the case fully encloses the firearm by being zipped, snapped, buckled, tied or otherwise fastened, without any portion of the gun exposed; or 2) in the closed trunk.

Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

Yes. Minnesota has no laws prohibiting the carrying of firearms in restaurants that serve alcohol. You can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Gun Sign,” then it is suggested that You not carry into the establishment. This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant. You can carry your firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol, but you are prohibited from consuming alcohol while carrying a firearm.

Self-defense Laws

Minnesota has a form of the Castle Doctrine but no SYG law. There is no duty to retreat when in Your home or place of business. You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, or the commission of a forcible felony within Your dwelling.

Transferring and Carrying a Firearm

Since Minnesota law states that all individuals carrying handguns must possess legal licenses, the law also states where unlicensed individuals may carry handguns. While transferring a firearm from one place to another, the firearm must not be loaded and needs to be enclosed in a secure package. Law enforcement officials and on-duty military personnel are permitted to carry firearms without a license. This law was set into place to prevent ineligible individuals from obtaining any kind of firearm as to be used for illegal purposes.

Reciprocal Carry

Minnesota will recognize another state’s license to carry, at the discretion of the Commissioner of Public Safety.

Criminal Provisions

Under Minnesota law, a license to carry a handgun is not valid in any of the following places or circumstances:

  • Possession or storage of a firearm while knowingly on school property, including:
    • A public or private elementary, middle, or secondary school (whether leased or owned by the school)
    • A child care center while children are present and participating in the child care program
    • A school bus when that bus is being used by a school to transport one or more students to and from school-related activities (which includes curricular and extracurricular activities)
  • It’s a felony to recklessly discharge a firearm from a motor vehicle
  • Private property if no gun sign is posted or requested to leave by owner, except employees may keep a firearm in their car on the parking lot of their employer
  • Churches if they have a ban on firearms in the building and parking lot
  • Authorities are prohibited from confiscating firearms during states of emergency
  • Any correctional facility or state hospital
  • In a public place while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a combination thereof
  • Minnesota residents may now purchase firearms in any state so long as the purchase is permitted by federal law and the law of that state

Under Minnesota law, a license to carry a handgun is valid in the following exceptions:

  • That portion of a building or facility under the temporary, exclusive control of a public or private school, a school district, or an association of such entities where conspicuous signs are prominently posted at each entrance that give actual notice to persons of the school-related use
  • The above does not apply to:
    • Active licensed peace officers;
    • Military personnel or students participating in military training, who are on-duty, performing official duties;
    • Persons authorized to carry a pistol under section 624.714 while in a motor vehicle or outside of a motor vehicle to directly place a firearm in, or retrieve it from, the trunk or rear area of the vehicle;
    • Persons who keep or store in a motor vehicle pistols in accordance with section 624.714 or 624.715 or other firearms in accordance with section 97B.045;
    • Firearm safety or marksmanship courses or activities conducted on school property;
    • Possession of dangerous weapons, BB guns, or replica firearms by a ceremonial color guard;
    • A gun or knife show held on school property;
    • Possession of dangerous weapons, BB guns, or replica firearms with written permission of the principal or other person having general control and supervision of the school or the director of a child care center; or
    • Persons who are on unimproved property owned or leased by a child care center, school, or school district unless the person knows that a student is currently present on the land for a school-related activity

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