FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More

Minnesota Gun Laws

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Introduction

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 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.

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A. State Constitution

The Minnesota Constitution does not have a provision for the right to bear arms. [http://gunla.ws/mn1]

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B. Scope of Preemption

The controlling language of the Minnesota preemption statute is set forth as follows:

“The legislature preempts all authority of a home rule charter or statutory city including a city of the first class, county, town, municipal corporation, or other governmental subdivision, or any of their instrumentalities, to regulate firearms, ammunition, or their respective components to the complete exclusion of any order, ordinance or regulation by them except that:

(a) a governmental subdivision may regulate the discharge of firearms; and

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(b) a governmental subdivision may adopt regulations identical to state law.

Local regulation inconsistent with this section is void.”

[http://gunla.ws/mn2]

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C. Reciprocal Carry

Minnesota will recognize another state’s license to carry, at the discretion of the Commissioner of Public Safety.  [http://gunla.ws/mnrc]

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D. Duty to Inform Officers

Minnesota does not require individuals to inform a LEO of a permit or license to carry by state law, but some municipalities and localities do have such a requirement. The holder of a permit to carry must have a permit card and a driver’s license, state identification card, or other government-issued photo identification in immediate possession at all times when carrying a pistol and must display the permit card and identification document upon lawful demand by a LEO. [http://gunla.ws/cmlw]

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E. NFA Items

Minnesota permits ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law, but imposes additional state regulations. MGs and SBRs are only legal if they count as curio & relics, and You must register them with the state within 10 days of acquisition. Some destructive devices are prohibited in most cases. Hunting with suppressors is legal. Persons 18 and older may purchase assault weapons with a permit to purchase (or permit to carry for persons 21 and older). [http://gunla.ws/tjxp] &  [http://gunla.ws/dqzu]

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F. Carrying Firearms in Vehicles

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.

[http://gunla.ws/mn3]

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G. Self-defense Laws

Minnesota has a 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. [http://gunla.ws/mn4]

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H. 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 be a felony to recklessly discharge a firearm from a motor vehicle [http://gunla.ws/uu8n]
  • 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

For a list of places where carrying a firearm is prohibited, see:

[http://gunla.ws/mn5]

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 [http://gunla.ws/60966]
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I. 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. [http://gunla.ws/5zvn]

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J. Do “No Gun Signs” Have the Force of Law?

No. “No Firearm” signs in Minnesota do not have the force of law unless they are posted on property that is specifically mentioned in State law as being off limits to those with a permit/license to carry. However, as a possessor with a real property interest, a retailer, has the right to limit, and qualify the right to enter the property, subject to not carrying a handgun. It would be improper to enter, and the licensee would be subject to ejection for possession of a handgun thereat. Failure to leave once requested would subject the licensee to criminal charges. [http://gunla.ws/gevj]

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K. 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.

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L. 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. [http://gunla.ws/fude]

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FIND GUN LAWS BY STATE

Table of Contents

About the author
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Bryan L. Ciyou is a trial and appellate attorney at the Indianapolis law firm of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. He earned his BA with distinction and graduated through the honors program, along with his JD,... Read More