What You Should Know About Gun Carry Laws in Minnesota

Minnesota gun laws operate on a shall-issue policy with required permits for carrying open and concealed weapons.

Understanding Minnesota Gun Laws

Minnesota gun laws have clearly outlined regulations that must be followed for carrying firearms. Minnesota is considered a “shall issue” state that issues gun permits to both state and non-state residents under required conditions. Minnesota also honors gun permits from residents of 15 other states including Alaska, Delaware, Illinois, and Michigan.

Minnesota CCW Permits

Minnesota gun laws have strict requirements for issuing gun permits to all individuals whether state residents or non-residents. If approved, permits are good for 5 years from the date of issue. Applicant requirements:

  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Must complete an application and all required forms
  • Must provide a certificate of completed authorized firearms training
  • Must not be prohibited under Minnesota law from firearm possession
  • Must not be listed in the criminal gang investigation system
  • Minnesota residents must apply in their county of residence

Permits are not required for transporting a firearm or keeping a firearm in a private residence or place of business. As a Castle Doctrine state, Minnesota supports people’s rights to protect against bodily harm or death in their private residence. Under the law, a person has no duty to retreat before using deadly force for self-defense in his/her own home. However, defendants may face charges for accidentally shooting someone in Minnesota.

Open and Concealed Carry Laws

Open carry of a firearm is legal in Minnesota with an issued permit. The law does not stipulate whether the firearm must be concealed. Concealed carry is legal with a permit to carry a pistol. Concealed carry permits are only valid for handguns and do not apply to rifles, shotguns, or automatic weapons.

In Minnesota, it is legal to carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle with a proper permit and license. If the gun is not licensed, it must be unloaded and concealed in the vehicle’s trunk or a closed and fastened gun case.

If stopped by law enforcement for a traffic offense or other violation, a person is not required by law to inform the police officer that he/she is carrying a concealed weapon. However, if arrested for a crime with a firearm, defense through a Minnesota criminal law attorney is necessary. Criminal acts that involved firearms carry stiff penalties and jail time in Minnesota. In many cases, a weapons charge will increase the severity of any other charges.

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

People facing criminal charges in Minnesota often ask, “Can you defend yourself in court?” You can represent yourself in court when charged with a crime. Self-representation, however, is not typically in the accused's best interests, even if courts allow it.
Parents whose children have been arrested or accused of committing a heinous crime might wonder, “Can a minor be charged with a felony?” A minor aged 14 years or older but below 18 years may face felony charges in Minnesota.
People accused of or under investigation for assault might ask, “What are the charges for assault?” Minnesota has five levels of assault charges. First-degree assault is the most serious offense, and a conviction often results in the most severe penalties, like long prison time and hefty fines.