A guy's hand carrying a gun and trying to load it with a slug.

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.

A guy's hand carrying a gun and trying to load it with a slug.

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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.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and 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. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

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

Knowing how to choose a criminal defense lawyer in Minneapolis, MN, can help you hire a lawyer who will prepare an effective defense strategy and fight for the best result from your case. One of the crucial tips when selecting a criminal defense lawyer is to vet those with relevant experience in cases like yours. You can only do this when you thoroughly understand the charges you are facing.
People anticipating an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, might ask, “What is the role of a defense attorney during an arrest?” A skilled criminal defense attorney can explain your options, ensure the police follow the rules, and protect your rights. The attorney will build a solid defense, talk to the prosecutor, and fight for your best interests.
Knowing when to hire a criminal lawyer for your case in Minnesota can help protect your constitutional rights and turn the odds in your favor. You should retain a criminal lawyer immediately after learning you are under investigation, get arrested, or are charged with a crime. Seasoned criminal lawyers understand the criminal justice system, can build a winning defense strategy, and aggressively push for a positive outcome of your case.