Minnesota Gun Laws: Everything You Need To Know

minnesota gun laws

Gun laws have become a hot topic of debate across the United States, and Minnesota is no exception. As the conversation around firearms continues to polarize communities, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the gun laws in the North Star State.

Whether you’re a gun owner, planning on becoming one, or facing weapons charges in the North Star State, being informed about these laws is crucial for legal compliance and personal safety.

Who Can Own a Gun in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, you must be at least 21 years old to apply for a permit to purchase a handgun in the state. You must not be a convicted felon, or have been convicted any domestic violence offense, harassment or stalking, violation of a protection order or other criminal offenses listed under Minnesota Statute 624.714.

Types of Firearms Allowed in Minnesota

In Minnesota, just about everything from handguns to semi-automatic rifles are perfectly legal. The state does not currently ban any firearms. However, the possession and sale of semiautomatic military-style assault weapons are regulated.

For example, individuals under the age of 18 are prohibited from possessing these types of firearms unless other conditions have been met including being under direct supervision of an adult or law enforcement.

Effective August 1, 2023, those who want to purchase these types of weapons must obtain a transferee permit unless purchasing from a federally licensed dealer. Minnesota has also extended the waiting period from federally licensed dealer purchases from seven days to 30.

Firearm Storage Requirements

Minnesota currently has no laws requiring unattended firearms to be stored in a specific way. However, while you are not required to place them in locked gun safe or other secure place, the state does have laws against leaving firearms where they are readily accessible to children.
If you leave a weapon where you know or should have know a child could gain access, you could be guilty of Negligent Storage of Firearms, a gross misdemeanor.

How to Legally Purchase a Firearm

To purchase a firearm in Minnesota, you must apply for a permit to carry.

This requires you to:

  1. Be 21 years old or older
  2. Complete the Firearms Application
  3. Not be prohibited from possessing firearms
  4. Be a resident of the county you’re applying for a permit in
  5. Complete a firearms training course within one year of the application

Once you have your permit in hand, you can legally purchase a weapon. The dealer will request a copy of your permit and your driver’s license. You will need to fill out a Form 4473 or the Firearms Transaction Record. You will undergo a background check and if you pass, in most cases you will be on your way.

Can You Conceal and Carry in Minnesota?

Yes, you can conceal and carry in Minnesota. However, you will need a permit to carry is required if you wish to openly or covertly transport a loaded handgun in public places. This is the same permit required to purchase a gun, so if you can buy a gun you can conceal carry it.

Minnesota’s Reciprocity Laws

Minnesota recognizes valid concealed carry permits issued by other states, allowing those with an out-of-state-permit to legally carry a concealed weapon in Minnesota. Similarly, Minnesotans with a valid concealed carry permit are afforded that same right in other states that have an agreement with Minnesota. This is called reciprocity.

Minnesota currently has agreements with the following states:

  • Alaska​ Louisiana
  • ​​​North Dakota (Class 1 License only)
  • ​California
  • ​Michigan
  • ​Rhode Island
  • ​​Idaho (Enhanced permit only)
  • Montana (Enhanced permit only)
  • ​South Carolina
  • Illinois New Jersey
  • South Dakota (Enhanced permit only)
  • Kansas (Standard permit only)
  • New Mexico
  • ​West Virginia (Regular permit only)
  • Kentucky
  • North Carolina

Keep in mind that you are still required to abide by the laws and regulations of the state you are conceal carrying in.

Minnesota’s “Duty to Retreat” Law

Minnesota is not a stand-your-ground state. In fact, in most cases, you must make an effort to retreat, avoid confrontation or defuse the situation when possible. Unlike other states, you are not justified in using deadly force to protect yourself and others by default.

However, under Minnesota Statute 609.065, it may be considered justified when preventing an offense that you believe reasonably exposes you or someone else to great bodily harm or death, or when preventing the commission of a felony in your home.

Criminal Charges Related to Gun Laws in Minnesota

Violation of Minnesota gun laws can result in serious criminal charges, as the state seeks to ensure public safety and prevent the misuse of firearms.

Here are some common criminal charges related to gun laws in Minnesota:

  • Illegal Possession: Under Minnesota law, it is a crime to possess a firearm without the required permit or license. This includes possessing a gun as a convicted felon, a domestic abuser, or someone with a history of harassment and stalking.
  • Carrying Without a Permit: Carrying a firearm, whether openly or concealed, without a valid permit is a criminal offense. Minnesota law requires individuals to obtain a permit to carry a handgun in public.
  • Straw Purchases: It is illegal to purchase a firearm on behalf of someone who is prohibited from owning one. This practice, known as a straw purchase, is a federal offense that carries severe penalties.
  • Gun Trafficking: Engaging in the illegal sale or transportation of firearms, whether across state lines or within the state, is considered gun trafficking.
  • Reckless Use or Discharge: Discharging a firearm recklessly or in a manner that endangers others’ safety is a criminal offense. This includes firing a gun within city limits.

It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and there may be additional criminal charges related to gun laws in Minnesota. Understanding and complying with these laws is essential to avoid legal trouble and ensure the responsible use and ownership of firearms.

Working With a Minnesota Gun Crimes Lawyer

If you’re facing gun charges in Minnesota, it is crucial to have a knowledgeable and experienced attorney by your side. A Minneapolis gun crimes lawyer can provide you with the guidance needed to mount a strong defense.

Whether you are facing charges related to illegal possession, use, or sale of firearms, our attorneys at Martine Law can protect your rights. We will thoroughly analyze the evidence, assess the legality of the search and seizure, challenge witness testimonies, and build a solid defense strategy tailored to your specific case.

Don’t face gun crime charges alone. Contact us today to discuss your case.

Author Bio

Xavier Martine

Xavier Martine is the Founder of Martine Law, a Minnesota criminal defense and family law firm. Serving clients in Minneapolis, MN, and surrounding areas, he is dedicated to representing clients in a wide range of criminal matters, including DWIs, drug charges, misdemeanors, domestic violence, and other criminal charges. He also represents clients in family law matters, including divorce, child support, and child custody.

Xavier received his Juris Doctor from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law and is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including being named among the “Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys Under 40 in Minnesota” in 2021 by The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys. He was also named the “Best DUI Lawyer in Minneapolis” award in 2023 by Expertise.com and a “Rising Star” in 2023 by SuperLawyers.

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