Minnesota gun laws operate on a shall-issue policy. Permits are issued at the local level by the Sheriff’s office in the applicant’s county of residence.
There is no permit, background check or firearm registration required when buying a handgun from a private individual.
Open carry is legal with a Minnesota permit to carry or a permit/license from a state that Minnesota honors. There is no stipulation in the law regarding whether that weapon must be concealed. A permit to carry constitutes a permit to purchase.
Concealed carry is legal with a Minnesota Permit to Carry a Pistol (PCP) or a permit from a state Minnesota honors. Applicants must be at least 21 years old and complete a firearms training course. Resident and non-resident permits are available. Non-residents can apply at any sheriff’s office. Permits are not required for transporting a firearm, keeping it at home or keeping it in a place of business. In terms of reciprocity, Minnesota will honor permits from states with similar requirements.
In terms of self-defense, Minnesota law imposes a duty to retreat, which means that if a person feels threatened, he or she may only use deadly force as a last resort. Although Minnesota doesn’t have a Castle Doctrine law per se, it does recognize the principles of the doctrine because Minnesota law allows a person to use deadly force if the individual reasonably believes that the person or another person is at risk of great bodily harm or death or to prevent a felony from occurring in the person’s home.
Authorized Use of Force Reasonable force may be used when the following circumstances exist or the actor reasonably believes them to exist, in part:
When used by any person in resisting or aiding another to resist an offense against the person;
When used by any person in lawful possession of real or personal property, in resisting a trespass upon or other unlawful interference with such property;
When used by a parent, guardian, teacher or other lawful custodian of a child or pupil, in the exercise of lawful authority, to restrain or correct such child or pupil;
When used by a school employee or school bus driver, in the exercise of lawful authority, to restrain a child or pupil, or to prevent bodily harm or death to another; or
When used by a common carrier in expelling a passenger who refuses to obey a lawful requirement for the conduct of passengers and reasonable care is exercised with regard to the passenger’s personal safety.
Justifiable Taking of Life The intentional taking of the life of another is only legal if necessary in resisting or preventing an offense which the actor reasonably believes exposes the actor or another to great bodily harm or death or preventing the commission of a felony in the actor’s place of abode.
What is the minimum age in Minnesota to get a concealed carry permit?
You must be at least 21 years old to get a concealed carry permit in Minnesota.
Weapons Other Than Handguns Allowed?
Can you concealed carry weapons other than handguns in Minnesota with a concealed carry permit (or under permitless carry if applicable)?
No. A concealed carry permit does not allow you to carry weapons other than handguns.
Tasers or Stun Guns?
Is it legal to own a taser or stun gun in Minnesota?
Yes. Stun guns and Tasers are legal to purchase and possess without a permit, but a background check is required. A person may possess and use an electronic incapacitation device in the exercise of reasonable force in defense of the person or the person’s property only if the electronic incapacitation device is labeled with or accompanied by clearly written instructions as to its use and the dangers involved in its use
Is it legal to buy or use chemical spray/pepper spray in Minnesota?
Yes, a person may possess and use an authorized tear gas compound in the exercise of reasonable force in defense of the person or the person's property only if it is propelled from an aerosol container, labeled with or accompanied by clearly written instructions as to its use and the dangers involved in its use, and dated to indicate its anticipated useful life. No person under the age of 16 may possess or use an authorized tear gas compound except by written permission of a parent or guardian.
Minnesota Statutes define "authorized tear gas compound" as a lachrymator or any substance composed of a mixture of a lachrymator including chloroacetophenone, alpha-chloroacetophenone; phenylchloromethylketone, orthochlorobenzalmalononitrile or oleoresin capsicum, commonly known as tear gas; and written instructions as to its use and the dangers involved in its use.
Additionally, it is illegal for anyone to use tear gas, pepper spray or an electronic incapacitation device on any peace officer or in the commission of a crime.
Can you carry a concealed handgun in a vehicle in Minnesota?
Yes, with a Minnesota license to carry or a permit from a state Minnesota recognizes. Otherwise it must be unloaded and either in the closed trunk or in a closed and fastened case, gunbox or securely tied package.
Carry in State/National Parks, State/National Forests and Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs)?
Can you carry a concealed firearm in state/national parks, state/national forests and Wildlife Management Areas in Minnesota?
Yes, with a Minnesota license to carry or a permit from a state Minnesota recognizes. Except firearms are not allowed on the Bayport WMA in Washington County, the Hastings WMA in Dakota County, and the Raguet WMA in Scott and Carver Counties. See theNational Parks webpage for links to each Park in Minnesota.
Without a permit, firearms on state park or forest lands must be unloaded and cased and bows unstrung when in, or within 200 feet of, any campground, picnic area, beach, parking lot, interpretive site or trailhead.
Can you carry a concealed firearm in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol in Minnesota?
Yes, there is no statute making it illegal to concealed carry with a Minnesota license to carry or a permit from a state Minnesota recognizes in a bar or restaurant, unless posted, and provided you are not under the influence ("under the influence" is defined as >0.04 blood alcohol level).
Carry/Possess at a hotel?
Can you carry or possess a firearm on hotel property in Minnesota?
An innkeeper may refuse to admit or refuse service or accommodations to any person the innkeeper reasonably believes is bringing firearms into the hotel. The individual hotel should be contacted to inquire about it's concealed carry policy. See theHandguns at Hotels page for additional information.
Are "No Weapons Allowed" signs enforced in Minnesota? If yes, violating the sign would be considered to be a crime. If no, violating the sign would not be considered a criminal offense.
No. It is considered a petty misdemeanor if a reasonable request is made that firearms not be brought into the establishment or if a conspicuous sign is prominently posted at every entrance and there is a refusal to leave.
Does Minnesota have preemption laws related to concealed carry (i.e. Does state law supersede local laws regarding the possession of handguns)?
Yes. There is full state preemption of all gun laws, except that local governments may regulate the discharge of firearms. In addition, according to statue, a person may sue a government official personally, and seek damages and attorney fees, for allegedly violating the state’s preemption statute.
No definition of brandishing was found in Minnesota law. However, recklessly handling or using a gun so as to endanger the safety of another, or intentionally pointing a gun, whether loaded or unloaded, at another person is considered a crime.
Carry While Using Alcohol or a Controlled Substance?
Does Minnesota have laws regarding carrying a concealed firearm while using alcohol or a controlled substance?
Not while in a public place: (1) when the person is under the influence of a controlled substance, as defined in Minn. Stat.§ 152.01; (2) when the person is under the influence of a combination of any two or more of the elements named in clauses (1) and (4); (3) when the person is under the influence of an intoxicating substance as defined in Minn. Stat. § 169A.03, and the person knows or has reason to know that the substance has the capacity to cause impairment; (4) when the person is under the influence of alcohol; (5) when the person's alcohol concentration is 0.10 or more; or (6) when the person's alcohol concentration is less than 0.10, but more than 0.04.
As a responsibly armed American, regardless of the laws in your state, it is unwise to carry while under the influence of any substance that could impair your judgement, slow your reaction times, or impact your decision-making abilities. Any decision you make while carrying a firearm could have life-altering consequences.
Does Minnesota issue concealed carry permits to non-residents?
Yes. Non-residents may apply for permits following the same process as Minnesota residents.
PUBLIC ACCESS TO CONCEALED CARRY REGISTRY?
Does Minnesota allow the public to access concealed carry registry information through public records law?
No, however, the information is available for law enforcement.
Is a permit required to purchase a handgun in Minnesota?
Anyone acquiring a handgun through a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) must have a Minnesota Permit to Carry a Pistol or a Permit to Purchase/Transfer a Firearm. Without one of those permits, the FFL must perform a background check.
Background Checks for Private Gun Sales?
Are background checks required for private gun sales in Minnesota?
No. In contrast to the provisions governing sales by licensed dealers, there is no provision in federal or Minnesota law that requires background checks, record-keeping or location restrictions for firearms transfers between private individuals who are not a Federal Firearm Licensed dealer, other than certain federal law restrictions pertaining to acquiring or disposing of firearms across state lines.
Minnesota Permit Exempts from Background Check?
Does my current Minnesota concealed carry permit exempt me from needing a background check when I purchase a firearm?
Is there a waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Minnesota?
There is no waiting period after purchasing a handgun in Minnesota with a permit or a Permit to Purchase/Transfer. Without one of those permits, upon the purchase of a handgun from a FFL, there is a five- to seven-day waiting period (unless the chief of police or sheriff waives all or a portion of the waiting period).
Handgun Purchase Process To buy or transfer ownership of a firearm in Minnesota, you must have a Minnesota Permit to Carry a Pistol or a Permit to Purchase/Transfer a Firearm.
The application for a Permit to Purchase/Transfer a Firearm must be submitted in person to your local police chief or county sheriff’s office. You must also present your Minnesota driver’s license or state-issued photo ID.
After your application has been submitted, your local police chief or county sheriff’s office will run a background check. Generally this process takes 7 days to complete. Upon clearing the background check, you will be issued a Permit to Purchase/Transfer a Firearm through the mail, which will be valid for 1 year from the date it is issued.
For single-purchase transactions, many gun shops in the state will allow you to apply for a permit to purchase directly at the store. You will still be required to pass a background check before making a purchase. A gun shop may charge for this service. Not every gun shop in the state will process permit applications, per their own discretion.
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State Constitutional Provision
Government is instituted for the security, benefit and protection of the people, in whom all political power is inherent, together with the right to alter, modify or reform government whenever required by the public good. -Article 1, Section 1"
MINNESOTA HAS NO STATE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS.
Anyone who can legally possess a firearm may carry it concealed in permitless carry states without a permit/license. The minimum age* for permitless carry is shown. Check each state’s page for more information and any restrictions that may apply.
*PC-18 = permitless carry if at least 18 years old
*PC-21 = permitless carry if at least 21 years old
Non-residents may apply to any Minnesota county sheriff by following the process below.
Within 30 days after changing permanent address, the permit holder must notify the issuing Sheriff’s office of the change, loss or destruction. Failure to do so is a petty misdemeanor. The permit holder may obtain an updated permit at a cost of $10.
Within 30 days of having lost or destroyed the permit card, the permit holder must notify the issuing sheriff’s office of the loss or destruction. The permit holder must provide a notarized statement that the card has been lost or destroyed. Failure to provide notification as required is a petty misdemeanor. The permit holder may obtain a replacement permit card by paying $10 to the sheriff.
Moving to Minnesota and interested in applying for a resident permit? How soon can you apply? Minnesota issues resident and non-resident permits, so you can apply for your permit at any time. In order to apply for a resident permit, you may need to provide a Minnesota driver's license or state ID.
Moving from Minnesota and have a Minnesota resident permit? Does that permit transfer to your new state? Is there a grace period during which your Minnesota permit remains valid? If a person with a Minnesota permit to concealed carry establishes residency in another state, the permit is valid until it expires provided he or she submits the above referenced name/address change form.
Submit the following documents to the sheriff's office for the county in which you reside (non-residents must apply in-person to any Minnesota county sheriff):
Completed application form;
Photocopy of certificate from firearms course; and
Photocopy of your driver's license or state ID card or photo page of your passport.
You will be notified by mail if your application has been approved.
Under Minnesota law, individuals must obtain a permit to carry a handgun in public. There is no stipulation in the law regarding whether that weapon must be concealed. A permit to carry constitutes a permit to purchase. A permit to carry is valid for five years and authorizes unlimited purchases within that time period.
Minnesota statutes require permit applicants to present evidence of having received training from a certified instructor in the safe use of a handgun within the past 1 year of an original application or renewal. Although members of the military receive superb firearms training, they must receive training from an instructor that has been certified by an approved business organization in Minnesota. This additional training pertains to the legal aspects of “permit to carry issues”. Military members can contact their local sheriff’s office for further clarification and consideration. Basic training must include:
Instruction in the fundamentals of pistol use;
Successful completion of an actual shooting qualification exercise; and
Instruction in the fundamental legal aspects of pistol possession, carry and use, including self-defense and the restrictions on the use of deadly force.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety maintains a list of certified firearms instructors. It is not available online.
Permit holders may renew their permit beginning 90 days prior to the expiration date of the current permit. After the expiration date, but within 30 days after the expiration, you can renew your permit by paying an additional late fee of $10. 31 days after expiration, you will no longer be able to renew your permit, but will have to apply for a new gun permit. For late renewals, it is important to note that your expired permit is not valid until you receive your new card.
Complete your firearm training course within one year of renewal.
Download the application or pick up from the county clerk's office.
Go to the county clerk's office of the county in which you reside, or for out of state permit holders, to any Sheriff’s Department in the State of Minnesota and sign the application under oath. Include the following documents:
Training certificate; and
A copy of your current driver's license, state identification card or the photo page of your passport (not a U.S. citizen but permanent resident must present an I-551 or I-151 card).
Pay the fee. The county clerk will provide a receipt for payment of fees.
The county clerk shall issue a license or notice of statutory disqualification within 45 days after the date the applicant has classifiable fingerprints taken.
Law enforcement officers (LEOs) and Retired LEOs (RLEOs) may choose to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218. Under 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C, qualified LEOs and qualified retired LEOs, or those separated from service in good standing, can carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. For details, check out our Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) page.
Minnesota retired or separated officers have two options to qualify under LEOSA:
The “Home agency” issues a photo ID and documentation of annual firearms training (a card or completed one‐page LEOSA application form); or
The “Home agency” issues a photo ID, the officer qualifies at another agency or private gun range and the certified instructor provides documentation of annual firearms training.
Where Can I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Minnesota?
Carry in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol? Yes, unless posted AND provided you are not under the influence.
Carry in my vehicle without a permit/license? No.
Carry in roadside rest areas? Yes, with a permit.
Carry inState parks, forest recreation areas and wildlife management areas? Yes.Except the following WMAs; The Bayport WMA, the Hastings WMA, and the Raguet WMA.
Carry when traveling by private plane? Yes.
Carry in places of worship? Minnesota courts have ruled that a church may prohibit firearms from its property, including parking facilities and parking areas owned or operated by the church, and may notify its employees and the public in any manner it chooses.
Where Can't I Carry a Concealed Firearm in Minnesota?
Places off-limits even with a permit/license
Public or private elementary, middle or secondary school building and grounds;
Portion of a building or facility under the temporary, exclusive control of a public or private school where signs are posted;
Minnesota courts have ruled that a church may prohibit firearms from its property, including parking facilities and parking areas owned or operated by the church, and may notify its employees and the public in any manner it chooses; and
Only switchblades are illegal. Knives with utility purposes are legal to carry. Knives that can be used as weapons are legal to carry as long as you do not have intent to harm others. It is illegal to recklessly use a knife that was designed to be a weapon. Dangerous weapons are banned in schools, school buses, courthouses and the State Capitol buildings.
I can legally carry a concealed firearm in Minnesota, but can I wear a COVID 19 protective mask while carrying concealed?
Although Minnesota Statute makes it illegal to wear a mask with the intention to conceal one’s identity, Benton County Sheriff Troy Heck has stated that under this statute, it is legal to wear a mask for medical treatment, and that would extend to wearing one to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Can you concealed carry while bow hunting in Minnesota?
Yes, with a Minnesota license to carry or a permit from a state Minnesota recognizes.
HUNTER HARASSMENT LAW?
Is there a Hunter Harassment Law in Minnesota?
Yes. A person who has the intent to prevent or disrupt another person from taking or preparing to take a wild animal or enjoyment of the out-of-doors must not disturb or interfere with that person if that person is lawfully taking or preparing to take a wild animal. "Preparing to take a wild animal" includes travel, camping, and other acts that occur on land or water where the affected person has the right or privilege to take lawfully a wild animal.
Here at the USCCA, it is our mission to provide responsible gun owners with the tools they need to be educated and trained. Our team is constantly working to provide you with the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of self-defense laws available for every state.
If you have any questions that you don’t see answered here — let us know! Just email [email protected] and we will be sure to get your question resolved. Your feedback matters to us, and we appreciate you helping to make this page the best possible resource for responsible gun owners!
Permit numbers were obtained from the Crime Prevention Resource Center’s publication entitled, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States.” Numbers include resident and non-resident permits for those states that issue both.
The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.
If you have any questions regarding USCCA Membership, Delta Defense, handguns laws or the lawful process of carrying concealed, please contact the award-winning Delta Defense Customer Engagement Team.
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