Minnesota concealed carry is growing exponentially
One of the first distinctions to be made about Minnesota concealed carry is that the permit system does not split hairs between open and concealed, but rather encompasses and affords the right to both.
Carrying a pistol is flat out banned in the state unless with a permit to carry, which became a reality in 2003 and is valid for five years.
Despite the limitations on how and what type of firearm is carried when, where and why, the numbers of Minnesota concealed carriers, 1 out of every 20 of the total population according to the Star Tribune in 2015, are at a record high of over 217,000, according to the 2015 statistics released by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).
Concealed carry is not off limits in the state, though. Here’s how to do so.
Minnesota permit to carry: how to get it and where things get complicated
While there were 44,696 Minnesota permits to carry issued in 2015, there were only 736 denials. To build on that, there were 1,238 crimes committed by those with permits, but 75 percent were from traffic-related incidents.
Most permit holders are law-abiding citizens, and that’s reflected through the strenuous background check and application system within the state.
Before a resident submits an application and its required materials to a local sheriff (with non-residents able to apply to any Minnesota county sheriff), they must complete a certified firearms safety course within one year of the application. Non-residents’ safety courses do not need state approval.
The BCA provides a list of businesses approved to certify firearm instructors.
Non-residents may not mail in applications or submit them online. All applications must be submitted in person.
The Minnesota permit to carry application must be submitted with a photocopy of the safety course certificate, a valid form of identification and the fee, which may not exceed $100.
According to Minnesota Statute 624.714 Subd. 6, the sheriff must approve or decline the application, submitted by those 21 years or older, within 30 days of submission. There are a number of restrictions on who may receive a permit to carry.
These prohibitions on firearm ownership are outlined in Minnesota Statutes §§ 518B.01, subdivision 14; 609.224, subdivision 3; 609.2242, subdivision 3; 609.749, subdivision 8; 624.713; 624.719; 629.715, subdivision 2; 629.72, subdivision 2. Federal restrictions, including those within 18 U.S.C. § 922, also apply.
There are additional restrictions and prohibitions. As this is not formal legal advice, but rather a stepping stone to learning more about how concealed carry in Minnesota works, research state laws further to understand the limitations set forth on applicants.
There are 30-day emergency permits issued when residents provide a signed affidavit and reasonable need.
Renewal applications, which contain all the same materials, may be submitted up to 90 days prior to the five-year expiration date. Another safety course must be taken within a year of the renewal application submission. The fee is $75.
After 31 days beyond the expiration date, the permit may not be renewed and a new permit application must be filled out.
If the permit holder moves to a new residence, loses their permit or destroys their permit and does not alert the sheriff within 30 days, it’s a petty misdemeanor.
So now that a bit of the process of obtaining the permit is outlined, location should be a concern.
Minnesota concealed carry reciprocity and location prohibition
Minnesota concealed carry reciprocity laws dictate 19 states have permits that are valid within the state. Three of those states’ permits — Idaho, South Dakota and North Dakota — are required to be the enhanced option, which will typically have a more intensive application process.
As of now, approximately 27 states recognize a Minnesota permit to carry, but it’s recommended that traveling gun owners contact administrative entities within the states they’re traveling to and stay up to date with a concealed carry reciprocity map.
Those traveling through and to Minnesota with firearms but without a permit should have the weapons unloaded and secured within the vehicle. Minnesota Statute 97B.045 contains all the nitty gritty details and exceptions.
There are multiple areas within the state where firearms have respective prohibitions. Minnesota Statutes sections 243.55, 609.66, 624.714, 641.165 and 18 U.S.C. section 930 outline these restrictions thoroughly.
The permit to carry a pistol is unnecessary in a gun owner’s home, premises and land, as well as traveling from the point of purchase to those respective locations. A pistol may also be carried outdoors for hunting and target shooting. Traveling with the weapon secured in a case and unloaded in a motor vehicle also does not necessitate a permit.
Interestingly, landlords may not restrict their tenants and tenants’ guests from lawful firearm use and carry, but the private residence home-owner may prohibit firearms in their place of dwelling.
Nongovernmental entities prohibiting firearms in buildings or locations with appropriate signage must do so conspicuously and prominently, or they must make a reasonable request for the gun owner to leave the premises. A firearm carried under these settings, however, is not subject to forfeiture.
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About The Author
Jake Smith (@notjakesmith) is a copywriter and photographer based in the pacific northwest. He graduated from the University of Idaho with degrees in public relations and apparel.