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Minnesota Carry Permit

Minnesota Carry Permit Page

People with a Minnesota Carry Permit are more law-abiding than the general population, according to the State of Minnesota. Even so, we have laws limiting us that others do not have. What laws do Minnesota Carry Permit holders need to be aware of? And how do you qualify for a Minnesota carry permit? Do you have a carry attorney ready to help?

Minneapolis Carry Attorney Thomas C Gallagher believes in Liberty for the individual. And this includes the right to own, possess and use firearms.

Some of his criminal defense cases involve a firearm or other weapon somewhere.

And in many of his cases, a person’s civil rights to firearms hang in the balance.

The legal basis for the individual’s civil rights to firearms has a solid foundation.

The Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution – the supreme law of the land – recognizes it. The courts will strike down as void, any law they find in contradiction to the Second Amendment.

Yet every legal right has limits. The most extreme example is the death penalty for crimes or treason. And what legal right could be more sacred than the right to one’s life?

Minnesota carry permit law requirement: gun training
Minnesota carry permit law requirement: gun training

The courts tell us that every legal right can be subject to reasonable limits. And the Minnesota carry permit is one of those limitations.

Minnesota Statutes §624.714 addresses when we need a pistol carry permit, and when we don’t. So it lays out how to get one, limitations on rights or permit holders, and criminal penalties for violations. And it includes limitations on legal rights to pistols based upon criminal convictions and offender registration status.

Carry Permit Holders pass a criminal background check and a safety training course in order to get their carry permit. And this training includes education about applicable laws.

But we need more. So we briefly discuss the relevant Minnesota statutes for you here.

Minnesota Carry Permit Law

If a person in Minnesota can lawfully possess a firearm, she doesn’t always need a permit to carry. But for those situations where the law does require a permit, Minnesota has a “shall issue” carry permit law.

Permit to carry in “a public place”

The Personal Protection Act of 2003, changed Minnesota to a “shall issue” state. So even though law enforcement still has some discretion to deny, the law limits that discretion.

The law, Minnesota Statutes § 624.714, presumes that the Minnesota carry permit shall issue upon proper application.

The burden of proof that the applicant is ineligible is on the Sheriff. If the applicant appeals to District Court, the court owes no deference to the Sheriff’s decision. The court review of the application is de novo, with a legal presumption that the court should issue the permit.

If the applicant is disqualified by any of the objective criteria in the statute, the permit application will be denied. And, if a limited discretionary denial is based upon objective, rational basis, the application will be denied.

Place restrictions

Even with a carry permit, carrying in a public place can still be legally restricted in some circumstances, with notice.

  • Trespass model: signs giving notice
  • Employers may restrict employees from possessing firearms in any location (except parking). But only while the employee is acting in the course and scope of employment.
  • Statute prohibits landlords from restricting renters or their guests from right to possess firearms on the premises.

Statutory place restrictions

But some places are presumptively off-limits by statute, even with a Minnesota carry permit.

  • Possession on school property – crime
  • Exceptions, including those relating to picking up your kid at school or in employee parking in the parking lot
  • Courthouses, Capitol area – exceptions
  • Most locked state facilities – exceptions

Criminal law: charge enhancements, minimum sentences

Having a carry permit does not change most potential criminal charges.

So your carry attorney should be an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

  • Proximity enhancements – school, park “zone”
  • 609.11 mandatory minimums – exceptions – possess gun in connection with another crime, e.g. contraband drugs
  • Ineligible person in possession (felon in possession) – status offense – Minnesota and federal


The two most important ages are 18 and 21.

  • Minnesota Carry permit: twenty-one and older. Minn. Stat. §624.714, subd. 2 (b)(2).
  • Possession: eighteen and older, with several exceptions for under 18. Minn. Stat. §624.713, subd. 1(1), subd. 2(c).
Minnesota Carry Permit Card
Minnesota Carry Permit Card

How to get a Minnesota carry permit

Applying for a Minnesota carry permit is easy.

  • Application to Sheriff with proof of training class and filing fee
  • Twenty-one years of age or older.
  • Not prohibited from possessing a firearm under Minnesota Statutes §624.714
  • Not listed in the criminal gang investigation system. See, Minn. Stat. §299C.091
  • Resident of the county from which you are requesting a permit, if Minnesota resident. Non-residents may apply to any Minnesota county sheriff.
  • Renewal

How to appeal if denied: the process

  • Petition the District Court for a Writ of Mandamus requiring Sheriff to issue permit
  • “Must issue,” unless:
    • Fails the objective, bright line criteria (not discretionary), or
    • Deny if a substantial likelihood that applicant is a danger to self or public if granted carry permit (some discretion).

Due process

  • Denial by Sheriff with factual basis, and source
  • Applicant opportunity to submit additional documentation for reconsideration by Sheriff
  • Petition for Review by District Court
  • Within 60 days of filing
  • De Novo hearing (no jury) – no deference to Sheriff. New evidence, new record, not limited to review of what Sheriff had
  • Burden of proof on Sheriff – clear and convincing, that
    • Disqualified, or
    • Substantial likelihood – danger to self or the public if pistol carry permit. Claims of criminal misconduct may not be a basis for denial if there was no investigation or documentation.
  • court must award prevailing applicant or permit holder reasonable costs and expenses including attorney fees

Carrying and police contacts

Minnesota Statutes §624.714.

  • Must have the Minnesota carry permit card and government-issued photo ID in possession when carrying a pistol. And must display the permit card and identification document upon lawful demand by a peace officer. A violation is a petty misdemeanor.
  • dismiss citation for violating paragraph (a) if the person shows that the person had a permit to carry.
  • Upon the request of a peace officer, a permit holder shall disclose whether the permit holder is carrying a firearm.
Show it, don't say it. Minnesota Carry Permit at a traffic stop.
Show it, don’t say it!” Minnesota Carry Permit at a traffic stop

Traffic stop with Minnesota carry permit

Best practices during police contacts?

  • We want to avoid doing or saying anything that could make anyone less safe at the traffic stop.
  • But one option is to hand the police officer your carry permit under your driver’s license, if you are carrying.
  • If you’ve handed the police officer your carry permit, the police officer may ask if you are armed. Let them know you are, where, and wait instruction from the police officer. (Hands visible. Avoid reaching for the weapon, or anything.)
  • We want the police officer to feel safe and in control. But we don’t want to do anything until first requested to do so by the police officer. When in doubt, ask for clarification. But do not assume. The police officer may wish to take temporary possession of your weapon(s) for safety. However they wish to do so, comply. And that could mean getting out of the vehicle with hands open and up, with the officer retrieving the firearm. The officer should return the firearm at the conclusion of the traffic stop. So be polite.

Other states: reciprocity vs federal

  • Minnesota Statutes §724.714
  • Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension web-page lists carry permits from other states valid in Minnesota and not valid in Minnesota.
  • An out-of-state person can also get a Minnesota carry permit. And, Minnesota residents can generally get other-state carry permits, some with broader reciprocity.
  • Federal law authorizes most police officers to carry without a permit in any state.

Permit to Purchase

A carry permit allows you to purchase from a FFL dealer. But if you don’t have one, you can apply for a purchase permit. And a Permit to Purchase is:

  • Required to purchase a handgun or “military-style rifle” (modern sporting rifle) from a dealer (federal firearms license or FFL).
  • Valid for one year (vs five years for a carry permit)
  • Prosecutors can charge a false statement on a permit application as a crime
  • No need for a Purchase permit, for holders of a Minnesota Carry Permit
  • Denial – prohibited person only – appeal


You can face criminal charges if you sell or give a gun to an ineligible person. Minn. Stat. §624.7141. So a prosecutor can charge a straw-purchaser of this crime.

  • Gross misdemeanor: intentionally transfer pistol or “semiautomatic military-style assault weapon” to another if the person knows that the transferee:
    • has been denied a permit to carry because the transferee is not eligible under section 624.713 to;
    • was found ineligible to possess by police or sheriff, as the result of an application for a transferee permit; or
    • is disqualified under section 624.713 from possessing a pistol or semiautomatic military-style assault weapon.
  • Felony: if the transferee possesses the weapon within one year after the transfer in a felony crime of violence.

Alcohol & Your Minnesota Carry Permit

Minn. Stat. §624.7142 “Carrying While Under Influence of Alcohol or Controlled Substance.”

The arbitrary legal limit for alcohol concentration is 0.04. And even with a Minnesota carry permit, carrying with 0.04 or higher alcohol concentration is a misdemeanor crime. Go to this page for more on carrying under the influence laws in Minnesota.

This is one more reason to avoid alcohol entirely when carrying; and avoid carrying when drinking. Gun safety is the most important reason. And good habits are the foundation of safe gun ownership.

Other Crimes of Interest


The right to self-defense, of the individual and of the community, originates before the beginning of history itself. So this natural law and basic human right cannot be denied. But we also have many other available defenses to criminal charges involving guns.

  • self-defense
  • accident
  • mistake
  • notice
  • estoppel
  • due care
  • jury nullification

Gun Crimes Defense Attorney

Self-defense – Minnesota Overview

Minnesota Self-defense laws

Ineligible Person in Possession of a Firearm

Gallagher Criminal Defense logo 200

What is firearm possession?

Gun With No Serial Number (privately made firearm, not “ghost gun”)

Restoration of civil rights to firearms

Minnesota Carry Permit Law (this page)

Carrying under the influence

Carry Attorney Thomas Gallagher

Why should you be sure your criminal defense lawyer knows the gun laws? Because any felony and many misdemeanors can diminish or destroy your civil rights to firearms.

The courts call that a collateral consequence. But your human rights are important. And Carry Attorney Thomas Gallagher knows the risks for your civil rights and how to protect them.

Next, some crimes relate to guns. So gun crimes specifically relate to guns, like carrying in a public place at over 0.04, for example.

Marijuana Attorney Thomas Gallagher
Minnesota Carry Attorney Thomas Gallagher

But other non-gun crimes have mandatory minimum sentences if a gun was nearby. And either way, you’ll want a criminal defense attorney who knows how to field-strip a firearm.

Carry Attorney Thomas Gallagher is a best-rated criminal defense lawyer in Minneapolis.

And Attorney Thomas Gallagher is also a recognized expert on gun laws. So he taught many CLEs to lawyers and judges on gun laws, including this Minnesota Gun Law CLE.

Gallagher Criminal Defense Blog 600 Minneapolis Cherry Spoon
Gallagher Criminal Defense Blog

And he writes extensively on:

Minnesota criminal defense and guns, as well as

self-defense law in Minnesota.

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