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Minnesota Carry Permit

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?

Minnesota Carry Attorney Thomas C Gallagher believes in Liberty, for the individual. And this includes the natural 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 this right. The courts will strike down as void, any law they find in conflict with the Second Amendment.

Every legal right has limits at some point. An example is the government executing a death penalty for crimes or treason. And what legal right could be more sacred than the right to one’s life? Judges tell us that legal rights can be limited. And the Minnesota carry permit is one of those limitations.

But government power has its limits too. And the basis of the Constitution is to explicitly limit the power of government. “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

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 of permit holders, and criminal penalties for violations. And it includes limitations on legal rights 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 want more education about the laws. 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.

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Permit to carry in “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 (except parking). But only while working.
  • Prohibits landlords from restricting renters, guests.

Statutory place restrictions

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

  • School property – possession crime
  • Exceptions, including picking up your kid or employee parking
  • Courthouses, Capitol area – exceptions
  • Most locked state facilities – exceptions

FAQ: “Can I pick up my kid at school? I have a Carry Permit”

The Minnesota general rule is that possession of a firearm on school property is a crime. But the statute provides for exceptions, including those relating to picking up your kid at school or in employee parking in the parking lot, and safety and marksman courses:

“(3) persons authorized to carry a pistol under section 624.714 while in a motor vehicle or outside of a motor vehicle to directly place a firearm in, or retrieve it from, the trunk or rear area of the vehicle;

(4) persons who keep or store in a motor vehicle pistols in accordance with section 624.714 or 624.715 or other firearms in accordance with section 97B.045;

(5) firearm safety or marksmanship courses or activities conducted on school property; …”

Minn. Stat. §609.66, subd. 1d (2022)

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 in connection with another crime, e.g. contraband drugs
  • Prohibited person in possession – status offense – Minnesota & federal


The two most important ages are 18 and 21.

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

How to get a Minnesota carry permit

Applying for a Minnesota carry permit is easy.

  • Application to Sheriff with proof of training class & filing fee
  • 21 years of age or older.
  • Not prohibited from possessing a firearm under Minnesota Statutes §624.714
  • Not listed in criminal gang investigation system. See, Minn. Stat. §299C.091
  • Resident of the county where requesting. Minnesota non-residents apply to any county sheriff.
  • Renewal

How to appeal if denied: the process

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

Due process

  • Denial by Sheriff with factual basis & 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 no documentation.
  • Court must award prevailing applicant costs & expenses including attorney fees

Carrying & police contacts

Minnesota Statutes §624.714.

  • Must have Minnesota carry permit card & ID in possession when carrying pistol. And must show permit card & ID upon lawful demand by police. Violation is a petty misdemeanor.
  • Dismiss citation for violating paragraph (a) if person shows had carry permit.
  • Upon request of a peace officer, permit holder shall disclose whether carrying a firearm.
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“Show it, don’t say it!” at traffic stop

Traffic stop with Minnesota carry permit

Best practices at police contacts

  • Avoid doing or saying anything that could make anyone less safe.
  • Hand police officer carry permit under driver’s license, if carrying (avoid saying “gun”).
  • Police officer may ask if armed. Let them know you are, where, then wait instruction. (Hands visible. Avoid reaching for anything.)
  • We want the police officer to feel safe & in control. We don’t want to do anything, until first asked. The police officer may take temporary possession of weapon(s) for safety. And that could mean getting out of the vehicle with hands open and up, with the officer retrieving firearm. The officer should return the firearm at conclusion of the traffic stop. 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.
  • Out-of-state person can get a Minnesota carry permit. And, Minnesota residents can get other-state carry permits, some with broader reciprocity.
  • A federal law authorizes most police officers to carry without permit in any state.

Permit to Purchase

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

  • Required to purchase handgun or “military-style rifle” (modern sporting rifle)
  • Valid for one year (vs five years for 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

Alcohol & Your Minnesota Carry Permit

Minn. Stat. §624.7142 “Carrying Under Influence of Alcohol”

When in public carrying, the bright-line, 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.

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, more important than the law. And good habits are the foundation of safe gun ownership.

Other Crimes of Interest: Minnesota carry permit


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 (simple negligence)
  • mistake
  • notice
  • estoppel
  • due care
  • jury nullification

Gun Crimes Defense Attorney

Self-defense – Minnesota Overview

Minnesota Self-defense laws

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.

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. (An attorney who knows and cares.)

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

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.

Ineligible Person in Possession of a Firearm

What is firearm possession?

Gun With No Serial Number (privately made firearm)

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