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Minnesota Gun Control Laws

The federal government provides a few basic regulations on firearms, particularly with respect to interstate commerce. For instance, federal law prohibits certain individuals -- such as drug addicts or violent criminals from owning guns, while banning fully automatic firearms from personal use. Typically, state gun laws provide additional regulations, such as waiting periods, registration requirements, and restrictions on who may not own a firearm.

The Basics of Minnesota Gun Control Laws

Minnesota law requires purchasers of handguns and military assault-style rifles to present either a handgun transferee permit or carry permit or undergo a seven-day waiting period. Applicants for a gun permit in Minnesota (or those subject to a waiting period) must undergo a criminal background check through the Minnesota Crime Information System and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Additional details about Minnesota's gun control laws can be found in the following table.

Relevant Statutes (Laws)

Minnesota's gun control laws can be found in Minnesota Statutes:

Illegal Arms

The following are illegal to possess:

  • Machine guns or machine gun conversion kits
  • Short-barreled shotguns
  • Spring guns
  • Swivel guns
  • Set guns

Waiting Period

There is a 7-day waiting period for handguns and military assault-style rifles.

Who May Not Own

  • A person under 18 years old
  • A person convicted of domestic assault with a firearm, stalking, and certain other crimes
  • A person with a protection order for domestic violence or domestic child abuse
  • A person convicted of crime of violence, including juvenile adjudications, unless 10 years have elapsed or civil rights have been restored
  • A person who is mentally ill
  • A person convicted for unlawful use, possession, or sale of a controlled substance, other than a small amount of marijuana
  • A person who's been hospitalized or committed for treatment for habitual use of controlled substance or marijuana, unless there is proof they haven't abused in 2 years
  • A person who is chemically dependent
  • A peace officer who is informally admitted to a treatment facility for chemical dependency unless they receive a certificate for discharge
  • People who are in the U.S illegally
  • People dishonorably discharged from armed forces

License Required?

Minnesota requires a permit to carry. This permit also allows you to purchase a gun.

Concealed Carry License Required?

If you have a permit to carry, you can conceal carry in Minnesota.

Open Carried Allowed?

Yes, but you need a Minnesota permit to carry or a permit from a state Minnesota recognizes.

Eligibility for a Concealed Carry License

To qualify for a permit to carry, you must:
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident
  • Have training in the safe use of pistols
  • Have no convictions for
    • felony or violent crimes
    • drug violations
    • misdemeanors punishable by more than two years in prison
  • Not have any outstanding warrants or a restraining order
  • Not have had any treatment for drug or alcohol addiction in the previous five years

Machine Gun Laws

Owning, possessing, or operating a machine gun is illegal in Minnesota.

Penalties for Illegal Firearm Possession

  • Possession of illegal firearms is punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
  • If a person with a crime of violence conviction possesses a firearm, they may face up to 15 years in prison and up to a $30,000 fine.
  • Those convicted with non-violent felonies can be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Penalties for Illegal Possession on or Near School Grounds

Illegal possession of a gun on school grounds is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Minnesota Gun Control Laws: Related Resources

Need More Help Understanding Minnesota's Gun Control Laws?

If you have been charged with a gun-related crime in Minnesota or want to ensure your firearm complies with Minnesota law, it's a good idea to get in touch with a local criminal defense attorney to get personalized legal advice.

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