The Minnesota Constitution does not have a provision for the right to bear arms.


Minnesota is a shall-issue state. There is no permit, background check or firearm registration required when buying from a private individual. Open carry is legal with a permit to carry. There is nothing 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 Permit to Carry a Pistol (PCP). Applicants must be at least 21. Minnesota will honor permits from states with similar requirements. Minnesota law imposes a duty to retreat. Although Minnesota doesn’t have a Castle Doctrine law, it does recognize the principles of the doctrine. The intentional taking of the life of another is only legal if necessary.

Reciprocal Carry

Minnesota will recognize another state’s license to carry, at the discretion of the Commissioner of Public Safety.

Duty To Notify Police Officer

Minnesota does not require individuals to inform a LEO of a permit or license to carry by state law, but some municipalities and localities do have such a requirement. The holder of a permit to carry must have a permit card and a driver’s license, state identification card, or other government-issued photo identification in immediate possession at all times when carrying a pistol and must display the permit card and identification document upon lawful demand by a LEO.

Carrying Firearms In Vehicles

A permit is required to legally transport a firearm. Minnesota allows the transportation of firearms in a motor vehicle if the gun is unloaded and either: 1) in a gun case made to contain the firearm, and the case fully encloses the firearm by being zipped, snapped, buckled, tied or otherwise fastened, without any portion of the gun exposed; or 2) in the closed trunk.

NFA Items

Minnesota permits ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law, but imposes additional state regulations. MGs and SBRs are only legal if they count as curio & relics, and You must register them with the state within 10 days of acquisition. Some destructive devices are prohibited in most cases. Hunting with suppressors is legal. Persons 18 and older may purchase assault weapons with a permit to purchase (or permit to carry for persons 21 and older).

Self-Defense Laws

Minnesota has a form of the Castle Doctrine but no SYG law. There is no duty to retreat when in Your home or place of business. You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, or the commission of a forcible felony within Your dwelling.

Carry In Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

Minnesota has no laws prohibiting the carrying of firearms in restaurants that serve alcohol. You can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Gun Sign,” then it is suggested that You not carry into the establishment. This does not include a bar or the bar area of a restaurant. You can carry your firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol, but you are prohibited from consuming alcohol while carrying a firearm.

Do “No Gun Signs” Have The Force Of Law?

“No Firearm” signs in Minnesota do not have the force of law unless they are posted on property that is specifically mentioned in State law as being off limits to those with a permit/license to carry. However, as a possessor with a real property interest, a retailer, has the right to limit, and qualify the right to enter the property, subject to not carrying a handgun. It would be improper to enter, and the licensee would be subject to ejection for possession of a handgun thereat. Failure to leave once requested would subject the licensee to criminal charges.

Open Carry

Open carry is legal in Minnesota but you must have a valid permit/license to carry openly. The state preempts all firearm laws in the state and local authorities cannot have laws/ordinances against open carry. Remember that if you enter any property and the owner/responsible person asks You to leave, You must leave. Failure to leave can result in trespass charges.

Whoever carries a BB gun, rifle, or shotgun on or about their person in a public place is guilty of a gross misdemeanor, unless they have a license/permit. A person under the age of 21 who carries a semiautomatic military-style assault weapon on or about their person in public is guilty of a felony.

Waiting Period

Minnesota imposes a seven (7) day waiting period before purchasing a handgun or assault weapon. This waiting period is waived for people who possess a valid Minnesota carry license.

DISCLAIMER: The Gun Laws by State Guide (GLBSG) was created to provide its readers with a general educational resource tool to explore the pertinent gun laws in Your jurisdiction.

However, the GLBSG was not researched and/or written by attorneys as a specific legal guide to rely upon. Instead, it is a starting point for your own research. In addition, all laws are always subject to reasonable, but different, legal interpretation as to meaning and application.

As such, the GLBSG is not intended to supplant, nor limit, Your need for independent verification of any and all material contained herein and consultation with competent counsel of choice regarding any specific issues.

This type of specific legal analysis is necessarily beyond the general educational objective of the GLBSG and for which a bar-admitted attorney in the particular state(s) is needed and required. The content of this GLBSG is a general restatement of the law.

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