Minnesota is relatively friendly to gun owners. While it requires permits for purchasing and carrying some types of guns, it allows those who qualify to own most gun types (except for machine guns and short-barreled shotguns) as long as buyers and sellers comply with the state’s background check laws.
The state has permissive gun ownership laws, but it does restrict carrying certain guns in specific scenarios, and there are gun-related criminal offenses which could require assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney. For example, carrying a firearm during the commission of a crime can increase your sentence following a conviction. In situations like these, a Golden Valley gun lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and remedies.
Open and Concealed Carry
Minnesota is a limited open-carry state. Under Minnesota Statutes § 624.714, anyone other than a peace officer must have a permit to carry a pistol in public, including moving it in their vehicles. Minn. Stat. § 624.7181 also prohibits people from carrying long guns, such as BB guns, rifles, shotguns, or semiautomatic weapons, in public places without a permit. The first offense is a misdemeanor, while repeated offenses are felonies.
The laws against open carrying do not apply universally. People can transport guns in public places if those guns are not ready for use. For example, a person can carry a “historically significant” weapon in public or a hunting rifle in its case. Under Minn. Stat. § 624.714, even when someone does not have a permit, if they legally own the weapon, they can carry it in their vehicles, provided the gun is unloaded and in a case.
Minnesota also issues concealed carry permits. The state must issue one if someone meets these three requirements:
- They are 21 or older
- They have passed a criminal background check
- They have completed a firearms training course
Because there is a lot of misinformation about Minnesota’s laws, a gun owner should consult a Golden Valley attorney who understands gun laws. They could provide guidance on how and where owners can legally carry their weapons.
There are four basic charges for people who carry or own a gun illegally. They are:
- Illegal possession
- Carrying without a permit
- Reckless discharge of a firearm
- Possession of an assault or other prohibited weapon
State law also dictates gun-free zones, such as schools, courthouses, and government buildings, where carrying a gun is illegal.
Using a weapon during the commission of another crime generally enhances the degree of the crime. For example, Minn. Stat. § 609.222 covers assault with a deadly weapon, which transforms an assault charge into a more severe felony.
Whether charged with a standalone gun offense or an enhanced offense because of carrying a weapon while committing another crime, a defendant should consult a firearms lawyer in Golden Valley.
Criminal Convictions and Gun Ownership
Minn. Stat. § 724.713(1)(10) describes people who are not permitted to possess a firearm. Two types of criminal convictions can lead to losing the right to bear arms: domestic violence and felony violent crimes. Someone can also lose this right if they have a juvenile adjudication for a violent crime or a civil commitment for mental illness. A person who loses that right faces criminal prosecution if found with a gun in their possession.
The state has a provision for restoring civil rights, including gun rights. Minn. Stat. § 609.165 allows defendants to petition the court to restore those rights. The person must be released from physical confinement and show good cause to have their gun rights restored. Anyone convicted of a crime that triggers the lifelong ban needs to petition to restore those rights before possessing a firearm. A gun lawyer in Golden Valley could advise defendants seeking restoration of those rights.
Schedule a Consultation With a Firearm Attorney in Golden Valley
When you have questions about how and where you can carry a weapon, a Golden Valley gun lawyer can outline your rights and help you seek justice after you are charged with a gun-related offense. They may even be able to help with civil rights restoration when you have lost your right to own a weapon. Schedule a consultation to find out more.