The state of Minnesota has several criminal laws that apply to those who use, possess, or carry different types of weapons in various situations. Minnesota has numerous criminal weapons laws, a small portion of which are listed here.
It’s unlawful to possess, carry, or hold any pistol or handgun in a public place in Minnesota unless you have a permit. (Read Gun Permit Laws in Minnesota for more information about Minnesota’s weapons permit law.) It’s also illegal to possess, carry, or keep such a weapon in a motor vehicle, snowmobile, boat, or in any other place under control in a public area without the required permit.
Depending on the circumstances, carrying a weapon without a permit is a misdemeanor or felony offense.
(Minnesota Statutes section 624.714)
Anyone who carries a BB gun, air rifle, rifle, or shotgun in a public place commits a crime in the state of Minnesota. However, this law does not apply to people carrying such a weapon to or from the place were they purchased or repaired it. It also doesn’t apply to people carrying firearms when traveling to or from a target shooting or hunting location, or when transporting weapons that are fully enclosed in a gun case.
Carrying a rifle or shotgun in a public place is either a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the circumstances.
(Minnesota Statutes section 624.7181)
Anyone in Minnesota who furnishes a person under the age of 18 with a firearm, ammunition, air gun, or explosive device commits the crime of furnishing weapons to minors. However, if the person providing the weapon has the consent of that minor’s parent or guardian, or has the consent of the local police department, it is not a crime.
Providing or furnishing weapons to minors is a felony offense in Minnesota.
(Minnesota Statutes section 609.66-1b.)
Minnesota allows residents to openly carry weapons, or carry concealed weapons, if they have a permit. Anyone who is at least 21 years old, a United States citizen or permanent resident, and who can prove successful completed of a firearm safety course can receive a permit upon submitting an application to the county sheriff’s office. However, certain restrictions apply. (For more detailed explanation of Minnesota’s concealed carry permit rules, see Open and Concealed Gun Carry Laws in Minnesota.)
Many Minnesota cities and other municipalities also have ordinances that place additional restrictions on weapons use and possession. Some cities, for example, prohibit the use of BB guns or slingshots within city limits.
Violating a weapons law in the state of Minnesota can bring significant criminal penalties, including incarceration, fines, and probation. The severity of the punishment depends upon the particular situation and the specific crimes involved.
For example, someone convicted of a misdemeanor offense could face up to a year in jail and up to $3,000 in fines. Felony offenses, on the other hand, can lead to incarceration for multiple years and much higher fines.
If you’d like to know more about criminal sentencing laws in Minnesota, see Minnesota Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences, and Minnesota Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences.
Defending yourself against any weapons related charge in Minnesota is something you can do onlyif you have the advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Even if you don’t believe you have committed a crime, you need a lawyer to advise you whenever you are approached by investigators or are charged with any type of criminal offense. Not talking to a lawyer can damage your chances of successfully defending yourself and asserting your rights at every stage of the criminal justice process.