There are a number of federal and Minnesota appellate court cases that have impacted firearms laws in Minnesota. We provide a partial list here of the most important cases from our perspective.
It’s important to understand that while sometimes statutory law might seem to be very clear upon reading it – the courts may have interpreted it differently. Gaining a full understanding of the current legal landscape for the right to keep and bear arms in Minnesota requires a thorough knowledge of the statutory law and the relevant case law.
When in doubt, consult a reputable Permit to Carry Instructor who is properly credentialed in Minnesota or an attorney.
- District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 US 570 (2008): The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess firearms.
- McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 US 742 (2010): The Second Amendment can be applied (incorporated) against the states.
- New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, 20-843 (2022): The Second and Fourteenth Amendments protect a right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense.
- Second Amendment (Generally)
- State v. Craig, A10-1938 (2013): The Second Amendment is not unlimited and the scope of the right is subject to certain presumptively lawful exceptions.
- State v. Johnson (1967): Reluctant participant
- State v. Baker, 280 Minn. 518 (1968): Reluctant participant
- State v. Basting (1997): 4 Elements of Self-Defense
- State v. Pendleton, C6-95-2162 (1997): Fear of death or great bodily harm need not be present when defending your dwelling
- State v. Carothers, C8-98-86 (1999): Duty to retreat does not apply to the defense of dwelling
- State v. Glowacki, C8-99-1507 (2001): There is no duty to retreat in one’s dwelling even if the aggressor is a co-resident
- State v. Devens, C12-2065 (2014): A duty to retreat exists in the hallway of an apartment building
- Carry without a Permit
- State v. Poupard, 471 N.W.2d 686 (1991): Defines traveling between home and business for the purposes of carrying a pistol without a permit.
- State v. Hicks, C1-98-298 (1998): The hallway of an apartment is a “public place”
- State v. Linville, C8-99-308 (1999): One’s home and business must be in reasonable proximity to each other to be an exception to the permit requirement.
- State v. Palmer, C9-01-559 (2001): A company vehicle is not a person’s “place of business”
- State v. Hatch, A20-0176 (2021): Minnesota’s Permit to Carry Law does not violate the Second Amendment even under strict scrutiny.
- Drinking and Carrying
- State v. Gradishar, A08-1754 (2009): A “public place” includes one’s place of business if it is open to the public
- Transporting Firearms
- BB Gun is a “Firearm” for a Prohibited Person
- Police exemption from Minnesota Citizen’s Personal Protection Act
- Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association v. NFL, A15-0317 (2015): The Minnesota Citizens’ Personal Protection Act (MN 624.714) does not apply to active licensed peace officers.
- “Public Place” definition
- State v. Yang, A11-1008 (2012): Police do not have reasonable suspicion to detain a man merely on a report that he possesses a gun at a private residence and on their finding him walking from that residence into its front yard.