Last Revised: May 28, 2022
Our quick reference guide to Minnesota Gun Laws is intended to provide a simple overview of the key statutes in Minnesota covering the possession and use of firearms and legal force in Minnesota. It is not intended to be a comprehensive legal guide.
These laws should be read in conjunction with applicable case law interpreting these statutes along with current federal laws covering firearms. Our frequently asked questions page provides answers to common questions as well.
You can download a PDF of this quick reference guide at this link.
|Definitions||Definitions of pistols, “assault weapons” – Semi-Automatic Military-Style Assault Weapon, rifles, etc.||624.712|
|Persons ineligible to own/possess firearms||· Felony Convictions (for MN state convictions, until discharge from the sentence, or lifetime ban for felony “crimes of violence” unless restored by court order or pardon)
· Misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence. Learn more here on specifics, including post-conviction restoration.
· Adjudicated mentally ill
· Dishonorable discharge from military
· Gang affiliation
|Negligent storage of firearms||Gross misdemeanor to leave a loaded firearm where a child is likely to gain access||609.666|
|Machine guns & short-barrelled shotguns||Prohibited for general public to own, 5 years + $10,000 fine
Some collector curio & relic machine guns may be owned with special federal license
|“Armor Piercing” Ammo||Possession with intent to use in crime, or used in a crime, is a felony, 3 years + $5,000 fine||624.7191|
|Use of deadly force; Justifiable taking of life||When one reasonably believes someone is at risk of great bodily harm or death.
Additional criteria from case law:
· Person reluctantly entered the conflict
· No lesser force will suffice
· No reasonable means of retreat was possible (retreat in one’s home is not necessary)
State v. Basting (1995)
|State Preemption||The legislature preempts all authority on firearms laws except zoning and lawful discharge||471.633|
|Capitol Carry||Legal with a permit to carry||609.66, subd 1g|
|Dealers & Background Checks||Anyone engaged in the selling firearms as a business MUST hold a Federal Firearms License (FFL) and run background checks on all sales||18 USC 921|
|NICS Information||Minnesota is 100% compliant supplying criminal and mental health disqualification information to the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) as of 2015||624.713 subd. 5|
|Private Transfers||Legal between law-abiding citizens without registering transfer||624.7132 subd. 12|
|Straw purchase||Any person who obtains a firearm for a person known to be ineligible to possess is guilty of a gross misdemeanor||624.7133|
|Straw purchase of a handgun or “assault weapon”||Felony is the transferee uses the weapon within 1 year after transfer in the furtherance of a felony crime of violence||624.7141|
|Permit to Purchase||Required to buy a handgun or “Assault Weapon”. A permit to carry may be used instead.||624.7132|
|Permit to Carry||To carry a firearm in public one must take a class from a certified instructor, pay an application fee to the sheriff, and undergo an annual criminal background check (automated). Permit is good for 5 years. Processes are in place to revoke permits if a personal becomes ineligible.||624.714|
|Carry in Schools||Permitted at K-12 public schools with written permission of principal or person in “general control”||609.66 subd. 1d|
|72-hour Holds||Persons at danger of causing injury to self or others can be held for 72 hours for evaluation||253B.05|