Minnesotans have been given the ability to carry firearms by the legislature through the Minnesota Citizens’ Personal Protection Act of 2003. The act may be viewed HERE in its entirety. According to this law the Minnesota legislature “recognizes and declares that the second amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms.” So, what exactly is the Minnesota Personal Protection Act and how does it affect you?
WHAT IS THE ACT?
The Minnesota Personal Protection Act is Minnesota’s version of “conceal and carry.” Basically, this law allows individuals that have applied for and been granted a permit the ability to carry a firearm in public. Further, in Minnesota the firearm does not have to be concealed. If a person is able to satisfy the requirements they must be granted the permit to carry as it is no longer discretionary. In order to get a permit to carry a person must ultimately make an application to the Sheriff of the county they reside in, or, if they are out of state they can file with any sheriff in Minnesota.
WHAT REQUIREMENTS MUST BE SATISFIED TO GET A PERMIT?
If a person is able to satisfy the requirements, and has submitted their application to a sheriff then a permit must be issued within 30 days. So, what are these requirements?
- The person has completed an approved course regarding safe use of a firearm.
- The person is 21 years old or older.
- The person has completely and correctly filled out their application.
- The person has not been prohibited from possessing a firearm at the federal or state level.
- The person is not in a gang or a danger to themselves or the general public based on arrests, police reports, and criminal history.
SPECIFICS OF A PERMIT TO CARRY IN MINNESOTA
Once a person has been issued a permit to carry in Minnesota they do not need to reapply for five years. Additionally, a person with a permit to carry can bring a firearm into a courthouse if they notify the sheriff and the court has not issued an order otherwise. Further, persons with a permit cannot carry a firearm into businesses or organizations which have clearly put up signs that guns are prohibited. Failure to recognize this can result in a petty misdemeanor charge. In addition, a person cannot carry under the influence.
It is also important to note that a permit to carry is not an absolute right and can be taken away. If a person is granted their permit, but later becomes prohibited from carrying they must return their permit to the sheriff within five days. Failure to surrender this permit and carrying without a permit are both gross misdemeanor charges.
WHAT TO DO IF A PERMIT IS DENIED OR SUSPENDED
If a person is denied their permit they have 20 days to appeal to the sheriff. After they have appealed the sheriff will have 15 days to respond. After this a person can then request that a court review the denial. Once a person has requested a court review the denial they are granted a confidential hearing. At this hearing it is up to the sheriff to justify the denial and if an individual win at this hearing they can receive compensation for their costs.
In conclusion, Minnesota law allows a person to carry a handgun if they meet the requirements and have applied for a permit. This permit can be denied for a number of reasons and once granted is not permanent. If you have been denied your ability to carry a handgun it can be a complicated and complex process. For these reasons it is recommended to consult with a skilled and knowledgeable attorney prior to appealing the denial. Derek Thooft of Thooft Law has handled numerous cases involving both the denial of a permit to conceal and other prohibitions on possessing firearms. Please call today to set up a free consultation and gain a better understanding of your rights and chances at success.