Can an Individual Prohibited From Owning a Firearm in Minnesota Own a Black Powder or Antique Firearm?

On Behalf of Thooft Law LLC

The short answer to this question is no, until they restore this right. Individuals convicted of felonies or violent crimes in the state of Minnesota are often prohibited from owning, transporting, or possessing firearms and by statute black powder rifles and antique firearms are included in this definition.

Prohibition on Right to Possess Firearms

MN Statute 609.165 provides that “a person who has been convicted of a crime of violence, as defined in section 624.712, subdivision 5, is not entitled to ship, transport, possess, or receive a firearm for the remainder of the person’s lifetime.” Additionally at the federal level, Federal Law 18 U.S.C. § 922[g][1-9] prohibits firearm possession for those convicted of felonies or crimes which are “punishable by imprisonment exceeding one year.” In effect this acts as a lifetime ban, however, the right to possess firearms can be reinstated.

So, what does this mean for you? If you have been convicted of a “crime of violence” or a felony offense in the state of Minnesota then you are likely prohibited from owning firearms. Further, this definition, under Minnesota law, includes both black powder rifles and antique firearms.

Black Powder and Antique Guns as Firearms

By federal law black powder rifles, pistols, and shotguns are not firearms. However, at the state level Minnesota has included muzzle loaders and black powder rifles in their definition of firearms.  The Minnesota statute goes on to say: “Firearm” means a gun that discharges shot or a projectile by means of an explosive, a gas, or compressed air.” Judges in Minnesota have also ruled that, under this definition, rifles, shotguns, handguns (both pistols and revolvers), and muzzle loaders are firearms. Paintballs are not included in this definition.

Minnesota law also defines antiques as firearms and, thus, like black powder firearms, any person who is prohibited by federal or state law from possessing firearms could be subject to Minnesota criminal penalties for possession of an antique firearm within the state. What this boil down to is that under federal law a person can possess a muzzle loader or black powder gun but under Minnesota law these are classified as firearms, and as such a person convicted of a violent crime is prohibited from possessing them. One note on this is that this has not always been the case as felons could possess muzzle loaders, however, the legislature has since done away with this loop hole.


In conclusion, prohibitions on possessing firearms in the state of Minnesota can be severe and long reaching for individuals convicted of felonies or crimes of violence. However, this right can be restored through a petition and the attorneys at Thooft Law are here to help. Contact Thooft Law for a free consultation to discuss the process and your chances of success.