Weapons Charges in Minnesota

Gun Laws in MinnesotaThere are numerous federal and state statutes that regulate gun rights. These laws outline the specific guidelines for the sale, ownership, possession, and use of firearms.

A person may not carry a pistol in a motor vehicle or in a public place without obtaining a “permit to carry.” There are several groups of people that are exempt from this law, such as police officers and state prison guards. For the general public, a permit is not required:

  • In one’s home
  • In one’s place of business
  • On one’s land
  • When traveling between one’s home, one’s business, the place of purchase, and a repair shop
  • When in the woods, fields, or on the waters of Minnesota for hunting or target shooting in a safe area
  • In a car, snowmobile, or boat, if the pistol is unloaded and cased

“False representation” on a gun permit application is a crime. It is a gross misdemeanor offense to knowingly provide any false information when applying for a permit to carry.

Unlawful Possession by Ineligible Person

Possession of a gun by an “ineligible person” is also a crime. Illegal aliens are ineligible, as well as anyone who has a:

  • Prior conviction of just about any crime
  • Juvenile delinquency adjudication for violation of a criminal statute
  • History of mental illness
  • History of chemical dependency

Weapons Charge Enhancements

Many criminal statutes in Minnesota contain “charge enhancements” and “mandatory minimum” sentencing provisions when it comes to weapons charges. A charge enhancement increases the maximum sentence based on possible factors surrounding the case. Examples of these kinds of criminal defense cases include:

Minnesota Gun Crime Attorneys

Felony convictions and certain misdemeanor convictions (including misdemeanor domestic crimes) can cause a loss of civil rights to firearms, either temporarily or forever (rendering an “ineligible person”). In some criminal cases, guns can be seized even before a person is charged for a crime. Most often, there is little that can be done to remedy these losses after the fact.

The best way to protect your civil rights to guns and firearms is to prevent their loss in the first place. Retaining a great defense lawyer is the first step in preventing a gun crime conviction.