Open Carry perfectly legal in Minnesota


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bear71
August 23, 2009, 04:29 PM
TexasRifleman recently made a comment on THR which inspired me to do a bunch of research.

I have learned that it is legal to open carry in the State Of Minnesota if the carrier has a "State of Minnesota Permit to Carry a Pistol" and all laws are obeyed and legally banned areas are respected.

I readily admit that I too often stereotype my own state, "just say Minnesota", the land of Wellstone and Franken, as a personal rights munching juggernaut. I assumed an incorrect thing about laws in my home state on reputation and am pleased to learn that I have been wrong.

Don't assume your rights will be limited even in the most liberal states, do the research. I wish I had four years ago upon first receiving my permit to carry.

Thanks to the The High Road and most particularly TexasRifleman for enlightening me.

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THE DARK KNIGHT
August 23, 2009, 04:59 PM
If you think Minnesota is a personal rights munching juggernaut you haven't visited the Northeast.

bear71
August 23, 2009, 05:01 PM
There's some silly laws going on in your state, Knight. Word was, NJ implemented a law limiting how many handguns could be purchased in a given time period? X amount per month. Did that get passed?

TexasRifleman
August 23, 2009, 05:27 PM
Like the link I sent you shows, open carry is legal in 43 states in some form or another.

Many of them severely restricted, but an option in some cases.

That's why I was laughing at the Frommer travel guide idiot and his advice to stay out of Arizona. He is going to have a very short list of states to write about if he's avoiding states with open carry.


I am ashamed to admit however that Texas is one of the states he can still visit since we are one of the sickly seven that offer no open carry of any kind, handgun wise.

That said, we're pretty much unrestricted as far as long arms go and I've open carried rifles on many occasions over the years.

The thing to watch out for if you decide to try open carry in your state of Minnesota or any other is the idea of "preemption" where state law preempts local law.

Some states have the idea of "home rule" where local cities, counties, etc can pass more restrictive laws than the state level and the state law doesn't overrule them.

Texas has preemption so if the legislature were to pass open carry there is nothing particular cities or states could do.

Not sure about Minn, but that's worth looking into. Glad you have the chance to try it out anyway. I'm stuck for now :)

akodo
August 24, 2009, 01:44 AM
Look, terminology here is important.

GENERALLY, when someone says "X is an Open Carry State" that means you can open carry a loaded gun with NO permit.

It also means that if you want to conceal the gun, you need a permit for that facet of it.

An example of this would be Pennsylvania

To call Minnesota an Open Carry state is wrong.

In Minnesota, the ONLY way to legally carry a firearm (either concealed or open) is to have Minnesota Personal Protection Act Permit. While this is generally called a CCL, as you cited you can open carry with it. Those in the 'know' call it a 'carry permit'

See http://twincitiescarry.com/forum/ for more information

That still doesn't make Minnesota an "Open Carry" state in the standard definition of the word.

For the record, in California, you can open carrry a firearm...provided it is unloaded.

I'd not term California an 'open carry' state.

THE DARK KNIGHT
August 24, 2009, 01:47 AM
Yeah they passed a one handgun a month bill in NJ. Doesn't do anything though because it takes 3 months to get a permit to purchase one handgun anyway. Well, it does open the door for down the road when they try to go for one gun every six months" then one a year and so on.

bear71
August 24, 2009, 02:03 AM
"In Minnesota, the ONLY way to legally carry a firearm (either concealed or open) is to have Minnesota Personal Protection Act Permit. While this is generally called a CCL, as you cited you can open carry with it. Those in the 'know' call it a 'carry permit'"

I guess I was just accepting that as a given. Thanks for your very well written post and alerts regarding the technicalities, akoda. I also appreciate the link.

nalioth
August 24, 2009, 06:13 AM
"Open carry" that requires a permit isn't very "open" in my book.

gunthorp
August 24, 2009, 08:41 AM
BTW, the permit to carry a pistol also allows long guns to be carried in public. But, in any motor vehicle, while the permit allows loaded handguns, long guns must be unloaded and cased or trunked.

TexasRifleman
August 24, 2009, 08:53 AM
GENERALLY, when someone says "X is an Open Carry State" that means you can open carry a loaded gun with NO permit.

That still doesn't make Minnesota an "Open Carry" state in the standard definition of the word.

For the record, in California, you can open carrry a firearm...provided it is unloaded.

I'd not term California an 'open carry' state.

The term "open carry" has a pretty standard definition that has nothing to do with permits.

The things you refer to are "unrestricted carry", needing no permits for either open or concealed carry.

Open means out in the open, concealed means hidden from view. Pretty much every legal definition of the terms I have ever seen is that simple.

Whether a permit is needed or not really doesn't come into the definition. As you say, terminology is important, so we can't be making up our own words for things.

There is unrestricted open carry and restricted open carry to define what you talk about but the term "open" simply means not having to hide it.

Sometimes you will see them referred to as permissive open carry; no permits required. Licensed open carry - need a permit, or anomalous open carry, meaning you can open carry with some pretty tight restrictions like unloaded, or there is preemption, etc

Then there is non permissive open carry like Texas, where you can open carry only on private property, or in some places not at all (DC)

But any time the gun is out in the open, in plain sight, it's open carry.

I agree that in a perfect world there would be no permits etc, but we don't live in that world and likely won't for many years, if ever.

Rmeju
August 24, 2009, 08:54 AM
Reference please!

TexasRifleman
August 24, 2009, 09:01 AM
Reference please!

To what?

If you mean Minnesota open carry there is a whole forum for it.

http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum31/

phorvick
August 24, 2009, 09:30 AM
I am one of (perhaps) many permit to carry instructors from Minnesota that participates (somewhat infrequently) on this site.

The word "concealed" does not appear in MN law. Ergo, once you have the permit, you may carry the firearm in any manner you deem appropriate...concealed...open...partially concealed etc. The purpose of this in our law is very simple. If our law was a concealed (only) law, then we could well be mired in litigation (arrests) for what that word means. Does it mean "not discernible by a person of ordinary observation" (which would suggest that an inadvertant display/accidental display is not an issue; or would it mean esssentially "never to be seen under any circumstance.".... So, we left the word "concealed" out of the law...by design.

You see a few people open carry; there are some open carry events/picnics/breakfasts/lunches etc. But in the main, people carry concealed as a matter of personal preference.

Minnesota has State pre-emption. However, we have at least one County (Hennepin..the city of Minneapolis and a few suburbs) that arguably have more restrictions on locations legal to carry than the law allows. To date no challenge has been made (and given the huge flip in our legislature from fairly gun friendly to tilted the other direction, most instructors and lobbyists are not encouraging challenges at this point.

We have very few places we cannot carry.... here are a few places that are often off limits in other States that are perfectly legal here:

1. churches
2. all gov't buildings...(except federal; and there are some special rules...not restrictions at County Courts and Capital grounds)
3. bars (and can drink also subject to .04 limit)
4. schools (k-12) with permission of head official (typically principal...and that is not difficult to obtain in many schools; in fact, I know of many principals that do carry
5. city/state parks
6. post secondary State schools without restriction
7. airports (up to scanners)
8. parking lots of otherwise prohibited sites
9. landlord cannot ban carry by a tenant
10 and more good stuff....

and the "no gun" signs have no legal teeth unless and until (a) valid sign and (b) personal request to leave.

Is it perfect...no...is it a ton better then most States...for sure. Should we "need" permission to carry? No. But, that battle (at least today) is lost. Whether the cycle of politics swings more favorably over time for gun owners seems fairly problematic today. But...one never knows the vagaries of the political wi nds.

jfh
August 24, 2009, 11:02 AM
Your post above is the most cogent overview of the somewhat-unique characteristics of the MN 'carry law.'

From what I know of those politically-charged days when the bill was finally going to receive a majority vote, there was a real effort made to dot-the-is-cross-the-ts to avoid contentious challenges. While the antigunners fought everything every step of the way, rational liberals cooperated. (Rational liberals here means outstate DFL legislators, for the most part.)

As the bill was implemented, the two surprises that showed up were the legal-carry-in gov't buildings with no court exclusion, and churches posting and their related control of non-religious property. It took some time to educate some of the government employees of some of the buildings--such as libraries, notably the Southdale Library--but it got settled down, and properly settled according to the law. If I understand it correctly, the judges' orders prohibiting carry in courts-area may actually be legally questionable--but nobody wants to challenge them. As for the churches'--it really seems to matter to only a couple / few activist congregations.

As for open carry--I live in an exurban area of Hennepin County--it is not widely practiced. Early on, a few chose to do so, and (like the Town Meetings / open carry brouhaha now), and Minnesota-nice rose up to suggest it was not socially acceptable.

The net result is that, in my limited travels in exurbia or Hennepin County, I rarely see the legal-type signs to post a no-weapons. I would guess it has dropped by perhaps 80%--but that's just a WAG.

As for part of the discussion in this thread about the accurate-language use of 'carry terminology'--well, it's important, I guess, in order to be law-abiding. Here, I suspect, it really functions as in-group socialization.

Jim H.

Madcap_Magician
August 24, 2009, 11:53 AM
Minnesota actually has an outstanding concealed carry law with an open carry allowance for permit holders only. Some other ways we sure do infringe on the individual, but our CCW law is very good.

Megistopoda
August 24, 2009, 03:23 PM
Of shall-issue state carry laws, Minnesota's is very good.

bear71
August 24, 2009, 03:43 PM
Superb post, phorvick. Thanks.

Rmeju
August 25, 2009, 08:57 AM
Reference please!

To what?

If you mean Minnesota open carry there is a whole forum for it.


My bad, you squeaked in just before me, I was looking for a reference to the post just above yours:

BTW, the permit to carry a pistol also allows long guns to be carried in public. But, in any motor vehicle, while the permit allows loaded handguns, long guns must be unloaded and cased or trunked.

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