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Pistol Transport Legality

Discussion in 'Legal' started by holdencm9, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Well-Known Member

    Hi all, hoping someone with more legal mind can help me out.

    I had seen some pictures online of some people who used tool bags for their range bags, and thought it was a pretty good idea so I went and picked one up. It is sturdy, has tons of little sleeve pockets inside and a divider wall inside with even more sleeves. Each one is perfect for sliding in a couple magazines, and also holds a pistol perfectly muzzle-down and covers the trigger guard, like a holster! So I thought it would be slick to just stick a few pistols in some sleeves, some magazines in some other sleeves, and additional boxes of ammo or other range supplies in the bottom of the bag, to take to the range.

    Now I am not so sure if this will fly legally, due to the phrase "expressly made to contain a firearm." Clearly the tool bag isn't specifically for guns, but it is quite sturdy (moreso than many cheap gun cases IMO!). I also can't tell if subdivision 1 and 2 both have to be fulfilled, or if it is an either/or thing.

    Other things that may affect it: 1) The case zippers have rings so that the bag can be locked with a mini-padlock. Not indestructible but like I said, it's a sturdy bag 2) I have a carry permit 3) I like to pre-load mags for the range.

    So would slipping a few handguns into sleeves along with a few loaded magazines (in other sleeves so none of the guns themselves are loaded), and locking the bag and transporting it in my trunk be okay or a no-go?

    Thanks everyone.

    ETA this is for MN which you'll see when you click the link to the law, but just in case you didn't realize it was a link
  2. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

    The statute cited by the OP (97B.045 of 2012 Minnesota Statutes) requires specifically that a firearm to be legally transported be:
    The tool bag the OP wants to use is not a gun case expressly made to contain a firearm.

    Unless a Minnesota court of appeal has expressly interpreted that statute in a broader fashion, the OP would not be in compliance were he to use the tool bag to transport his handguns. I'm not going to spend the time researching Minnesota case law.

    If someone knows the answer, please speak up and cite the applicable court decision or some similarly applicable legal authority. Please don't guess or assume, because the OP can get into serious trouble if you're wrong.

    And stick to Minnesota. Comments regarding the laws of other States are off topic.
  3. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Frank,

    The current plan is to put each pistol, unloaded, individually in a gun case and then put THOSE into the tool bag. Too bad I mostly only have hard-shell cases and they waste a lot of space. I think I can only fit 2 or 3 in the bag, versus 5 or 6 with the other method, but if the other method proves to be a non-starter due to the language of the law, I will order a handful of the $7 soft zippered cases from midway or something, which waste much less space and still satisfy the law.

    I think based on that law, it should be fine to slip some loaded mags into the various side pockets and slots, since they are separate, and locking the bag itself would be unnecessary.

    Anyone else who can shed any more light is greatly appreciated!
  4. F-111 John

    F-111 John Well-Known Member

    Not a lawyer, but reading the Statute linked to by the OP (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=97b.045) it seems there are three options:

    1: Unloaded and in a gun case,

    2: Unloaded and in the trunk, or

    3: Has a CPL.

    If so, I would think as long as the firearm is unloaded and the toolbag is locked in a trunk (not accessable from the passenger compartment) then the OP has complied with the law.
  5. rromeo

    rromeo Well-Known Member

    I use a tool bag, with my pistols in individual soft cases. This is more for gun protection than legal matters, but my non-legal-advice opinion is that I think it would work in your situation.
  6. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

    Except --

    1. The OP's question is a legal one.

    2. The OP asks because he lives in Minnesota, and there's a particular law there that concerns him.
  7. rromeo

    rromeo Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I caught that part, which is why I said it would work in his situation where the law says must be in a gun case expressly made to contain a firearm. Nothing says the legal case can't be carried in a bag not expressly made to carry a firearm.

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