Tag Archives: Conceal Carry

Do You Have a Duty to Inform?

In Minnesota, when you are stopped by state or local police, do you have a duty to inform them that you’re legally carrying a firearm before being asked by a peace officer?

The short answer is “no”. Minnesota law states: “The holder of a permit to carry must have the permit card and a driver’s license, state identification card, or other government-issued photo identification in immediate possession at all times when carrying a pistol and must display the permit card and identification document upon lawful demand by a peace officer…” (624.714, Subd 1b). So in Minnesota, only after you are asked by a peace officer must you show him/her your permit to carry license.

If you don’t have your permit with you, the peace officer can charge you with a petty misdemeanor. The fine for the first offense is not more than $25 and your firearm is not subject to forfeiture. However, if you can produce your license later in court or in the office of the arresting officer, Minnesota law states that the citation must be dismissed.

Since the license does not contain your picture, if the officer chooses to do so, s/he can lawfully require you to write a sample signature in the officer’s presence to verify your identity. Presumably, your sample signature would be compared to the one on the license you produced to ensure you are who you claim to be.

In all encounters with peace officers, when you’re carrying, it is a good (real good) idea to make sure that you treat them with respect and that you follow all orders, even if you feel they are in violation of law or your constitutional rights. The time to argue your points is not with the officer – it is in court. Treat the officers with respect and chances are good that they’ll do the same in return.

Bill English
Founder, Maple Grove Firearms

Minnesota vs. Utah vs. Multi-State Permit Classes

Here in the Twin Cities, I estimate that there are ~200 companies licensed to conduct the Minnesota Permit to Carry courses for the State of Minnesota. Taking a look at them, it can be difficult to understand which training vendor is right for you. Not only must you wade through a confusing set of claims, but you’ll also have a tough time comparing training vendors. For example, consider this claim by one training vendor:

[Instructor_Name] and the team of Instructors are Certified Instructors for the Minnesota Permit to Carry (Conceal Carry), Utah Permit to Carry, Wisconsin Permit to Carry, Iowa Permit to Carry and the NRA.  Their experience in training includes over 85 years as a Firearms Instructors/Rangemaster and Training Specialists.

What’s frustrating about this claim is that Wisconsin and Iowa don’t have a non-resident permit to carry instructor certification process. In essence, what they tell me is that as long as the instructor is a certified NRA instructor, they will honor the permit to carry class held outside their state for purposes of giving an individual a permit to carry license from their state. So, I suppose I could say I’m certified to teach the Wisconsin and Iowa Permit to Carry classes too – but I think that would be misleading.

More to the point, some of our competitors claim their permit to carry classes are “certified” in over 35 states. Again, the word “certified” is misleading. What they’re really saying is that like Iowa and Wisconsin, most states will honor permit classes conducted in other states for purposes of giving an individual a permit to carry license from their state as long as the instructor is a certified NRA Instructor.

The one state that doesn’t do this is Utah. They *require* that you fly to Salt Lake City and sit a Train-the-Trainer course before you can instruct a Utah-based Permit to Carry course.

Now, we often do not combine our Minnesota and Utah Permit to Carry courses for several reasons. First, to teach the book information the way we think it ought to be taught takes roughly 5 hours. We use the Minnesota Fundamentals book (245 pages) and their accompanying slides and videos to teach our Minnesota Permit to Carry courses. Then we take you to the range and ensure you can demonstrate that you know how to handle a firearm with live rounds safely.  Our shooting exercises take you through shooting 50 rounds, using a similar set of exercises to this list:

  • 5 yd. line: 5 rounds – two-handed weaver stance
  • 5 yd. line: 5 rounds – two-handed isosceles stance
  • 5 yd. line: 5 rounds – single left hand
  • 5 yd. line: 5 rounds – single right hand
  • 7 yd. line: 5 rounds – two-handed weaver stance
  • 7 yd. line: 5 rounds – two handed isosceles stance
  • 7 yd. line: 5 rounds – single left hand
  • 7 Yd. line: 5 rounds – single right hand
  • 7 yd. line: 5/5 rounds – any stance, reload exercise

We need to see you hit center mass on the target.  We’ll help you improve your accuracy if you’re not hitting it.  If you want a course focused on accuracy, we have other pistol courses for that purpose, but for this class, we look for two things:  safe handling of a firearm and ability to hit center mass at 15 and 21 feet.

Now, you can see that the Minnesota Permit to Carry course will take at least 5 hours because we’re going to end up with ~25 minutes on the range. The reason that we teach the Utah Conceal Carry course separately is because to teach it the way the State of Utah requires it to be taught, it takes ~3 hours of classroom instruction time. I’m not kidding. The State of Utah gives us (instructors) the slide deck they want us to use. It’s not rocket science. But it does take time because they want a course focused on Utah law since it is a Utah Conceal Carry course. I can’t say that I blame them for this.

I’ve posted on this before, but unfortunately, there are a lot of firearm training companies here in the Twin Cities and across the State of Minnesota that spend, perhaps 20-30 minutes on the Utah laws and then claim they have taught the Utah course. This is simply unethical for them to do this. So, instead of combining both Minnesota and Utah into a single course, we teach it on 2 different dates so that we comply with Utah expectations and we give the best Minnesota Permit to Carry class possible.

Our Pricing Model

For the Minnesota Permit to Carry course, we price our course in an ala carte’ fashion so that you purchase exactly what you need to purchase for the course. Our pricing is straight-forward and unambiguous:

  • Class registration fee: $50
  • Range time: Included
  • .22 pistol rental: $50 (includes 50 rounds of ammo)

You need to bring your own eyes, ears and ammunition. We price it all this way because not everyone wants to rent a firearm or obtain the fundamentals book.  This pricing is pretty competitive. Consider what our competition is charging for the same three items:

Our pricing is competitive. Our quality is undeniable. Our focus in on you. So, the next time you wish to take a permit to carry course, consider Maple Grove Firearms.

More Guns, Less Crime

This is a must read for any person who is interested in carrying a firearm for personal protection. This book clearly demonstrates that violent crime goes down when law-abiding citizens carry firearms. Getting your Permit to Carry from Minnesota is one of the most cost-effective ways you can help make our society more safe against violent crime.

This is a quote from the book – I suggest you read it:

Given the limited resources available to law enforcement and our desire to spend those resources wisely to reduce crime, the results of my studies have implications for where police should concentrate their efforts. For example, I found that increasing arrest rates in the most crime-prone areas led to the greatest reductions in crime. Comparisons can also be made across different methods of fighting crime. Of all the methods studied so far by economists, the carrying of concealed handguns appears to be the most cost-effective method for reducing crime. Accident and suicide rates were unaltered by the presence of concealed handguns. Guns also appear to be the great equalizer among the sexes. Murder rates decline when either more women or more men carry concealed handguns, but the effect is especially pronounced for women. One additional woman carrying a concealed handgun reduces the murder rate for women by about 3– 4 times more than one additional man carrying a concealed handgun reduces the murder rate for men. This occurs because allowing a woman to defend herself changes her ability to defend herself much more than it would for a man. After all, men are usually bigger and stronger. While some evidence indicates that increased penalties for using a gun in the commission of a crime reduce crime, the effect is small. Furthermore, I find no crime-reduction benefits from state-mandated waiting periods and background checks before allowing people to purchase guns. At the federal level, the Brady law has proven to be no more effective. Surprisingly, there is also little benefit from training requirements or age restrictions for concealed-handgun permits.

Lott, John R. (2013-01-29). More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition (Studies in Law and Economics) (Kindle Locations 597-609). University Of Chicago Press. Kindle Edition.

Bill English