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Differences Between New and Renewal for the Minnesota Permit to Carry License

We often get asked “What is the difference between getting a new Minnesota Permit to Carry license and a renewed Minnesota Permit to Carry license? The answer can be summed up in one word: “None.”

Minnesota State Law does not differentiate between new and renewal permits for the Permit to Carry license. The elements that are required to be taught in a permit to carry class are the same regardless of whether or not you’re apply for the first time or getting your existing Permit to Carry license renewed.

The statue reads as follows:

Subd. 2a. Training in the safe use of a pistol. (a)

An applicant must present evidence that the applicant received

training in the safe use of a pistol within one year of the date

of an original or renewal application. Training may be

demonstrated by:

(1) employment as a peace officer in the state of Minnesota

within the past year; or

(2) completion of a firearms safety or training course

providing basic training in the safe use of a pistol and

conducted by a certified instructor.

(b) Basic training must include:

(1) instruction in the fundamentals of pistol use;

(2) successful completion of an actual shooting qualification exercise; and

(3) instruction in the fundamental legal aspects of pistol

possession, carry, and use, including self-defense and the

restrictions on the use of deadly force.

(c) The certified instructor must issue a certificate to a

person who has completed a firearms safety or training course

described in paragraph (b). The certificate must be signed by

the instructor and attest that the person attended and completed

the course.

(d) A person qualifies as a certified instructor if the

person is certified as a firearms instructor within the past

five years by an organization or government entity that has been

approved by the Department of Public Safety in accordance with

the department’s standards.

(e) A sheriff must accept the training described in this

subdivision as meeting the requirement in subdivision 2,

paragraph (b), for training in the safe use of a pistol. A

sheriff may also accept other satisfactory evidence of training

in the safe use of a pistol.


As you can see, Minnesota statues don’t even have a concept of a renewal vs. new permit. This is something that has been developed over time by the training companies in their marketing materials.

At least for us, this is why the cost of a permit to carry class is the same – regardless of whether or not it is for a new permit or a renewal. The education elements are the same. Next time you need to sit a class for the Minnesota Permit to Carry license, please consider Maple Grove Firearms. You won’t be disappointed with our education classes.

Bill English, NRA Instructor

Is Minnesota an Open Carry State?

This is a question we receive quit often in our Minnesota Permit to Carry classes: “Can I legally carry my firearm in the open? Or am I forced to conceal it?”

The short answer is “Yes”. Minnesota is an open carry state. This is why the license is a “permit to carry” not a “conceal carry” one, because in Minnesota, you are allowed to legally carry a firearm in the open if you have a legal and current Minnesota Permit to Carry license.

Now, we don’t recommend that you open carry. We recommend you conceal it anyways, especially with the anti-gun folks in charge of both houses and the Governorship right now. Let’s not stir up any trouble or create reasons for people to contact their legislators to have the laws changed. So, it is our recommendation that you not open carry.

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.