Tag Archives: Permit to 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

2014 Annual Minnesota Permit to Carry Survey

Between May 20th and June 6th of 2014, Maple Grove Firearms conducted an open survey about the firearm carry habits of those who live within Minnesota. A total of 104 individuals participated in the survey (~15 were outside of Minnesota, so one wonders if they have multiple homes with one of them being in Minnesota) and nearly all of them (over 90%) completed the survey in its’ entirety. Because of the relatively small population size, we’re not able to make statistically significant inferences from the data, so we’re not claiming that this is a scientific poll. Having said that, the results are interesting and should be evaluated by all parties concerned with carry issues here in Minnesota – including private citizens, pro- and anti-gun groups, police and legislative.

Core Results

  • 89% carry hollow point bullets.
  • 44% ignore the no-carry signs
  • 65% carry a firearm for self-defense reasons
  • 42% carry a second magazine
  • 62% have been carrying a firearm 5 years or less
  • 29% carry a knife with a 3″ blade or longer
  • 55% visit a gun range at least monthly


We started the survey by asking a series of demographic questions. Here is an outline of our 104 respondents:

  • 92% of the respondents were between the ages of 21 and 60, with the high concentration (385) between the ages of 31-45.
  • 93% of the respondents were male
  • 81% of the respondents had annual incomes below $100,000/year.

28% have a high school diploma as their highest level of formal education completed. 32% have an Associates degree and 18% have graduated with a 4-year college degree. We were disappointed that women were under-represented in this survey. Those who read this web site and our Facebook page know how much we encourage women to protect themselves through the lawful carrying of a firearm. Given the number of rapes, assaults and other violent crimes against women each year, it just stands to reason that more women should be protecting themselves. In terms of political affiliation, we found that most permit to carry license holders described themselves with labels generally thought to be more on the conservative part of the political spectrum:

  • Republican (28%)
  • Independent Conservative (24%)
  • Tea Party (5%)
  • Libertarian (12%)

The Liberal spectrum didn’t fare as well:

  • Democrat (6%)
  • Independent Liberal (2%)
  • Green Party (0%)

Pro-gun advocates should be concerned about the low numbers in the Democrat and Independent Liberal descriptions. One of the ways that we ensure we preserve our guns rights is to make the pro-gun agenda as bi-partisan as possible. Most of our respondents have joined at least one Association. 37% are NRA members, 14% are Gun Owners of America members and yet, 35% have not joined any association that can help them preserve their rights. From our viewpoint, the very low cost of joining an associate that works in Washington and the state legislatures to help ensure our gun rights are preserved is a no-brainer. Yet, it seems that a sizable number of those who carry firearms don’t connect their rights with the hard work that the NRA and others have done to secure these rights for all Americans.

Carry Statistics

Based on our survey, 88% who responded carry a firearm in public. This doesn’t mean that they open carry, it just means that they carry a firearm in public – either concealed or open. Surprisingly, 62% have been carrying 5 years or less with only 7% having carried more than 10 years. This would tend to be correlated with the permit numbers published by the State of Minnesota each year. In 2012, we saw ~ 30,000 permits issued. In 2013, we saw that number double to over 60,000. The vast majority of these are new carry permits. When it came to the number and type of firearms that are owned by the respondents in this survey, 6% decided not to complete this question. Of the remaining 94%, this is what our respondents reported:

Question: How many and what type of firearms do you own?





Pistol 64 25 6 1
Rifle 44 21 4 2
Shotgun 55 10 1 0
Tactical (Assault) Rifle 35 9 1 1
Revolver 30 6 0 0
Antique 14 3 0 0
Other 7 1 0 0

As you can see from the numbers, a sizable number of respondents own multiple handguns and rifles. We anticipate that the number of those who own tactical rifles will increase if our society continues on its’ current trajectory.

Why carry at all? When asked the question “Why do you carry a firearm in public?”, the most often-cited reasons was (not surprising) “self-defense” (40%). When combined with the more vague “feel safer” (25%), most carry not because they have some arrogant need to be Rambo in life, but simply because they want to feel and be safe from violence against their person. 29% reported that they carry because they want to exercise their 2nd Amendment right. This goes to the notion that a right not exercised is a right forfeited. Part of the reason that Maple Grove Firearms exists is somewhat selfish: we realize that the more people we train and help get their permits, the more difficult it will be for us to lose our rights. In other words, we teach, in part, because we realize that the more who carry, the harder it is for the state legislature to take away our rights.

Frequency: When it comes to frequency of carry in public, 74% carry at least 50% of the time with 37% carrying 91% or more of the time they spend in public. 16% have their permit and yet carry less than 25% of the time they spend in public. I’ve had students tell me that they took the permit class primarily so they could purchase a pistol same-day here in Minnesota, instead of having to wait a longer period of time that comes with having a permit to purchase license.

Caliber size carried: In terms of the caliber size, we messed this question up by not including 9mm as one of the answers. In spite of this, many made it clear they carry 9mm – 38%. 30% carry .40 and 16% carry .45. 16% carry the other calibers that we listed, including .380, .38, .25 and .22.

Obey signs: The question that most surprised us was phrased as follows: “In Minnesota, a business owner or operator can post a sign indicating that you are not allowed to legally carry a pistol in his place of business. Other states may have similar laws. If your state has such a law, do you more often than not comply with those signs or ignore those signs?” A surprising 46% ignore these signs and carry anyways. A bare majority (54%) obey these signs. What this means is that, pragmatically speaking, nearly half of those who have Minnesota Permit to Carry licenses are carrying a firearm in businesses that have expressed their desire to not have firearms within their premises. Here are representative comments from our respondents who ignore the no-carry signs:

  • I’d rather pay the $25 misdemeanor fine than be dead.
  • It’s a hassle to un-holster, unload and secure my firearm, and since I conceal, I place my bet on not being outed as carrying
  • Because if I can ignore them, so can criminals
  • Most shootings happen in a gun free area. If they were to ask me to leave I would
  • MN law goes beyond a simple sign. I never open carry anyway so the only time they would know is the unfortunate situation that I would have to use it. At which point I would most likely be thanked.
  • Because I refuse to be a victim

Many commented on how they don’t patronize businesses that don’t allow firearms. One wonders how often small business owners lose critical sales simply because they believe the myth that the absence of firearms increases the safety of their business environment.

Holster type: When it comes to the holster type, a near majority carry inside the waistband (43%) where as 32% carry outside the waistband. The other 25% use over-the-shoulder, pocket and other holster types.

Secondary magazine: Another (somewhat) surprising result was that 42% of those who carry do so with a second magazine. One wonders if they often practice changing magazines swiftly. I’ve seen videos on how to do this and have taken training on this too, but I can’t say I practice this often primarily because I feel that by the time I’ve emptied my magazine, I’m either dead, the other person is dead or the police have arrived.

Practice routine: 55% visit a gun range at least monthly presumably to practice their shooting capabilities. Visiting a gun range on a regular basis is foundational to keeping up your gun shooting skills. Shooting accuracy is a diminishing skill, so regular practice is a must if you’re going to be proficient in the heat of the moment.


People who carry a firearm in public do so mainly for self-defense reasons. Given the increase in violence in our society, this is fully understandable. Most want and do obey the law, yet there is an underlying pragmatism that moderates blind obedience to what some believe are poorly written laws. Many carry knives with their guns and often carry a second magazine of ammunition. People who carry tend to not be rich or members of the elite in our society. Most are hard-working, average Americans who simply want to be left alone and protect their person and family should violence ever erupt.

We believe this group is mis-understood by the media elite and those in legislatures who have little experience with firearms or the people who carry them. We suppose this is not totally unexpected: when one’s personal security is provided without cost via the Secret Service or other police or police-type agencies simply because of one’s elected office, one swiftly becomes disconnected and out-of-touch with the realities of living at the grassroots. The arrogance of those who get their security provided to them free-of-charge while denying their constituents their own security is astounding and yet is somehow thought to be an “enlightened” position. It is our belief that if our 2nd Amendment rights were ever to be taken away, many would engage in quiet civil disobedience and carry anyways. It’s simply unnatural to deny individuals their right to defend themselves.

I’m Sorry Officer, I Forgot it!

So, you’re cruising through Pennsylvania or Ohio or some other state that doesn’t have reciprocity with Minnesota – but no worries – you have your Utah Conceal Carry permit which is honored in these states.

Now, you get stopped by the police.  They learn you have a loaded pistol in your car and want to see your Pennsylvania or Ohio permit.  You tell them you have a Utah permit and then you go to find it.  To your horror, you realize (way too late, I might add) that you left your Utah permit at home in Minnesota.

You’ve just committed a felony and chances are good that you’ll be arrested and criminally charged.  Some officers might let you off the hook by detaining you while you figure out a way to get a faxed copy of your permit into their hands.  But most won’t go through the trouble.

Bottom line – if you don’t have the permit with you, then don’t carry.  “I forgot” it and left it at home won’t be an excuse.

Be sure to check out our Reciprocity Center and get the details for each state into which you travel for carry information at www.handgunlaw.us.  You’ll be glad you paid attention to these details.

What is the Process for Obtaining a Minnesota Permit to Carry License?

We are asked this question on a regular basis. Now, we have a handy visual aid that will help you understand the five steps you need to go through to ensure you obtain your Minnesota Permit to Carry License. The download is free and does not require any registration. All we ask is that you consider coming to us for your firearm training needs. We intend on being the best and largest firearm training company in the Northwest suburbs of the Twin Cities.

What is a CCW Permit?

In the minds of most people, a CCW (Carry a Concealed Weapon) means carrying a concealed firearm in public. Since many states don’t have open carry laws, many assume that Minnesota offers a CCW. The truth is that Minnesota is an open carry state, which is why we have a “Permit to Carry” instead of a CCW license. You can think of the Minnesota Permit to Carry license as our equivalent to other state’s CCW license.

The various states use different terms for licenses or permits to carry a concealed firearm. Here’s a quick cheat sheet for the various acrostics:

  • Concealed Handgun License/Permit (CHL/CHP)
  • Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW)
  • Concealed (Defensive/Deadly) Weapon Permit/License (CDWL/CWP/CWL)
  • Concealed Carry Permit/License (CCP/CCL)
  • License To Carry (Firearms) (LTC/LTCF)
  • Carry of Concealed Deadly Weapon license (CCDW)
  • Concealed Pistol License (CPL)

Here is a cool, animated GIF that shows how the carry and concealed handgun and firearm laws have developed since 1986.  This is taken from open source/common areas of Wikipedia.



Just remember, Minnesota is an open carry state, so we have a Permit to Carry license, not a Concealed Handgun License.

Bill English
NRA Instructor

Top Ten Mistakes Made by Permit to Carry Holders

Just because you have the Minnesota Permit to Carry license doesn’t mean that your done with your training or your learning. This video, done in part by the author of the Minnesota Fundamentals book that we use in our Minnesota Permit to Carry course, is an excellent video to remind yourself of the common mistakes you’re likely to make now that you’re a permit to carry holder. We encourage you to watch this video and consider how Maple Grove Firearms can further your education and training in the safe use of firearms.

Kansas Governor Signs Global Reciprocity Bill


On April 5, 2014, the Governor of Kansas signed a permit to carry reciprocity bill that recognizes any other state’s permit to carry license for those traveling through Kansas or visiting that fine state. You can read the text of the bill here. This is good news for those of us who have a Minnesota Permit to Carry license. It is now recognized in the State of Kansas.

Armed Citizen – Three Stories

There is a reason we carry and maintain our Permit to Carry licenses. We carry for self-defense. We’re not Rambo. We’re not trying to enforce the laws of our great State of Minnesota. Nope. We’re just wanting to protect ourselves and those around us from an increasingly violent society.

Byron Park, 54, a Domino’s Pizza employee, was making a delivery to a hotel just before midnight. As he returned to his vehicle, he was confronted by a 34-year-old man wielding a knife and demanding money. Park responded by pulling out his concealed handgun and firing once. The robber sustained a fatal wound to the torso. Maj. Tod Goodyear said of the incident, “[Park] was protecting his life. The guy had a deadly weapon and was going to kill him if he didn’t give his money up.” (Florida Today, Melbourne, Fla., 8/25/13)

A man was outside his horse barn early one morning when three large dogs surrounded him. The canines circled him as if preparing to attack. After efforts to scare the dogs away by yelling at them failed, the man called a neighbor who brought a shotgun. One of the dogs was shot and killed. The animal was tested and results reported that they are “dog-wolf hybrids” being bred by someone in the area. It was last reported that the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection had begun investigating the matter. The man who shot the animal was unharmed. (The Day, Long Pond, Conn., 3/31/14)

From The Armed Citizen® Archives

October 1977: A would-be rapist met an untimely end when he attempted to molest an unidentified New Orleans, La., woman cab driver. When the man jumped into the front seat and attacked, she drew a cal. .357 revolver and fired, killing him. (The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, La.)

All stories taken from The NRA’s American Rifle Web Site.

Do You Need a Permit to Carry in Minnesota to Carry a Firearm?

Often, we are asked if a Minnesota resident needs a Permit to Carry in order to carry a revolver or semi-automatic pistol. Generally speaking, the answer is “Yes”. But the full answer is a bit more complicated. Under current Minnesota law, an individual does not need a Minnesota Permit to Carry license to legally carry a pistol in the following scenarios that are represented in this chart:

Rights Non-Permit Holders Permit Holders
Owning firearms Yes Yes
Carrying loaded/unloaded firearms at home Yes Yes
Carrying loaded/unloaded firearms at fixed place of business Yes Yes
Carrying firearms, unloaded, in a locked case, in the trunk Yes Yes
Use of lethal force in self-defense Yes Yes
Performing citizen’s arrest Yes Yes
Carrying a firearm in most public places No Yes
Carrying a loaded firearm: passenger compartment of car No Yes
Carrying firearms in school No No
Acting as a police officer No No
Driving directly to/from home and fixed place of business Yes Yes
Carrying loaded/unloaded firearm on your private land Yes Yes
Carry a pistol from/to a place of purchase or repair Yes Yes
Carry a pistol in woods or fields or waters owned by the State of Minnesota when the purpose is for legal hunting or target shooting in a safe area Yes Yes

Posted Signs Barring Minnesota Permit to Carry Holders

Some students ask about businesses being able to post signs barring permit holders from carrying in their businesses. Well, the information on posting is spelled out in Minnesota Statue 624.714. Notice that a “reasonable request” is defined as either posting the sign as prescribed or making a personal request. Putting up long-winded web pages on their web site is NOT a “reasonable request”. Notice also that they cannot confiscate your gun – at least not legally. Remember – the sign’s criteria must be “prominent” and “conspicuous”.

Subd. 17.Posting; trespass.

(a) A person carrying a firearm on or about his or her person or clothes under a permit or otherwise who remains at a private establishment knowing that the operator of the establishment or its agent has made a reasonable request that firearms not be brought into the establishment may be ordered to leave the premises. A person who fails to leave when so requested is guilty of a petty misdemeanor. The fine for a first offense must not exceed $25. Notwithstanding section 609.531, a firearm carried in violation of this subdivision is not subject to forfeiture.

(b) As used in this subdivision, the terms in this paragraph have the meanings given.

(1) “Reasonable request” means a request made under the following circumstances:

(i) the requester has prominently posted a conspicuous sign at every entrance to the establishment containing the following language: “(INDICATE IDENTITY OF OPERATOR) BANS GUNS IN THESE PREMISES.”; or

(ii) the requester or the requester’s agent personally informs the person that guns are prohibited in the premises and demands compliance.

(2) “Prominently” means readily visible and within four feet laterally of the entrance with the bottom of the sign at a height of four to six feet above the floor.

(3) “Conspicuous” means lettering in black arial typeface at least 1-1/2 inches in height against a bright contrasting background that is at least 187 square inches in area.

(4) “Private establishment” means a building, structure, or portion thereof that is owned, leased, controlled, or operated by a nongovernmental entity for a nongovernmental purpose.

(c) The owner or operator of a private establishment may not prohibit the lawful carry or possession of firearms in a parking facility or parking area.

(d) This subdivision does not apply to private residences. The lawful possessor of a private residence may prohibit firearms, and provide notice thereof, in any lawful manner.

(e) A landlord may not restrict the lawful carry or possession of firearms by tenants or their guests.

(f) Notwithstanding any inconsistent provisions in section 609.605, this subdivision sets forth the exclusive criteria to notify a permit holder when otherwise lawful firearm possession is not allowed in a private establishment and sets forth the exclusive penalty for such activity.

(g) This subdivision does not apply to:

(1) an active licensed peace officer; or

(2) a security guard acting in the course and scope of employment.

Carrying on College Campuses

The law on carrying for college campuses is found in 624.718. The effect of this part of the law for Minnesota Permit to Carry holders creates some interesting situations.


If you are a visitor to a state-owned college campus, you can carry your firearm. The Reasonable Request laws (624.714) apply only to private establishments, so legally, public colleges cannot make a reasonable request under Minnesota law.


Minnesota College or university students generally are prohibited from having any firearm on any property (facilities and land) that belongs to the State, but this prohibition does not apply to students when they are not on college property. Students who are licensed peace officers are permitted to carry their weapon in accordance with applicable law. Certain exceptions authorized by the college or university president may apply for approved academic or other purposes and students are not prohibited from having a firearm in parking lots or parking facilities, subject to other laws governing possession or carry of a firearm.


With limited exceptions, State college employees are prohibited from carrying a pistol or other firearm on or off campus while they are acting in the scope and course of their employment, whether or not they have a permit to carry a pistol. Employees who are licensed peace officers are permitted to carry their weapon in accordance with applicable law, whether or not the employee has academic or public safety responsibilities that require the firearm. Employees are not prohibited from having a firearm in parking lots or parking facilities, subject to other laws governing possession or carry of a firearm. Employees who are on College property outside the scope and course of their employment are treated as visitors. As an example, this means that if an employee goes to another college as a parent taking his or her teen to visit the college, s/he can carry.

Subd. 18.Employers; public colleges and universities.

(a) An employer, whether public or private, may establish policies that restrict the carry or possession of firearms by its employees while acting in the course and scope of employment. Employment related civil sanctions may be invoked for a violation.

(b) A public postsecondary institution regulated under chapter 136F or 137 may establish policies that restrict the carry or possession of firearms by its students while on the institution’s property. Academic sanctions may be invoked for a violation.

(c) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) and (b), an employer or a postsecondary institution may not prohibit the lawful carry or possession of firearms in a parking facility or parking area.


As you can see, the laws around when and where a Minnesota Permit to Carry Permit Holder can carry are varied and a bit murky in some situations. We would advise you to use discretion and keep your firearm concealed, even though Minnesota is an open Permit to Carry state. Discretion is your friend and keeping your pistol concealed will help you avoid unwanted interactions with both the public at large and law enforcement officers.

Bill English
NRA Instructor
Minnesota Permit to Carry Instructor
Utah Conceal Carry Instructor