What Is the Charge for Carrying a Concealed Weapon in MN?
Gun charges in Minnesota are serious charges, and those related to carrying a concealed weapon are no exception. In Minnesota – unless you work in a highly specific field – you must have a permit to carry a gun in public. There is not, however, any distinction made regarding whether the gun in question is concealed or not. If you are facing gun charges, it is time to consult with an experienced Minnesota criminal defense attorney.
Obtaining a Permit
In the State of Minnesota, all of the following must apply before you can obtain a permit to carry a gun:
• You must be at least 21 years old
• You must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
• You must have successfully completed your mandatory handgun safety training
• You must not be prohibited – by federal or state laws – from having a gun
• You must not be on the state’s database for criminal gangs
• You must complete an application for a permit to carry
Without a Minnesota Permit to Carry a Pistol (PCP), it is illegal for you to carry a gun in the first place – whether it is concealed or not, and the charge for carrying a gun without a permit is carrying of weapons without permit. At its most basic level, this is a gross misdemeanor that carries penalties of up to one year in jail and up to $3,000 in fines.
Those Ineligible to Carry
The State of Minnesota prohibits some people from possessing any firearm on principle, including:
• Anyone with a prior felony, violent crime, or drug crime conviction
• Anyone who has recently been convicted of domestic assault with a firearm, with stalking, or with other specific crimes
• Anyone who has a protection order against him or her for either domestic violence or for domestic child abuse
• Anyone who is in the process of completing a diversion program that is predicated on a violent crime
• Anyone who uses illegal drugs
• Anyone who has been committed for treatment based on addiction and hasn’t completed the treatment program
• Anyone who has been declared mentally ill
• Anyone who is in the country illegally
Possession by anyone who is ineligible for gun possession is a gross misdemeanor unless he or she has a prior conviction for a violent crime or felony, which elevates the charge to a felony.
The Illegal Use of a Gun
Even if you have a permit to carry a gun, you can still be charged with the illegal use or handling of that gun. Examples include:
• Handling your gun in a manner that endangers others or that is otherwise reckless
• Storing a loaded gun somewhere that a child is likely to gain access and not taking the necessary precautions to prevent such an eventuality
• Intentionally pointing a gun at someone else – whether it is loaded or not loaded
• Furnishing a minor with a gun and/or ammunition without having the explicit consent of the child’s parent or the explicit consent of the police (a felony)
Possession of a Gun Can Enhance Your Charges
In many situations, having a gun in your possession – even if you have a permit for that gun – can lead to an enhanced charge. Some examples of scenarios in which charges could be enhanced include:
• If there is a gun in the vicinity and you are charged with possession of illegal drugs
• If you are accused of burglary, robbery, assault, kidnapping, or murder and you are carrying a gun
• If you are charged with criminal sexual conduct and you are in possession of a gun at the time of the alleged incident
If Your Gun Charge Is a Felony
If the charge you face is a felony, you face even more than the potential penalties of time in jail and significant fines. There are also serious social consequences that can include:
• Limitations on your employment opportunities (most employers do background checks)
• Limitations on your educational opportunities (federal student loans aren’t available for felons)
• Loss of professional licensure
• Difficulty renting a house or apartment
You Need an Experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer on Your Side
Regardless of the type of gun charge you face, it’s an extremely serious matter that requires focused attention. The dedicated criminal defense attorneys at Gerald Miller in Minneapolis have wide-ranging experience successfully defending the constitutional rights of clients like you – while effecting favorable case resolutions. Our experienced legal team is on your side, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 612.440.3212 for more information today.