Minnesota allows a person carrying a firearm on or about his or her person or clothes under a permit who remains at a private establishment knowing that the operator has made a “reasonable request” that firearms not be brought into the establishment to be ordered to leave the premises. A “reasonable request” is defined as a request made in either of two ways:
• The requester may post a readily visible sign, within four feet laterally of every entrance to the establishment with the bottom of the sign at a height of four to six feet above the floor, that states: “(INDICATE IDENTITY OF OPERATOR) BANS GUNS IN THESE PREMISES;” or
• The requester must personally inform the person that guns are prohibited in the premises and demand compliance.
An owner or operator may not prohibit the lawful carrying or possession of firearms in a parking facility or parking area, and a landlord may not restrict the lawful carrying or possession of firearms by tenants or their guests.
Following its adoption in 2005, Minnesota Statutes § 624.714, subd. 17 (provisions governing the carrying of concealed handguns on private property) was challenged by churches as unconstitutional under article I, section 16, of the Minnesota Constitution, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. The churches argued that the following statutory requirements violated their exercise of religion:
• Requiring a church, prior to actually ordering a person possessing a firearm to leave its premises, to:
o Post at every entrance signs that conform to specific requirements; or
o Personally inform each person that guns are prohibited and demand compliance;
• Precluding a church from prohibiting guns in parking areas on church property; and
• Precluding a church from prohibiting their tenants and the guests of tenants from having guns on church property.
The Hennepin County District Court found in favor of the churches and issued a permanent injunction prohibiting enforcement against the churches of the statutory provisions relating to signage and personal notice, parking areas, and landlords. Minnesota appealed this to the state Court of Appeals, which found in favor of the churches, stating that the notice, parking area, and tenant provisions significantly burdened their sincerely held religious beliefs, and the state failed to show that permitting the churches to ban guns on church property was inconsistent with state interests in public safety, travel and providing uniform communication about where guns were prohibited.
Minnesota law provides that a possessor of any private residence (as opposed to other private establishments) may prohibit firearms, and provide notice thereof, in any lawful manner.
In Minnesota, no person may carry a firearm within a state game refuge unless the firearm is unloaded and either contained in a case or broken down. State administrative regulations apply similar requirements to state parks, forest recreation areas, and wildlife management areas.
No person may bring a firearm into or possess a firearm in or upon the grounds belonging to or land controlled by any state correctional facility or state hospital without the consent of the chief executive officer.
Moreover, except for concealed carry permit holders, no person may possess a firearm or ammunition within a courthouse complex or in any state building within the Capitol Area, other than the National Guard Armory, without notifying the sheriff or Commissioner of Public Safety. A person who does not have a permit to carry must have the sheriff’s or Commissioner’s express consent. This provision does not apply to possession by museums or collectors of art or for other lawful purposes of public exhibition.
An innkeeper may refuse to admit or refuse service or accommodations to any person the innkeeper reasonably believes is bringing firearms into the hotel.
A public or private employer may establish policies restricting the carrying or possession of a firearm by its employees while acting in the course and scope of employment. An employer may not, however, prohibit any lawful carrying or possession of firearms in a parking facility or parking area.
State administrative regulations address the possession of firearms in, among other areas:
• Worker’s compensation hearing rooms and offices;
• Jail facilities;
• Correctional programs for children;
• Certain camps and mobile home parks;
• Scientific and natural areas;
• Public water access sites;
• The state capitol area and other state-owned or state-leased property within the Twin Cities metropolitan area as the governor may designate;
• The grounds of certain licensed horse racing associations;
• Veterans’ homes;
• Licensed day care facilities;
• Adult foster homes; or
• Property owned or controlled by the Minnesota Zoological Garden.
Minnesota has no statutes prohibiting firearms in the following places, although administrative regulations may apply:
• Bars or restaurants where alcohol is served;
• Sports arenas;
• Most gambling facilities; or
• Polling places.
Note that, generally, loaded long guns are prohibited in public places, and a possessor must have a permit to carry a handgun, whether openly or concealed.