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Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Minnesota requires small firearms dealers (dealers displaying 50 handguns or less for sale at a time) to secure all handguns in a locked safe, locked steel gun cabinet or on a locked, steel cable that runs through the handgun’s trigger guards, after business hours.1 The safe, gun cabinet, rod or cable must be anchored to prevent its removal from the premises.2

In addition, the Commissioner of Public Safety (“Commissioner”) is required to adopt standards for minimum security requirements for all firearms dealers.3 The standards may provide for:

  • Alarm systems for all firearms dealers;
  • Necessary and effective security measures required for large firearms dealers (dealers displaying more than 50 handguns for sale at any time);
  • A system of inspections, during normal business hours, by local law enforcement for compliance with the standards; and
  • Other reasonable requirements necessary and effective to reduce the risk of burglaries at firearms dealers’ business establishments.4

The Commissioner has issued firearms dealer security standards that describe the required alarm system and other mandatory security features, prescribe the manner in which handguns may be stored, and require the availability of the business for inspection by local law enforcement.5 A firearms dealer may request an exemption from these requirements.6

Minnesota requires federally licensed firearms dealers to post signs conspicuously on their premises with the following warning: “IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STORE OR LEAVE A LOADED FIREARM WHERE A CHILD CAN OBTAIN ACCESS.”7

Licensed dealers in Minnesota must comply with Minnesota’s waiting period and background check laws. See Waiting Periods in Minnesota, and Background Check Procedures in Minnesota.

Minnesota prohibits federally licensed dealers from selling a certain unsafe handguns.8 See Design Safety Standards for Handguns in Minnesota.


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  1. Minn. Stat. § 624.7161, subd. 1(c), subd. 2.[]
  2. Minn. Stat. § 624.7161, subd. 2.[]
  3. Minn. Stat. § 624.7161, subd. 1(d), subd. 3.[]
  4. Minn. Stat. § 624.7161, subd. 3.[]
  5. Minn. R. 7504.0200—7504.0500.[]
  6. Minn. R. 7504.0600.[]
  7. Minn. Stat. § 624.7162.[]
  8. Minn. Stat. § 624.716.[]