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Minnesota does not require a license to purchase or possess firearms. Persons who wish to purchase a handgun or semiautomatic military-style assault weapon may apply to the local chief of police or county sheriff for a transferee permit, although a transferee permit is not required for the purchase or transfer of such weapons.1 Minnesota law exempts a person exhibiting a transferee permit from the state requirement of a background check prior to the purchase of a handgun or semiautomatic military-style assault weapon from a federally licensed dealer.2 However, a transferee permit does not exempt the holder from the background check required by the federal Brady Act, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) chart that outlines those permits that qualify as alternatives to the Brady Act. Please note that ATF’s exempt status determination for a given state is subject to change without notice.

Upon application for a transferee permit, the police chief or sheriff has seven days to perform a background check as described under Background Checks in Minnesota.3 The police chief or sheriff must then either issue a permit or issue written notification of denial with the specific reason for the denial.4 A determination that an applicant is prohibited from possessing a handgun or semi-automatic military-style assault weapon under Minnesota Statutes § 624.713 is the only basis for refusal to grant a transferee permit.5 A valid permit to carry a handgun constitutes a transferee permit for purposes of transfer of these firearms.6

Once obtained, transferee permits expire after one year.7


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  1. Minn. Stat. §§ 624.7131, 624.7132.[]
  2. Minn. Stat. § 624.7131, subd. 10.[]
  3. Minn. Stat. § 624.7131, subd. 2, subd. 5.[]
  4. Minn. Stat. § 624.7131, subd. 5.[]
  5. Minn. Stat. § 624.7131, subd. 4. See Firearm Prohibitions in Minnesota for a list of persons prohibited from possessing such weapons by Minn. Stat. § 624.713.[]
  6. Minn. Stat. § 624.7131, subd. 9.[]
  7. Minn. Stat. § 624.7131, subd. 6.[]