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How Handgun Laws in Minnesota Compare to Other States

imageForEntry22 deHThe debate over gun control in the United States has centered largely on assault-style rifles, like the AR-15. Surging in popularity in recent years, AR-15 style firearms are now the best selling rifle in the U.S. — and they have also been used in 10 of the country’s 17 deadliest mass shootings since 2012. But while AR-15s have dominated the political debate, both in Washington and statehouses across the country, every year in the U.S., handguns take a far greater toll on public health.

According to the FBI, 13,620 homicides were carried out with a firearm in 2020, and at least 59% of them were determined to have been carried out with a handgun. Meanwhile, only 3% of homicides were committed with a rifle. Additionally, a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine found that risk of suicide-by-firearm is eight times higher for male handgun owners than non-owners, and 35 times higher for female handgun owners. (Here is a look at the states where gun-related crimes are surging.)

In light of the specific risks posed by handguns, several states have implemented policies to better ensure safe and responsible ownership. These include background check expansions, mandatory safety courses, waiting periods for prospective buyers, and licensing and permitting procedures. Most states, however, have done none of the above — and in these places, virtually any adult without a record of criminal violence can legally obtain a handgun in a matter of minutes.

Minnesota is not one of these states, however. Prospective handgun buyers are subject to a 30-day waiting period when buying from a licensed dealer, and permits are required for buyers in a private sale.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 573 firearm-related fatalities in Minnesota in 2021, or 10.0 for every 100,000 people, the ninth lowest gun death rate among the 50 states.

All data on handgun purchase and ownership requirements in this story was compiled by the Giffords Law Center, a gun control advocacy group.

State Licensing and safety training requirements for handguns Universal background checks for handgun purchases Mandatory waiting periods for handgun purchases
Alabama None No None
Alaska None No None
Arizona None No None
Arkansas None No None
California Safety training to obtain certificate Yes 10 days
Colorado None Yes 3 days (effective Oct. 1, 2023)
Connecticut Permit and safety training required for purchase Yes None
Delaware None Yes None
Florida None No 3 days minimum
Georgia None No None
Hawaii Permit and safety training required for purchase Yes 14 days
Idaho None No None
Illinois Ownership license required Yes 72 hours
Indiana None No None
Iowa None No None
Kansas None No None
Kentucky None No None
Louisiana None No None
Maine None No None
Maryland Permit and safety training required for purchase Yes 7 days
Massachusetts Safety training, permit required for purchase, license required for ownership Yes None
Michigan Permit required for purchase Yes None
Minnesota Permit required for purchase from private sellers No 30 days if bought from a dealer
Mississippi None No None
Missouri None No None
Montana None No None
Nebraska Permit required for purchase Yes None
Nevada None Yes None
New Hampshire None No None
New Jersey Permit and safety training required for purchase Yes 7 days
New Mexico None Yes None
New York License required for purchase and ownership Yes None
North Carolina None No None
North Dakota None No None
Ohio None No None
Oklahoma None No None
Oregon Permit and safety training required for purchase Yes None
Pennsylvania None Yes None
Rhode Island Permit and safety training required for purchase Yes 7 days
South Carolina None No None
South Dakota None No None
Tennessee None No None
Texas None No None
Utah None No None
Vermont None Yes None
Virginia None Yes None
Washington None Yes None
West Virginia None No None
Wisconsin None No None
Wyoming None No None

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