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Overview of Minnesota's Weapons Offenses & Charges

The responsible control, ownership, and use of firearms is an important topic in Minnesota. As such, the state will heavily penalize anyone who violates a weapons offense, or commits another criminal violation with a weapon enhancement. If you have been accused of a gun-related crime in Minnesota, you can start your defense in the right direction by first getting a better idea of the charges being filed against you.

How Minnesota Defines a Dangerous Weapon

In Minnesota, legal statutes have been broadly written to encompass firearms and essentially any other dangerous weapon. Under the state’s laws, a dangerous weapon is any instrument designed to cause severe injury or death. Weapons charges are often filed as high level misdemeanors, but a number of circumstances, such as how a weapon was held or presented in public, can escalate the charge to a felony.

A few examples of weapons-related offenses in Minnesota are:

  • Discharging a firearm in public and off a designated firing range
  • Possessing, selling, or manufacturing weapon suppressors
  • Allowing a minor to possess or use a firearm
  • Storing a loaded firearm
  • Carrying a firearm without a permit
  • Illegally modifying a firearm
  • Wielding a firearm in a menacing manner

What is a Gun Crime Enhancement?

Minnesota law allows for criminal charges to be escalated if a dangerous weapon is used concurrently with the other criminal activity. This is known as a gun crime enhancement, as a firearm is the most common type of dangerous weapon referenced in such cases. For example, if you have a firearm on your person during a robbery, the theft crime’s charge can be escalated, as well as its penalties. A gun crime enhancement can add anywhere between one to 30 years of incarceration to sentencing requirements.

Call Your Twin Cities Criminal Defense Law Firm – (612) 444-5020

At Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A., our Minneapolis gun crimes attorneys are passionate about protecting the rights of all of our clients, including their Second Amendment right to bear arms. If you have been accused of a gun crime or a weapon-related offense, we would like to hear from you. Contact our law office right away to tell us what happened, and we can tell you how we can help you challenge the charges.


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We take calls at any time of the day or night, so please don’t wait to find out how we can assist you. During your first meeting, we'll evaluate your case and determine if we are the right fit for you.

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