Frequently Asked Questions

MN Permit to Carry Questions

What is a Permit to Carry? Is that like a Concealed Carry?

A Permit to Carry a Pistol allows an individual to legally carry a handgun in most public places.  Minnesota does not require concealment of a legally carried handgun, so “Concealed Carry” permit is not applicable here.  Rather, the permit allows you to carry a gun, and you may do so either openly or concealed.

How do I get a Permit to Carry? What all is involved?

Easy!  Minnesota is a shall-issue state.  First, there is a minimum list of objective requirements you must meet in order to qualify for a MN Permit to Carry—you can check your eligibility for those requirements below.  If you qualify, the process is simple:

  1. Attend and Pass a State-Authorized Course
  2. Apply for Permit in Person at Local Sheriff’s Department
  3. Wait for Issuance following Background Check

That’s it!  Renewal applications follow the same process—take the class (again, in order to be updated on any changes to applicable law and refreshed on basic information) and file a renewal application at the sheriff’s department.

Non-residents may apply to any Minnesota County Sheriff.

How do I qualify for the MN Permit to Carry?

There are a list of requirements you must meet in order to qualify for a Minnesota Permit to Carry.  These requirements include:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must NOT be prohibited from Possessing a Firearm
  • Must NOT be listed in the Criminal Gang Investigation System
  • Must Apply to Local County Sheriff, if you reside in Minnesota.
    • Non-residents may apply to any Minnesota county sheriff.
  • Must provide certificate of Completed Authorized Firearms Training (within one year)
  • Must Complete and Submit an Application Form

Applications must be submitted in person to the local county sheriff (non-residents may submit to any county sheriff), along with the course certification, photo ID and application fees.

How much is the sheriff’s permit to carry application fee?

The fee for a MN permit to carry will be determined by the sheriff.  It cannot exceed $100 for a first-time applicant, or $75 for a renewal application.

How long does it take to get a permit to carry?

After you submit the application packet to the sheriff, they must either issue or deny a permit within 30 days.

How long is a MN permit to carry valid?

Permits are valid for 5 years from the date of issuance.

Can I open carry? Can I conceal my gun? Do I have to?

Although the MN Permit to Carry a Pistol does permit open carry of a firearm, we strongly advise against doing so.  Flagrant, open carry tends to create social friction, poses a tactical disadvantage and plays into anti-gun lobbies by increasing fear of firearms and firearm owners in the general public.  Instead, we recommend you carry your firearm concealed, without fearing the potential of the gun becoming exposed in the course of daily activities.

Do I need to have my permit with me at all times?

Whenever you are carrying a firearm, you must have your permit card and some form of government-issued photo identification.

MN Permit to Carry

You must display both the permit and the ID when requested by a police officer.

Do you offer multi-state permits? Can I carry in other states? Where is the MN permit to carry recognized?

At this time, Vixen only offers the MN Permit to Carry course, which currently has reciprocity with over 25 other states.  You can look here to see a current map of states which recognize the MN Permit to Carry.

Do I have to bring my own gun? Ammo?

No.  Vixen has available training guns that you can use for the live-fire portion of the MN Permit to Carry class at no additional charge.  Ammunition for the training guns is also provided at no extra cost.

What if I’ve never shot a gun before?

There are no prerequisites for the MN Permit to Carry course—experience with firearms is not necessary to take the course and basic instruction in handling a firearm will be offered before the live-fire demonstration.  If you have no experience with guns, we do strongly recommend that you take our Essential Pistol Craft course prior to taking a MN Permit to Carry class.

Non-Lethal & General Safety Questions

Why not just get a gun?

First, never ‘just’ carry anything.  Every defensive option—from personal alarms to firearms—has a learning curve, including law, operation, maintenance and usability.  Always educate yourself first.

Second, there is a very high legal threshold governing the justifiable threat and use of deadly force.  Many situations exist that may be frightening or even dangerous without justifying the threat or use of a gun.  As a law-abiding citizen you have the right to defend yourself—and the responsibility to use only a reasonable amount of force as you do so.  Non-lethal self-defense options like Tasers, stun guns, pepper spray or keychain weapons can provide you with the ability to protect yourself in scenarios when lethal force would be unacceptable or illegal.

Do you offer ‘real’ self-defense classes?

If you are looking for martial arts, grappling or sparring classes designed to teach you to use your body as a weapon and nothing else—then no.  Basic concepts of hand-to-hand self-defense may be overviewed in some of our courses, but in these areas extended and practical training is highly recommended.  Vixen can recommend some excellent instructors who would be more than happy to work with you if you’d like to pursue training in hand-to-hand defense.

Questions About Vixen Defense

Is Vixen certified? (Federal, State, County, etc.)

Yes.  Vixen is licensed by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as an approved organization to certify instructors for the Minnesota Personal Protection Act (Permit to Carry law).

What parts of Minnesota do you serve?

Technically, Vixen is certified to serve the entire state—however for practical reasons we focus on the North Metro and Central parts of Minnesota within reasonable driving distance of our storefront location.  Generally speaking, Vixen serves:

  • Anoka County
  • Carver County
  • Chisago County
  • Dakota County
  • Hennepin County
  • Isanti County
  • Ramsey County
  • Sherburne County
  • Wright County

Does Vixen sell or rent firearms?

No. Vixen Defense does not hold an FFL (Federal Firearms License) and thus does not buy, sell or trade guns.  Although Vixen does provide training pistols for use during live-fire demonstrations, we do not actually rent pistols to individuals.

How many people do I need to set up a private class at a custom time?

At least one.  Private classes are available for individuals as well as groups, so you can feel free to set up a class that works with your schedule whether or not you have anyone else interested in joining in.

Do you offer discounted rates for groups?

Yes!  Group rates may vary based on the class being taken and the size of the group.  Please Contact Us for more specific information based on your needs.

Don’t see your question?

We’re constantly updating this list as new questions pour in.  Please, Contact Us and we’ll get an answer to you as quickly as possible!