Long Guns - Transporting

Minnesota Statutes, section 97B.045, prohibits transporting a firearm in a motor vehicle unless the firearm is unloaded and either:

  1. Fully secured in a gun case expressly made for that  purpose, where the case is zipped, snapped, buckled, tied, or otherwise fastened (OR)
  2. In the closed trunk of the motor vehicle. 

Minnesota law does not require that the gun case be locked.


In 2009, the law was amended to also allow an uncased, unloaded rifle or shotgun to be transported in a motor vehicle, without any requirement for a permit to carry a pistol, in the following situations:

  1. While at a shooting range, as defined under Minnesota Statutes, section 87A.01, subdivision 3, where the person has received permission from the lawful owner or possessor of the range to discharge firearms
  2. While lawfully hunting on private or public land, including possessing a valid hunting license (if required)
  3. While traveling to or from a site where the person intends to hunt lawfully that day or has hunted lawfully that day

Exceptions to the exemptions:

A rifle or shotgun must be unloaded and either cased or in a closed trunk while being  transported in a motor vehicle:

  1. Within Anoka, Hennepin, and Ramsey counties;
  2. Within the boundary of a city with a population of 2,500 or more;
  3. On school grounds; and
  4. As regulated under statutes governing game refuges, shining of artificial lights, and use of night vision devices.


Definition of “Unloaded”

Minnesota law does not contain a definition of “unloaded”.

A common understanding is that an “unloaded firearm” is one which has no round in the chamber and either no magazine in the gun or no rounds in the magazine.

In our opinion, to offer you the greatest protection from harassment, transport your firearm without ammunition in the same case as the firearm.



All content is Copyright © 2015-2021 by the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus & PAC.

The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus is a Minnesota non-profit organization, recognized by the IRS as a 501c4 non-profit.

The Minnesota Gun Owners Support Fund is a Minnesota non-profit organization, recognized by the IRS as a 501c3 non-profit.

The Minnesota Gun Owners PAC is a Minnesota state political fund, registered with the MN Campaign Finance Board. Electioneering content paid for by the Minnesota Gun Owners PAC and not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.