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97B.031 Use and possession of firearms.

Subdivision 1. Firearms and ammunition that may be used to take big game. (a) A person may take big game with a firearm only if:

(1) the rifle, shotgun, and handgun used is a caliber of at least .23 inches;

(2) the firearm is loaded only with single projectile ammunition;

(3) a projectile used is a caliber of at least .23 inches and has a soft point or is an expanding bullet type;

(4) the ammunition has a case length of at least 1.285 inches;

(5) the muzzle-loader used is incapable of being loaded at the breech;

(6) the smooth-bore muzzle-loader used is a caliber of at least .45 inches; and

(7) the rifled muzzle-loader used is a caliber of at least .40 inches.

(b) A person may not take big game with a .30 caliber M-1 carbine cartridge.

(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), clause (4), a person may take big game with a ten millimeter cartridge that is at least 0.95 inches in length, a .45 Winchester Magnum cartridge, or a .50 A. E. (Action Express) handgun cartridge.

Subd. 2. Handguns for small game. A person may take small game with a handgun of any caliber in a manner prescribed by the commissioner.

Subd. 3. Firearms larger than ten gauge prohibited. A person may not use a firearm with a bore larger than a ten gauge to take a protected wild animal.

Subd. 4. Silencers prohibited. A person may not own or possess a silencer for a firearm or a firearm equipped to have a silencer attached.

Subd. 5. Scopes; visually impaired hunters. (a) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the commissioner may issue a special permit, without a fee, to use a muzzleloader with a scope to take deer during the muzzleloader season to a person who obtains the required licenses and who has a visual impairment. The scope may not have magnification capabilities.

(b) The visual impairment must be established by medical evidence verified in writing by a licensed physician. The commissioner may request additional information from the physician if needed to verify the applicant's eligibility for the permit. Notwithstanding section 97A.418, the commissioner may, in consultation with appropriate advocacy groups, establish reasonable minimum standards for permits to be issued under this subdivision.

(c) A permit issued under this subdivision may be valid for up to five years.

(d) The commissioner may deny, modify, suspend, or revoke a permit issued under this subdivision for cause, including a violation of the game and fish laws or rules.

(e) A person who knowingly makes a false application or assists another in making a false application for a permit under this subdivision is guilty of a misdemeanor. A physician who fraudulently certifies to the commissioner that a person is visually impaired as described in this subdivision is guilty of a misdemeanor.

HIST: 1986 c 386 art 2 s 7; 1989 c 153 s 1; 1989 c 287 s 7; 2000 c 473 s 7; 2002 c 351 s 15; 2004 c 215 s 19