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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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) 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, a
.50 A. E. (Action Express) handgun cartridge, or a 56-46 Spencer, 56-50 Spencer, or 56-56
Spencer 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. Except as provided in section 609.66, subdivision 1h, 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 to the extent that the applicant is unable to identify
targets and the rifle sights at the same time without a scope. The visual impairment and specific
conditions must be established by medical evidence verified in writing by a licensed physician,
ophthalmologist, or optometrist. The commissioner may request additional information from the
physician if needed to verify the applicant's eligibility for the permit.
(c) A permit issued under this subdivision may be valid for up to five years, based on the
permanence of the visual impairment as determined by the licensed physician, ophthalmologist,
or optometrist.
(d) The permit must be in the immediate possession of the permittee when hunting under the
special permit.
(e) 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.
(f) 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,
ophthalmologist, or optometrist who fraudulently certifies to the commissioner that a person is
visually impaired as described in this subdivision is guilty of a misdemeanor.
History: 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; 2005 c 102 s 1; 2005 c 146 s 28,29; 2007 c 131 art 1 s 36