Use or Possession of a Dangerous Weapon

Every Minnesotan has the right to bear arms and possess other weapons, but with this right comes tremendous responsibility. Using a weapon in a way that harms others or possessing an illegal weapon are considered criminal activity. Your actions may have been taken out of context, but prosecutors will still prosecute you to the fullest extent.

Certain illegal possession and use offenses are classified as a felony in Minnesota, which will result in a temporary loss of your second amendment right. Contacting a criminal defense attorney is your best course of action if you have been charged with a dangerous weapons crime.

Criminal Defense Attorney in Apple Valley

James Blumberg is a dedicated criminal defense attorney. He understands the stress that entails being charged with a crime, and he wants to help alleviate that stress. Mr. Blumberg will use his past experience as a prosecutor to your advantage and build a defense plan in your best interest.

Take the first step in your defense. Call (952) 431-7758 to schedule a time to speak with James Blumberg Law. Mr. Blumberg is based in Apple Valley but assists clients in areas such as Ham Lake, Chaska and Minneapolis.

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Examples of a Dangerous Weapon

A gun is probably the first thing you think of when you hear dangerous weapon. While guns are dangerous weapons, a dangerous weapon can take various forms. The Minnesota Statutes has a vague definition of what is considered a dangerous weapon. Under state law, a dangerous weapon is any object or flammable liquid capable of causing death or harm.

Examples of dangerous weapons include:

  • Guns, whether loaded or unloaded
  • Knives
  • Gasoline
  • Swords
  • Brass knuckles
  • Nunchucks
  • Automatic switchblade
  • Throwing stars

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When is it Illegal to Use or Possess a Weapon in Minnesota?

A lot of responsibility comes with owning a dangerous weapon. You are required to exercise extreme caution and have safety measures in place. Failing to do so will result in criminal penalties. Not only this, but you can also be criminally punished for possessing certain weapons.

Dangerous weapon crimes have the potential to be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the facts of your case. Listed below are examples of illegal weapons use and possession based on their charge:


  • Handling a dangerous weapon in a way it endangers the safety of others
  • Intentionally pointing a gun at another person, whether loaded or unloaded
  • Possessing brass knuckles or an automatic switchblade
  • Possessing a dangerous weapon for the unlawful purpose of using it against another


  • Intentionally discharging a weapon and endangering the safety of others
  • Possessing a silencer
  • Recklessly discharging a weapon in a municipality
  • Possessing a dangerous weapon on school property
  • Drive-by shooting


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Penalties for Use or Possession of a Dangerous Weapon

While you may have had zero intention of causing any harm, prosecutors will view you as a violent criminal. Because of this, it is vital you retain legal counsel if you have been charged with a weapons crime.

You will face a misdemeanor charge if any of the misdemeanor crimes mentioned above were committed on your property. If convicted, you could spend up to 90 days in jail, pay a fine costing up to $1,000 or be sentenced to both a fine and time behind bars. However, committing any of the misdemeanor acts in a school zone, public housing area or public park is a gross misdemeanor. You could be sentenced to up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $3,000 or both.

Conviction of felony use or possession will entail stiffer penalties. Committing any of the felony weapons crimes in one of the zones mentioned above is punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000 or both a fine and time behind bars. Felony use or possession in any other area besides a prohibited area is punishable by up to two years in prison, a fine of no more than $5,000 or both.

Drive-by shootings and bringing a dangerous weapon on school property are penalized differently than other felony use and possession offenses.  When it comes to drive-by shootings, the extent of the penalties will depend on whether the building or vehicle was occupied. Either way, you could spend three to 10 years in prison and pay a fine between $6,000 and $20,000.

Bringing a dangerous weapon to a school is not something the courts, or society takes lightly. Doing so is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine costing up to $20,000 or both a fine and incarceration.

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Additional Resources

Dangerous Weapons | Minnesota Statutes – Visit the Minnesota Legislature website to read the section of the statutes governing illegal use and possession crimes. You can view a list of illegal, dangerous weapon acts, learn more about illegal possession on school grounds and gain access to information about other firearm crimes.

Dangerous Weapon Definitions | Minnesota Statutes – Read the legal definition of a dangerous weapon by following the link. You can also see how the state defines flammable liquid and bodily harm. The statute can be read on the Minnesota Legislature website.

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Criminal Defense Lawyer in Apple Valley

Whether you accidentally fired your gun or were caught with an illegal weapon. James Blumberg Law is here to help. Mr. Blumberg treats all of his clients with dignity and respect. He will ensure you are up to date throughout the process and always work in your best interest.

Call (952) 431-7758 to schedule a free case evaluation. Mr. Blumberg defends clients in areas such as Dakota County, Anoka County, Carver County and Hennepin County.

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