MN court rules law against carrying gun while drunk doesn’t apply to car console

It is illegal in Minnesota to carry a gun when intoxicated, but apparently not if the firearm is stored in the center console of your car.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld a district court judge’s decision Monday to dismiss a gun charge pressed against Christopher Prigge, which stemmed from an April 2016 traffic stop. After a Maple Grove police officer stopped the man for suspected drunk driving, a gun was found in the center console, leading police to hit the man with an additional charge of carrying a firearm while intoxicated.

The district judge originally dismissed the charge, as Minnesota state law stipulates the gun would have to be “on or about the person’s clothes or person in a public place” for the charge to stick. Monday, the three-judge panel agreed with that decision.

Judge Michelle Larkin concluded the following in the decision: “The phrase to ‘carry a pistol on or about the person’s clothes or person’ in Minnesota Statutes section 624.7142, subdivision 1, subsection 4, requires a physical nexus between a person or the person’s clothes and a pistol. Because there was not a physical nexus between Prigge or his clothes and the pistol, the district court did not err in dismissing the charge under section 624.7142 for lack of probable cause.”