A Geek With Guns

Views from a geek gun nut

Lock Pick Laws in Minnesota

I’ve talked a lot on here about various gun laws in Minnesota. Personally I like talking about things that directly relate to my hobbies and guns are one of my big hobbies. Another hobby I have is lock picking. Just like firearms lock picks are tools, nothing more, yet people try to ascribe motive behind them. For example in many states (Californistan for example) possession of lock picks without being a certified locksmith can land you into deep water. In other states there has to be some form of intent to commit a criminal act in order to prosecute somebody for possession of lock picks.

As lock picking is one of my hobbies I often has a set of lock picks in my possession. Not only is picking locks fun but it’s a great parlor trick at a party to boot. So what are the laws in regard to lock picking in Minnesota?

First a disclaimer, I am not a lawyer. My interpretation of the law is based on how it’s written, my limited education in regards to legal language, and of course what I read from other people. This is not legal advice.

Well we’re lucky here as possession of lock picks alone can’t get you tossed into prison. The law regarding lock picks is established in Minnesota statute 2006, Section 609.59:

609.59 POSSESSION OF BURGLARY OR THEFT TOOLS.
Whoever has in possession any device, explosive, or other instrumentality with intent to use
or permit the use of the same to commit burglary or theft may be sentenced to imprisonment for
not more than three years or to payment of a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.

Lock picks usually fall under burglar tools as do crowbars and hammers. The key phrase in Minnesota law is the line that states, “with intent to use or prermit to use of the same to commit burglary or theft.” What that means is you can’t be arrested for simply possessing lock picks, you must be showing intent. So how do you show intent when it comes to possession lock picks? Generally by either trespassing or attempting to break into a locked area. Possessing lock picks will add to your sentence in other words but won’t get you nailed for anything alone.

That means you’re free to order lock picks and use them. You won’t get into trouble when you bring them to a friend’s house to demonstrate your little parlor trick or to teach others how to partake in the fun.

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Written by Christopher Burg

November 9, 2010 at 11:00 am

Posted in Side Notes

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