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Twin Cities Carry Forum Archive • View topic - Carrying on Indian reservations - the definitive answer
 
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 Carrying on Indian reservations - the definitive answer 
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 Post subject: Carrying on Indian reservations - the definitive answer
PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 1:52 pm 
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Many folks are uncertain about the status of their carry permits on Indian reservations and casinos.

Your intrepid MADFI leaders decided to get to the bottom of things, and conducted some research. After talking to state, federal and tribal officials and reading way too many laws, we have the answers.


Quote:
----------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------
MADFI Legal Update – Indian Reservations - 5/30/2006
----------------------------------------------------------
----------------------------------------------------------

This legal update is (C) 2006 MADFI. It may be distributed, unaltered and in its entirety, including this notice.

CAN PERMIT HOLDERS CARRY A GUN ON INDIAN RESERVATIONS?

Many students and instructors have asked whether it is legal for a permit holder to carry a gun on an Indian reservation or casino in Minnesota. As many know, Indian tribes are sovereign nations, so it can be confusing to understand which laws apply.

First, the short answer:
  • On Indian reservations and lands in the state (excluding Red Lake and Nett Lake – see below), permit-holders are subject to EXACTLY the same laws about carrying a gun as they are elsewhere in the state.
  • On the Red Lake reservation in northwestern Minnesota, tribal code prohibits the carry of concealed weapons BY INDIANS without a permit issued by the tribal government. Non-Indians may apparently carry with (or even without) a permit.
  • MADFI has not yet determined the exact carry law situation on the Nett Lake (Bois Fort) reservation in north-central Minnesota. We will provide an update when we do. To err on the side of caution until we do, please assume that carry there is not legal.

For those who are interested, here is the long answer:

Before 1953, Indian reservations were governed under Federal or Tribal law.

In 1953, a new federal law, known as Public Law 280 ( http://www.tribal-institute.org/lists/pl_280.htm), was enacted to reduce the perceived "lawlessness" on reservations in Minnesota and five other states. Under PL 280, Minnesota Indian lands except for Red Lake (and later Bois Fort) were placed under state criminal and civil jurisdiction.

This means, in practice, that criminal offenses (other than Federal crimes) are charged and prosecuted under Minnesota law in Minnesota (not tribal) courts.

That means, in turn, that carrying a gun on Indian reservations (again, except for Red Lake and Nett Lake) is subject to Minnesota Statutes 624.714 (and of course to other related state laws), just like anywhere else in the state.


Red Lake

Red Lake is subject to federal and tribal criminal law, but not to Minnesota state law. Federal law does not, in general, prohibit carrying a gun (with obvious exceptions like airports and federal buildings). And Red Lake tribal law only forbids the carrying of handguns BY INDIANS (Red Lake Tribal Code, 504.01, Subd 2).

Under Red Lake tribal law ( http://www.rlnn.com/main/RLTCdC504.html), Indians (of any tribe) who wish to carry at Red Lake must apply to the Red Lake Reservation Law Enforcement Program, which has discretion to issue or deny a permit based on its own interpretation of any "occupational or personal safety hazard requiring a permit to carry a pistol." (The tribal law, by the way, appears to be an exact copy of Minnesota's pre-2003 may-issue carry law.)


Nett Lake

Nett Lake is also subject to federal and tribal criminal law, but does not publish its tribal laws on the Internet. MADFI is still working on getting a copy.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 2:01 pm 
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I am part Cherokee, So this means I can only carry part of a gun on red lake land?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 2:11 pm 
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Now that is an answer. Nice job.

Casino, here I come... :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 2:15 pm 
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Here, I think, "Indian" means tribal Indian, an accredited member of a designated tribe or band. Partial Indian heritage has no meaning, under the law. YMMV, IANAL, QED, PDQ, Patent Applied For.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 2:29 pm 
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chunkstyle wrote:
Here, I think, "Indian" means tribal Indian, an accredited member of a designated tribe or band. Partial Indian heritage has no meaning, under the law. YMMV, IANAL, QED, PDQ, Patent Applied For.


"Indian" means something more than having-Indian-blood, but definitely someting less than being an enrolled member of a tribe. I'll try to lock down the legal definition.

EDITED TO ADD:



An "Indian," under Red Lake tribal law:


Quote:
Subdivision 6. "Indian" (a) For the limited purposes of the Criminal & Juvenile Code, an Indian shall be defined as the following:

(1) An enrolled member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians; or

(2) A Person of Indian descent who is a member, either enrolled by custom, or eligible for enrollment, of any federally recognized Indian Tribe under the jurisdiction of the United States; or

(3) A descendent whose parent or grandparent is a current or former Red Lake member, or of one eligible for such membership, and who is a resident of the Red Lake Indian Reservation who is considered an Indian by the traditions, customs, culture, and mores of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians.


So, basically, unless you're enrolled (or eligible to be) in any tribe, or you are both the direct descendant of one who is and you live on the rez, you're not an "Indian" under Red Lake tribal law.

_________________
* NRA, UT, MADFI certified Minnesota Permit to Carry instructor, and one of 66,513 law-abiding permit holders. Read my blog.


Last edited by Andrew Rothman on Wed Jun 14, 2006 2:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 2:33 pm 
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Andrew Rothman wrote:
"Indian" means something more than having-Indian-blood, but definitely someting less than being an enrolled member of a tribe. I'll try to lock down the legal definition.


Thanks Andrew :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 4:24 pm 
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Works for me, too.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:35 pm 
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Don't knock yourself out on the Nett Lake issue. It's the poorest rez in the poorest county in the state. I've been there and there is nothing there. I'd surprised if there was more than 2 computers on the whole rez.

If you find yourself on the Nett Lake rez, stay on the road and it'll all be in over in about 15 minutes when you get off the rez.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 6:28 pm 
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With the above edit I think I may qualify as an Indian under red lake law (under the eligible to enroll option), although I think they would have a real bad time proving it. :|


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:25 pm 
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Pakrat wrote:
Now that is an answer. Nice job.

Casino, here I come... :wink:


Most, if not all Casinos I've seen are posted to ban guns. I would be curious to know if the postings at Mystic Lake are legal, though.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:52 pm 
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Binky .357 wrote:
Pakrat wrote:
Casino, here I come... :wink:
Most, if not all Casinos I've seen are posted to ban guns. I would be curious to know if the postings at Mystic Lake are legal, though.

Mystic is not properly posted. I never mentioned it before because I figured it was a sovreign nation, so figured they didn't have to post properly. I think I'll be there Friday, so maybe I can get a picture of the signs.

I know they are Black lettering over a deep gold background. At the front entrance, there is one 5' floor sign on one side and a smaller window sign on the other side. Both of those are inside the first doors. At a side entrance, they have the floor sign inside the casino (inside both sets of doors). I don't remember the signage at the hotel entrance.

I am not sure if they posted as Mystic Lake Casino or the tribe name... I wonder which would be the proper name to put on it.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 5:30 pm 
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I THINK it says something like "The Shakopee Mdewakaton Community bans guns on these premises".

But it's been a while since I've been there to see the signs.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:11 pm 
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Jackpot Junction (lower souix ) has posted signs that indicate a ban on guns as well as $1,000 fine and firearm confiscation. This is apparently all BS ??

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:15 pm 
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Personally, I can't think of a reason I'd ever be on a rez other than driving through to the other side...

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 7:56 am 
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Well, there has to be a nay sayer doesn't there. :?

Notwithstanding Andrew's good work and research, I will continue to recommend to my students that you carry on Indian Land at your peril. There are numerous States that specifically note that Indian Land is governed by their respective Tribal Councils (OR and AZ for example) and clearly warn folks that carry is not permitted.

Until I am shown a definitive Minnesota litigated case, I would be very reluctant to tell my classes that carry is legal as you never know what Courts will do even when you feel the language is clear.

I guess my caveat is that although it may be clearly legal to you, to me, to people in the AG's office and to other attorneys, it may not be so clear to the reservation authorities. It seems to me to be a test case in the making, and that is why I tell people that they carry "at their peril". I am not suggesting that ultimately it may be deemed legal, but I am suggesting caution.

Now, I am looking for two volunteers....one to carry into the ShootingStar Casino and one into the Post Office. It would be fun and informative to get the litigated ruling!

Obviously, YMMV and it often does ... I certainly have been accused of being overly cautious..... yet, even then, I have a Court date on July 24th on one of my students....so, caution is not always a good legal entanglement avoidance tool! :(

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