Joel Rosenberg Arrested

If you converse with many carry advocates in Minnesota you probably know the name Joel Rosenberg. He’s the author or Everything You Need to Know About (Legally) Carrying a Handgun in Minnesota and a carry permit instructor. Yesterday he was arrested on charges of having possession of a weapon in a courthouse. The story doesn’t seem as straight forward as it’s being reported by the Red Star as this article has a bit more detail.

Either way it seems he carried his gun into Minneapolis City Hall and was requested to leave. According to a stated court order Minneapolis City Hall is a gun-free zone because it connects with the Government Center. I’m not sure how that works as Minneapolis often seems to have laws of their own that little or no sense.

With how convoluted this story is (it seems to be a bunch of he said she said) I haven’t a clue what to think. Although I don’t believe the Minneapolis City Hall can’t arbitrarily declare themselves a gun-free zone I’m not sure if any courthouse integrates into it and thus effects the law. It’s also stated that Mr. Rosenberg refused to leave upon the request of the police officer citing state law. I applaud anybody willing to stand up to an officer on a power trip but frankly I’m one to leave upon request without argument. It’s not that I feel like giving into an officer incorrectly enforcing a law, I just like to avoid conflict with other people when possible. What is really odd though is the story states Mr. Rosenberg was at City Hall on November 5th, allowed to leave, and was arrested yesterday, December 8th.

Mr. Rosenberg posted an open letter regarding the incident which the WCCO mentioned. Personally I find the wording in that letter inflammatory and rather poorly done. Multiple lines can be pulled out of context and perceived as threats. Let this be a note to everybody, be careful of the wording you use when conversing about firearms and self-defense topics. If you ever get involved in a situation you can guarantee some lawyer and the media will dig through your post history and try to use anything you’ve stated against you.

Either way this is going to be an interesting case to say the least.

EDIT 2010-12-09 10:30: Can and can’t are quite different and apparently I don’t know this. I changed “Minneapolis City Hall can arbitrarily” to “Minneapolis City Hall can’t arbitrarily.”

11 thoughts on “Joel Rosenberg Arrested”

  1. It’s actually pretty clear. State statutes prohibit the government from limiting the right to carry.

    624.714 Subd. 23. Exclusivity. This section sets forth the complete and exclusive criteria and procedures for the issuance of permits to carry and establishes their nature and scope. No sheriff, police chief, governmental unit, government official, government employee, or other person or body acting under color of law or governmental authority may change, modify, or supplement these criteria or procedures, or limit the exercise of a permit to carry.

    There is a court complex attached to Chief Dolan’s office. Court mandates are limited to the courts (and the ability of the court to restrict carry seems illegal anyway reading the above statute),and Chief Dolan’s office is most certainly not a courtroom.

    You did touch on another issue… They released him on the 5th. I’ve got a Star Trib quality (mis)headline ready for that.

    MPD Spokesman Gives Felon Gun, Then Sets Him Free

    The MPD is wrong… any way you slice it. Not that I think this is the best way to make a point, but it was made.

    1. First I did some incorrect wording and corrected it (I don’t believe the city of Minneapolis can arbitrarily change carry laws within the premise).

      I’m just unclear of the layout of Minneapolis City Hall and how it connects to any court facility. That’s the only potentially vague part for me (besides the actual incident in question with the exchange between Mr. Rosenberg and the officer).

    2. CourtHOUSES are handled the same way as the capital, you must provide written notification. CourtROOMS are entirely under the judges domain. So he could have made a boo boo.

      MPD maybe wrong but Joel is no saint, his reputation among some fellow instructors is a dubious one.

      1. I can guarantee Joel had a notification on file.

        He knows his stuff. We should all be so lucky.

  2. I can help out with the confusion, I think.

    Here’s a photo of city hall and the Hennepin County Government Center:

    That building on the left, with the red arrow, is the Hennepin County Government Center. It has a court tower and an administration tower. It has court security officers and metal detectors.

    The building on the right, with the green roof and the green arrow, is Minneapolis City Hall. It houses the city council and police HQ, among other offices.

    It has no court security officers and no metal detectors. It does have ONE ROOM that is sometimes used by the courts.

    Hope that helps. Full info on Rosenberg’s case can always be found at

    1. I read through the warrant posted on your site. The warrant demonstrates the whole idea of notification can end up being a he said she said ordeal. Although I’ve heard people claim Rosenberg gave noticed the security unit of that facility claim no record of any such notice.

      There also seems to be references to a couple of posts he’s placed online.

      This case is seeming pretty convoluted if I do say so myself.

  3. Red: Hennepin County Government Center (including courthouse). Joel didn’t carry there.

    Green: City Hall. Home of the city council, police HQ, etc. Joel is alleged to have carried there.

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