St. Cloud has just passed a city ordinance requiring face masks in indoor public places. This has been a hot button issue, and I was seeing a lot of conflicting posts online that dealt with concealed carry permits and face masks in Minnesota. People posting and wondering what is legal, what isn't, and I thought the best route to go would be to ask a law enforcement officer. I reached out to Benton County Sheriff Troy Heck for clarification on the matter.

The state statute in question is this one:

A person whose identity is concealed by the person in a public place by means of a robe, mask, or other disguise, unless based on religious beliefs, or incidental to amusement, entertainment, protection from weather, or medical treatment, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

This statute makes no mention of carrying a firearm. Heck explained it in this way:

If it is illegal for a person to wear a mask in public (perhaps because they are engaged in a crime or about to engage in a crime) it would make no difference, from a legal perspective, if this person was in possession of a firearm, a knife, or a vase of daisies.

Wearing a mask to stop the spread of COVID-19 falls under the "medical treatment" exception to the law. The statute that governs the issuance, rules, and responsibilities regarding permits to carry a firearm in Minnesota (MN statute 624.714) has no mention of facemasks.

Sheriff Heck went on to say in the email:

I can assure any permit to carry holders that they are allowed to carry a firearm under their permit to carry while wearing a mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (or for any of the other reasons listed in statute 609.735) in St. Cloud or any other community that requires face coverings.

Thank you, Sheriff Heck for clearing up this question for me, your help is greatly appreciated. Stay safe and healthy!

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