Firearm Information

Notice to Public:   Effective May 1, 2023, the Watonwan County Sheriff’s Office will be accepting and processing all permits to purchase for Madelia residents. The Madelia Police department will continue to take the applications for the time being but it is preferred, after May 1st, that all permits be brought to the sheriff’s office in St. James.  We are located on the south end of the courthouse.  We will also accept permits to purchase by mail as long as the application is complete and correct.  Our mailing address is P.O. Box 168, St. James, MN 56081.

Application Forms

Permit to Purchase

To apply for a Permit to Purchase, the applicant must present a completed application either in person or by mail to the Watonwan County Sheriff’s Office.

Permit to Carry

The process for applying for a new or for renewing an existing Permit to Carry a Pistol in the State of Minnesota in Watonwan County is as follows (MN Statute 624.714):

  • The applicant must appear in person and apply in the county in which they reside. Out of state residents can apply at any sheriff’s office.
  • The applicant must have passed an authorized firearms training course within one year prior to applying for the permit and must present the original certificate of completed training along with a legible copy. Applicant must also present a valid driver’s license, state identification card or the photo page of their passport along with a legible copy of whichever is presented. If using a passport, proof of current residency must also be provided along with a legible copy.
  • The applicant must present a completed application, signed and dated on the date presented to the sheriff's office.
  • Cash, check or money orders are accepted. No credit cards or debit cards will be accepted.
  • The fee for a new permit to carry is $85.
  • A permit can be renewed up to 90 days prior to the expiration date of the current permit. The renewal gun permit fee will be $60.
  • After the expiration date, but within 30 days after the expiration, the permit can still be renewed by paying an additional late fee of $10 for a total of $70.
  • 31 days after expiration the old permit can no longer be renewed. An application will have to be submitted for a new permit. The gun permit fee will then be $85.
  • Effective 7/19/2022, the permit fee for all active-duty military and veterans will be $30 (for new or renewal of the permit).

To update information and receive a new Permit to Carry card: 
The application for change of information must be done in person. The applicant must present current, valid identification reflecting the new information and fill out page 1 of the application form. The fee for a new updated permit card is $10.

Replacement of Lost/Stolen Permit Cards

In the case of a lost or stolen Permit to Carry card, a duplicate permit may be obtained for a fee of $10. A duplicate permit must be requested in person at the Sheriff’s Office.

Further information on how to obtain a Permit to Carry a pistol in the state of Minnesota as well as a list of authorized instructors, frequently asked questions, permit to carry state reciprocity information and a copy of MN Statute 624.714 can be found at the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

NOTE: All permits to carry expire at 12 a.m. Midnight, on the date of expiration shown on the permit. If your current permit were to expire before you receive your new permit, you would not be valid. Expired permits are not valid regardless of whether you have applied for a renewal and you will not be able to carry until after you receive your renewal permit.

All gun permit applications are accepted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (except for government holidays) at the Sheriff’s Office.

Applicants are reminded that the Sheriff’s Office has 30 days to process and mail all permits to carry or to deny the application.  If you are denied a permit, you will receive a letter of explanation as to why you are disqualified from owning and possessing firearms.