Weather Forecast


Ask a Conservation Officer: Are handguns allowed in the BWCAW?

Q: Are handguns allowed in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW)?

A: The BWCAW falls under the management of the U.S. Forest Service. There are no specific prohibitions in place preventing the carrying of a handgun or long gun in the wilderness area. However, Forest Service regulations prohibit the discharge of a firearm within 150 yards of a campsite or occupied area, or in any manner that endangers people or their property.

Minnesota game laws and seasons apply within the wilderness area. If you are able to carry a firearm in other outdoor places in Minnesota, the same should apply for areas within the BWCAW. Visit the Forest Service website at for more information.

Matthew S. Miller is a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer with the Lake Superior Marine Unit. Send your questions to