Police: Man Brings Handgun, Knife Into Mpls. City Hall

By Lindsey Seavert, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minneapolis man and author of a conceal and carry book was arrested Wednesday, accused of bringing a dangerous weapon into a Minneapolis City Hall on Nov. 5, according to police.

Joel Rosenberg, 56, allegedly walked into the City Hall with his wife for a pre-arranged meeting with Sgt. Bill Palmer, who is the Public Information Office for the Minneapolis Police Department.

According to the criminal complaint, Palmer noticed that Rosenberg was wearing a shoulder holster with a handgun strapped inside and a straight blade knife beneath it.

When asked to leave the building with the weapons, Rosenberg apparently refused. Then, after Palmer told him that there are signs at the entrances of building that state that possession of firearms are prohibited, Rosenberg claimed they were not applicable.

Documents state that pursuant to a court order from September 2008, weapons are prohibited in Hennepin County Court facilities, and the Minneapolis City Hall is part of the Fourth Judicial District courthouse complex.

Palmer then disarmed Rosenberg, removed the loaded magazine from the gun and the live round that was in the chamber. Palmer then returned the unloaded weapon to Rosenberg and asked him to leave, police said.

Police said Rosenberg made no indication to authorities before the meeting that he was bringing a firearm into Minneapolis City Hall.

Police said they later learned that Rosenberg is active in posting commentary on many web logs and Internet sites. Police believe he wrote an open letter to Palmer, which said, “When you stupidly lunged at me to grab my knife and gun, you didn’t watch my hands. One of them was on my back-up gun; the other was within an inch of my back-up knife.”

According to police, numerous people in the community contacted police expressing concern over Rosenberg and the threat he may pose to public safety.

Rosenberg was arrested at 9:28 o’clock Wednesday morning. He faces a felony charge of dangerous weapon in a courthouse and a misdemeanor charge of contempt of court.

If convicted of both charges, Rosenberg could face a maximum penalty of five years and three months in prison.

Rosenberg is the author of the book entitled, “Everything You Need To Know About (Legally) Carrying A Handgun In Minnesota.”

WCCO-TV’s Lindsey Seavert Reports

  • Randall Cheuvront

    yeah i loved the “not prohibited” typo as well being important to the context of the story. but anyways.. frankly i wish they had seen this idiot reach because they could have just shot him before he hurts someone. they let him walk out after committing a crime with basically a warning and he was stupid enough to taunt them bragging that he could have shot and stabbed them? what a nut!

  • yeah

    His supposed claims to help the permit-to-carry cause is going to do the exact reverse. Sorry Joel, I am a carry permit holder, and you do NOT have my support.

  • Curt

    Although I don’t always agree with Joel, he was legally right in this circumstance. As required by law, he notified the Sheriff of his intent to carry (and if he followed his own advice, he can prove it too) in that court house. That is the only requirement. Unless he actually entered an actual court room where carry has been prohibited by a court order he had no legal obligation to leave the premises, nor did the officer have any legal justification for disarming and arresting Joel. It should be interesting to see how this one shakes out…

  • Steve

    I see his book sales going up because of this.

  • Timothy Nelson

    Just watch the end outcome. Then, comment.

    Wait and see.

  • Ben

    Randall, they didn’t arrest him at the time because…wait for it… HE DIDN’T COMMIT A CRIME, AND THEY KNEW IT.

    The signs refer to a court order that covers court facilities. News flash: the Minneapolis police chief’s office is not a court facility.

    As for the felony charge, it’s bunk. The statute has an exception for permit holders who have notified the sheriff of their intent to carry. As a respected carry permit instructor, Rosenberg would have done that long ago. It’s even in his book.

    The MPD is playing games — again. They should know better. Another expensive lesson, I suppose.

  • Ben

    Disregard the previous comment. I am an idiot.

    • Dale Barsness

      No, you got it right the first time.

  • Randall Cheuvront

    if the police didn’t have the right and did what they did you know he’d have sued them instead of crying in his militant blog and regardless of your claim it still doesn’t give him the right to make backhanded criminal threats when he’s safe at home. for all his bravado about where he claims his hands were he obviously didn’t have the balls to do anything did he? frankly he’s a liar because he wouldn’t have put a hand on any weapon if he felt threatened had he not actually intended to pull the alleged secondary weapons. he’s a tiny little coward who wanted to sound tough to his little sycophants.

  • Tyrone

    Why are all the conceal carry people old, fat, out-of-shape white guys? What are they so afraid of?

    • John

      Because a lot of Young, In shape, Non white guys not allowed to get one!!!! – They are afraid of Young non white criminals

    • old fat out-of-shape white guy

      Maybe people named Tyrone.

      • Derek T.


    • BettyBoob

      LMAO … we have a WINNER

    • Dale Barsness

      He isn’t white

  • sclemens

    As a permit holder, I am left to wonder why this NIMROD would videotape himself acting in violation of the law. I do not appreciate the fact that this individual will be held up as representative of permit holders by the nanny-state liberals.

    His actions are evidence of unfitness to be granted this privilege. He is a legend…..in his own mind. Please revoke his permit and order a psychological evaluation.

  • The Runner

    If you frisk a brother, you run the risk of a lawsuit against the city.

  • snoose

    Ditto to sclemens comment. Psych eval in order

  • http://www.residualforces.com/2010/12/08/he-told-us-to-never-be-the-test-case/ Residual Forces » Blog Archive » He Told Us To Never Be The ‘Test Case’

    […] for liberty and freedom, the people who don’t want it to spread freely tend to single you out for persecution. Mitch captures part of Rosenberg’s side of the […]

  • Bob the Cat

    I seriously don’t get it. Why do the MPD continue to do things like this that are going to cost the City of Minneapolis and then the state of MN which in turn will cost us the citizens of this state lots of wasted tax dollars. Who’s paying for all of their negligence? US!!! That’s who! Someone needs to tell this to the Mayor or unless he’s planning not to run in office again.

    • Dale Barsness

      A department that was already hurting in the credibility department & now. . . more of the same. Just like medals for the people who molested the Khang family & others.

  • catthedog

    I think we should fire the Mayor first.

  • Jake

    I am not a permit holder but I am a NRA member and believe that it is our right to carry and bear arms. I have to say this guy does not help our cause. I apologize to all for the stupid actions of the few. We must not let the few destroy what the majority work so hard to keep. Although this man had the right to bear arms, does not give him the right to challenge or disrespect the law.

  • the dutchess

    if we have a permit to carry in the state of minnesota we should be able to carry our concealed fire arms in publicly owned buildings, the government center is a publicly owned building and the people with these permits are a lot safer then the people who carry them illegaly, what if they take public transpertation where are they suppose to put there fire arms

  • Lucky Rosenbloom

    If the MPD is located inside the Courthouse, if signs were clearly posted, his actions are suspect. We must ask if he was looking for a confrontation because the incident was video recorded. Nothing like providing evidence of possible willful, intentional, wrongful and unlawful acts against yourself such as the video, plating it on YOUTUBE with added comments such as the Officer being aware of his back up gun/knife and how close his hand was to both.

    Rosenberg should have left the building, which would have made his point a lot better today, provided he is right. Given the circumstances the Officer exercised good judgment and restrained himself well.

    A man with a similar name ROSENBLOOM has had encounters with POLICE while having his gun; when a gun nut fired at him and/or others, however, he has gotten praise from POLICE regarding his conduct. I do not believe a warrant would have been issued, an arrest made without facts or in a frivolous nature. We will have to wait for the final disposition, however.

    Rosenberg being right or wrong, the Officer demonstrated good judgment and conduct.

  • Greg

    I think Joel just fully funded his retirement plan, contrary to what the “Day Care” folks post here!

  • Farside is Here

    The MPD already comes across looking like fools no matter what the result. This can end up basically one of two ways. Either Joel is guilty, or his not. In the best case for the MPD…where Joel is found guilty…they are admitting that Joel committed a felony offense….IN FRONT OF a Minneapolis Police Officer….JUST OUTSIDE of the police chief’s office, and not only did they NOT arrest him on site, they gave him his gun back and asked him to “Please” put his gun back in his car!!! WOW! On the other hand, if he’s found innocent, or his case is dismissed, then it shows the MPD either doesn’t know the law (probably in this case) or does not care about the law (also probably in this case) and this warrant was issued in error. The MPD almost comes out looking better in the second case.

    I mean really….how do you explain that you just gave someone, whom you believe to have committed a felony while in possession of of a gun, their gun back!!! And you asked him “please” take it back to his car!!! That just shows complete incompetence!

    Yeah, as much as I dislike his methods here, I do think that Joel will get the last laugh here, as what he did was clearly NOT illegal (knee-jerkers not withstanding)

  • Jeff Kline

    I don’t think this will really hurt the C&C issue because we still have our 2nd amendment rights. As proven over in Washington and they’re now challenging Illinois; you cannot deny my right to defend myself in my home; or out of it. The statistics also don’t lie in that areas with C&C show signs of reduced crime. I realize there are a lot of gun haters on here, but that constitution stands there for a reason. If you don’t like the constitution, Canada is to the north, and Mexico is to the south. Don’t let the border gate hit you in the behind on the way out. Don’t forget to leave your citizenship papers behind!

    • Bruiser

      It can’t do anything positive for C & C either. When someone at the forefront of something acts like an idiot and baffoon he turns off those on the fence but who have lent support.
      He’s a Freak – hope he is seen as just that and not refelctive of the majority who carry. One of whom is me

  • adenos

    I think it is about time someone had the balls, time, and money to force them to clarify the law.

  • Colleen

    Keep up the good fight, Joel. You have my full support.

  • RobD

    Whether or not he notified the sheriff (as 609.99 requires) is moot. He was not carrying in a courtroom. 609.99

    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.

    A Judge can issue mandates to the scope of their courtrooms. A Hennepin County judge can issue a mandate stating that white can no longer be worn in the courtrooms if he wishes. But a Judge’s mandate does not extend beyond the courts. The mandate prohibiting guns (which is of questionable legality to start with) has no berring on Cheif Dolan’s office.

    Joel is a sell admitted a**hole. You can think what he did was wrong, but it was not illegal. And it will cost the city greatly.

  • Rob Thomas Doar

    “Police said Rosenberg made no indication to authorities before the meeting that he was bringing a firearm into Minneapolis City Hall.”

    Ummm… he doesn’t have to.

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