MN Permit to Carry

Uncategorized Oct 08, 2020

Since our launch in 2016, Atlas Defense has been an approved trainer by the BCA to deliver the training and certificate required to apply for a resident or non resident Minnesota Permit to Carry.  Completion of the class does not guarantee you will be granted a MN Permit to Carry, the certificate issued is part of the background check and fee assessed by your issuing county.

Virtually or live small group classes are 4 to 5 hours that cover the following topics.  Time is allocated for questions and discussion.

  • Introduction to Handguns and Firearm Safety
  • Ammunition/ Cartridge Designation and Identification
  • Identifying and Clearing Cartridge Malfunctions & Mechanical Malfunctions
  • Fundamentals of Pistol Marksmanship
  • MN Use of Force Statutes and other related legal aspects of owning and carrying a handgun.
  • Psychological and Physiological Effects of Fight/ Flight/ Freeze
  • Exercising Your Rights in the Aftermath

A student handbook is provided to follow along with the class...

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Citizen app is now live in Minneapolis

Uncategorized Feb 25, 2020

Citizen app is now live in Minneapolis

Uncategorized Feb 25, 2020


After successful launches in New York City, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and several other cities since last year, Minneapolis is the newest addition to the reach and impact of the Citizen app. What is it? The Citizen app is a platform that informs users of real time public safety incidents. Far more sophisticated than a lone hobbyist with access to a police scanner and a Facebook crime watch group or a passive shot spotter, this system uses a combination of artificial intelligence and human input to both notify users of location specific incidents and provide live streamed video footage from a safe distance of what’s going on.


The main benefit of the app is situational awareness, a topic we covered in the last blog post. We dove into what happens when that skill gets over-emphasized—leading to a hyper vigilant state where people perceive threats where there are none.

Just like how training or...

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What we can learn (and unlearn) from the veteran experience

Uncategorized Feb 21, 2020

Challenging the misappropriation of the veteran experience 

It seems to me that most veterans are unaware of the weight that their experience and words carry. Especially as a Marine, we knew that we were the rarest of the few who qualified to volunteer for one of the finest fighting forces in the world. That exclusivity made our world small, despite the increasing interconnectivity of the civilian world back home and our WiFi-enabled battle spaces abroad. In that small world, we survived by trusting the men and women we deployed with, developing a skill set that enabled us to be keenly aware of our surroundings and options. Deploying to any high threat environment came with its unique challenges, rules of engagement, cultural hurdles, and more that make the civilian world seem dull when we initially get home by staying in that combat mindset. Taken out of context, the combat mindset manifests in a variety of ways that widen the veteran-civilian gap...

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Make Empathy Great Again


Make empathy great again, but always have a plan

Photo snapped in St. Paul, MN, Sept 2019


Trump is in the city. Polarizing lines have been drawn. The mayor of Minneapolis knocks Trump’s rhetoric while the leader of MPD Police Union Bob Kroll resents not being able to endorse Trump in uniform.  With such public bantering, it’s easy to feel drawn to one of the two and feel the heat of xenophobic rhetoric. Combined with the influx of people from out of town, these factors pose some unique risks to local residents. Fueled by fear of the unknown, some of the risks are higher profile than others, but this guide will show how to safely play out the 3 most likely scenarios a Minneapolis resident may encounter around October 10th.  

The higher profile, well-documented trend shows a local increase in hate crimes throughout the counties Trump holds rallies.  Transgender individuals are especially at risk, and FBI stats show that...

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Torch of Confidence

Too long ago, I was sent the J5 Tactical flashlight by the manufacturer to practically test and later review.  Depending on one’s definition of ‘later’ now is exactly that time. In today’s complex world, anything with a hard “T” seems to convey a false sense of security, authority, and dependability.  Tactical pens, flashlights, shoes, hats, backpacks, even phone charges and the like have all been ordained “tactical” to appeal to a certain type of misplaced fear that leads to overconfidence in gear instead of skillsets.


Admonished by this trend, I’ve chosen to stay away from anything that has that label because it usually has been simply a marketing gimmick as previously described.  That’s also partially why I have been so slow to share my impressions of this particular product because I wanted to be absolutely sure it deserved the name.  This hesitation isn’t for any reason other than that...

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Cooper's Color Codes: If the NRA got it wrong, we probably have as well

Uncategorized Jan 16, 2018

A major fault of my own is that I don't share enough baseline knowledge that is used in the client facing products everyone sees.  Sure, I go into detail during the classes themselves, but there very well could be people that just want information on individual components of a diversified personal protection plan.  Case in point today, Cooper's Color Codes.

As a Marine, I was taught as early as basic training (in 2008) that Cooper's Color Codes were created by a Marine Col. Cooper during the Pacific campaign in WWII.  Simply a tool to assert what level of fight they were at, the guide helped keep Marines safe and alert during the war. 

As with any military tool dropped in the melting pot of American citizens, this concept was adapted so many times over that its effect has become diluted.  As a personal protection coach myself, I teach Cooper's Color Codes as just a reference point during Situational Awareness classes but knew there was a need for more...

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Open Carry at NC Walmart Leads to Shooting Report

Uncategorized Jan 05, 2018

Late last month, an unidentified individual chose to open carry into a busy Wal Mart on Dec 22nd, right at the beginning of the most desperate final dash for presents.  At some point, while the individual was in the Wal Mart, a suspect allegedly grabbed the gun out of the individual's open carry holster and took off through the store.  In the ensuing confusion, "radio scanner traffic began circulating about a shooting at the Walmart".  This could have easily escalated to something worse but resulted in the suspect fleeing the scene with the firearm and (in true Walmat form) one asthma attack.  

Perhaps to "make a statement" and deter criminals, I always wonder what statement open carry advocates really are trying to make.  To me, anyone who chooses to open carry is already having their judgment affected by possession of the firearm.  In our own states' Permit to Carry statutes (MN Statute 624.714), you must be at all times...

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Carrying Defensive Firearms in the Car

Defensively carrying in vehicles

We all have our patterns of life.  Wake up, get dressed, holster your EDC for the day and get in the car.  At this point, you have a few choices to make in order to best prepare yourself to defend your life and others’ while in a vehicle.  Frankly, a car is a terrible place defend from.  In the military, this vulnerability preempted the proliferation of armored vehicles we see today.  While you as a law-abiding, concealed carrying citizen will never have to address that type of threat, your vulnerability remains the same.  In our world, however, this vulnerability can be taken advantage of by opportunistic criminals.  Be it in the form of a mugging while you’re fumbling for your keys, attempting a carjacking, or anything in between, there is good reason to prepare for this kind of threat.  With the right mindset and decision making guidelines presented here, there is no reason you shouldn’t be...

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Fight-or-Flight & Your Brain: Why You Want it (& When You Don’t)

3 Steps to Mindful Situational Awareness

Guest blog authored by Kealah Parkinson, founder and communications coach at


It can happen anywhere: Sweaty palms, roiling stomach, racing heartbeat & shallow breathing. Panic. It’s an emotion no one wants to feel. Even the adrenaline junky, addicted to extreme excitement in risky situations, can have adverse effects from the “rush” of a truly life-threatening situation—though he or she is probably better at thinking through & responding to that situation.


Why? The answer lies in the interplay between so many parts of the brain—from the amygdala where emotions bloom; to the prefrontal cortex that makes our decisions; to the neurotransmitters that adjust our body’s reactions, delivering more adrenaline for fighting off the bad & more serotonin for calming down afterward. Each individual brain is uniquely wired, & where some people may get stuck in...

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