As discussed in prior posts a person can be disqualified from the ability to lawfully possess a firearm under both Minnesota law and federal law. For the remainder of this post we will discuss what can disqualify a Minnesota resident at the state level, what this disqualification looks like, and how one can restore their right to possess a firearm. So, lets dig in: what exactly disqualifies a Minnesota resident from lawfully possessing firearms?
A Minnesota resident can be disqualified from possessing a firearm for any of the following reasons:
- The person is a minor under the age of 18.
- The person has been convicted of a crime of violence as defined by Minnesota Statute, for more information on crimes of violence click HERE. This also applies if the person is participating in a diversion program.
- The person has been committed for being mentally ill or unable to stand trial due to mental illness.
- The person has been convicted of a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor involving drugs (this disqualification usually only applies for 3 years).
- A person who has been convicted of domestic violence may also be prohibited from possessing a firearm.
- The person has been committed for chemical abuse.
- The person is a police officer who has been admitted to a treatment facility (but they can get a certificate to allow them to carry).
- The person is presently charged with a felony.
Please note that this is not a complete list of all disqualifications. It is also important to note that a person convicted of a felony “crime of violence” will likely be prohibited from possessing a firearm for life, or until this right has been restored. Also note that for felony charges the nature of the offense determines the firearm restriction, not the sentence. On the same note a stay of adjudication is not a conviction and therefore cannot be subject to the firearm restriction.
A person who violates a firearm restriction can be charged with an additional crime. For a person under the age of 18 this can be a felony charge. Persons convicted of a crime of violence who are found to possess a firearm can also be charged with a felony which carries with it a 5-year minimum sentence. All other violations are gross misdemeanors.
Thankfully in Minnesota a person can restore their ability to possess a firearm. The most common way to do this is to petition the court to restore their firearm rights. In order to petition the court a person must be released from physical confinement. If the person is able to show the court “good cause” the court may restore firearm rights but is not required to do so. If the court denies the petition the petitioner then must wait three years before submitting a new petition.
So, what is “good cause” in this scenario? Good cause can consist of a person’s ability to hunt, employment related issues, proximity issues, a person’s safety and security, or family heirlooms. Additionally, the court will consider the circumstances of the original offense and also the rehabilitation efforts of the petitioner.
An individual can lose their right to possess a firearm at both the state and federal level. Thankfully there are several ways to challenge this prohibition and attempt to reinstate ones right to possess and transport firearms. The attorneys of Thooft Law have experience restoring these rights at both the federal and state level. Feel free to contact Derek Thooft by email at [email protected] or by phone at 651-364-7725 for a free consultation and a chance to discuss your chances of restoring your rights.