There are state laws which prohibit certain persons from possessing firearms, as well as federal laws that also prohibit certain persons from possessing firearms. Many times one set of laws applies but not the other. Many times these laws overlap. Sometimes they even conflict. Our attorneys practice extensively in federal and state laws related to your right to possess firearms and the restoration of those rights. Please call us – we are happy to help you sort through what can be a confusing situation. The lawyers at Brandt Criminal Defense can help you obtain relief through an expungement, a judicial challenge to the denial of your permit to purchase or permit to carry a firearm, a petition to restore rights following a felony conviction, or a pardon. We also handle petitions to restore firearms rights following a judicial order for civil commitment.
Currently in Minnesota, offenders convicted or adjudicated delinquent of a crime listed under Minn. Stat. § 624.712, Subd. 5 (Crimes of Violence) have a lifetime prohibition on possessing firearms. While on the surface this seems like common sense, unfortunately, the list of crimes of violence includes all sorts of offenses, such as theft of a motor vehicle (a property offense) and all drug crimes in chapter 152 (typically an offense that does not involve a known victim or actual violence). A full list of “Crimes of Violence” is here: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=624.712. If you have been convicted of a felony crime of violence, you must file a specific petition to restore gun rights. Expungement does not cure the ability to possess firearms in this situation.
Many persons who are eligible for a permit to purchase a firearm are still denied a permit to carry a firearm. The standards and requirements for a permit to carry a concealed firearm in Minnesota are stricter than permits to purchase a firearm and background checks to determine eligibility are often more extensive. Many times, a person denied a permit to carry a concealed weapon even already has a valid permit to purchase firearms. You have the ability to have a judge review the denial of your permit to purchase or your permit to carry.
Gun rights restoration cases are often strongly opposed by prosecutors and police. Because these cases are often vigorously opposed by prosecutors, the legal assistance of a lawyer is usually necessary. Be aware, for example, that persons convicted of a felony crime of violence who apply to have their gun rights restored are prohibited from applying to the court again for a period of three years if their request is denied by a judge. It is important that the process be done correctly the first time.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation at 763-421-6366.
Gun Rights Information & Guides
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Minn. Stat. § 609.165
Allows a person convicted of a crime of violence to petition the court to restore the right to possess firearms. A petitioner must demonstrate rehabilitation and show good cause as to why he or she should be able to again possess firearms.
Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 624.714 – Conceal and Carry Permit Denials
Minnesota citizens are allowed a permit to carry a concealed weapon upon proper application to their county sheriff’s office. Non-Minnesota residents may apply to any county sheriff’s office. There are various reasons for denying a person a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
Some of these instances include:
- Persons convicted of a felony;
- Persons convicted of a misdemeanor crime involving domestic violence (note: this can include persons convicted of Disorderly Conduct when that offense involves a dispute with a person in a domestic relationship);
- Persons subject to an Order for Protection;
- Persons who have been a patient in a mental hospital; or
- Persons who a determined to be “a danger to self or others.”
A person denied a permit to carry a concealed weapon often has two options. The first is to expunge the underlying criminal conviction that is preventing the issuance of the permit. Beware, however, that expungement of a crime of violence will not cure the prohibition. See the expungement section for more information on expungement. The other option is for a permit applicant to appeal the permit denial to the district court. If the person is able to demonstrate that the sheriff denied the permit without proper justification, the district court can order the sheriff to issue a permit to carry a concealed weapon. If the applicant wins in district court, the sheriff’s office must pay the applicant’s attorneys fees and costs associated with the appeal to district court.
Crime of Violence: See Minn. Stat. § 624.712 for a list of crimes designated as crimes of violence. These are not always offenses that involve actual violence, and can include such non-violent crimes as theft of a motor vehicle, aiding attempted suicide, and controlled substance and drug offenses, to name a few.
Danger to Self or Others: A county sheriff’s office may deny a permit to carry a concealed weapon to a person the sheriff deems to be a danger to self or others. This is a subjective standard that include considerations such as previous arrests that did not result in charges or a criminal conviction, prior contacts with a police or sheriff’s department, and any allegations or reports of mental instability.
Permit to Purchase/Permit to Carry: A permit issued by a local law enforcement agency (local police or sheriff) that allows a person to either purchase a firearm, or carry a concealed weapon. Many persons who are eligible for a permit to purchase a firearm can still be denied a permit to carry a firearm.
Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence: A crime designated as a misdemeanor under Federal or State law; and has, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, committed by a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim.
Will an expungement cure my prohibition on possessing firearms?
Expungement does not cure the ability to possess firearms if a person has been convicted of a crime of violence. Instead, the person must bring a separate petition to restore gun rights. If the person was convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence and more than three years has elapsed since the date of conviction, or the person has been convicted of a felony, the person may apply for an expungement, which will restore gun rights under federal law.
I was issued a valid permit to purchase firearms – so why am I being denied a permit to carry firearms?
Many persons who are eligible for a permit to purchase a firearm are still denied a permit to carry a firearm. The standards and requirements for a permit to carry a concealed firearm in Minnesota are much more strict than permits to purchase a firearm. Many times, a person who is denied a permit to carry a concealed weapon already has a valid permit to purchase firearms. The standard for who gets a concealed weapons permit can be subjective and dependent on the discretion of the sheriff’s office who issues permits. This can lead to inconsistencies in issuing permits
Gun rights restoration cases are often strongly opposed by prosecutor and police. Most persons seeking restoration of gun rights or a conceal carry permit have already been denied permits to purchase or carry firearms by a law enforcement authority. Because these cases are often vigorously opposed by prosecutors, the legal assistance of a lawyer is usually necessary. In addition, persons convicted of a crime of violence who apply to have their gun rights restored are prohibited from applying to the court again for a period of three years if their request is denied by a judge.
Feel free to contact an experienced gun & firearms layer at 763-421-6366 for a free consultation about your case.