Ammunition Regulation in Minnesota

See our Ammunition Regulation policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Minnesota does not:

• Require a license to purchase or possess ammunition;

• Require sellers of ammunition to maintain a record of the purchasers; or

Prohibited Persons

Minnesota generally extends its laws regarding persons prohibited from possessing firearms to include parallel prohibitions preventing such persons from possessing ammunition as well.1

Ammunition Sales Licensing/Regulation

Minnesota does not require a license to sell ammunition. The state does prohibit the display of centerfire metallic-case handgun ammunition for sale to the public in a manner that makes the ammunition directly accessible to persons under age 18, unless the display is under observation of the seller or the seller’s employee or agent, or the seller takes reasonable steps to exclude underage persons from the immediate vicinity of the display.2

Minimum Age to Purchase/Possess Ammunition

Under Minnesota law, a person under the age of 18 years is generally prohibited from possessing ammunition, except that a person under 18 may possess ammunition designed for use in a firearm that the person may lawfully possess.3

Minnesota generally bans furnishing ammunition to a child under age 14 outside of a municipality,4 and to a minor (under age 18) without the consent of the minor’s parent or guardian or the police department of the municipality, while within the municipality.5 Federal ammunition age restrictions also apply.

Restricting Locations Where Ammunition May be Possessed

Minnesota generally prohibits the possession of ammunition within any courthouse complex or state building within the Capitol Area, other than the National Guard Armory.6

Regulation of Unreasonably Dangerous Ammunition

Minnesota prohibits the use or possession of a “metal-penetrating bullet” during the commission of a crime.7 A “metal-penetrating bullet” is defined as a handgun bullet of “9 mm, .25, .32, .357, .38, .41, .44, or .451 caliber which is comprised of a hardened core equal to the minimum of the maximum attainable hardness by solid red metal alloys which purposely reduces the normal expansion or mushrooming of the bullet’s shape upon impact.”8

Federal prohibitions on armor-piercing ammunition also apply.

Notes
  1. Minn. Stat. §§ 624.713, subd. 1, 1a, 2. ⤴︎
  2. Minn. Stat. § 609.663. ⤴︎
  3. Minn. Stat. §§ 624.713, subd. 1(1). ⤴︎
  4. Minn. Stat. § 609.66, subd. 1(a)(6). ⤴︎
  5. Minn. Stat. § 609.66, subd. 1b. ⤴︎
  6. Minn. Stat. § 609.66, subd. 1g(a). ⤴︎
  7. Minn. Stat. § 624.7191, subd. 3. ⤴︎
  8. Minn. Stat. § 624.7191, subd. 2. ⤴︎

Assault Weapons in Minnesota

Minnesota does not generally ban assault weapons, but has adopted a series of statutes regulating the possession and sale of certain “semiautomatic military-style assault weapons.” A firearm is considered a semiautomatic military-style assault weapon if it is on the list of over two dozen named types of regulated firearms,1 or is another model of a listed firearm, is made by the same manufacturer as the listed firearm, has the same action design, and

• Is a redesigned, renamed, or renumbered version; or

• Has a slight modification or enhancement (such as a folding or retractable stock; adjustable sight; case deflector for left-handed shooters; shorter barrel; wooden, plastic, or metal stock; larger clip size; different caliber; or a bayonet mount).2

Moreover, a firearm is also classified as a semiautomatic military-style assault weapon if it was manufactured or sold under a licensing agreement with a manufacturer of one of the listed firearms to manufacture or sell firearms that are identical or nearly identical to a listed firearm or a firearm described above.3

A firearm that is generally recognized as “particularly suitable or readily adaptable to sporting purposes” or any of its regulations is not a semiautomatic military-style assault weapon.4

In addition, Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is required to publish a list of firearms included within the definition of semiautomatic military-style assault weapon. The Bureau is required to update the list annually.5

Minnesota prohibits the possession of semiautomatic military-style assault weapons by persons who are under 18 years of age.6 Such persons may carry or possess a semiautomatic military-style assault weapon only:

• In the actual presence or under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian;

• For the purposes of a military drill while under competent supervision, under the auspices of a legally recognized military organization;

• For instruction, competition or target practice under direct supervision on a law enforcement-approved firing range; or

• Upon successful completion of a course designed to teach marksmanship and safety with a handgun or semiautomatic military-style assault weapon and approved by the state commissioner of natural resources.7

A person charged with a crime punishable by more than one year imprisonment may not receive, ship, or transport a semiautomatic military-style assault weapon.8

A person who wishes to acquire a semiautomatic military-style assault weapon may apply to his or her local chief of police or county sheriff for a transferee permit, although a transferee permit is not required for purchase of such weapons.9 See Licensing of Gun Purchasers or Owners in Minnesota for further information.

With certain limited exceptions, if a person wishes to acquire a semiautomatic military-style assault weapon from a federally licensed dealer, but does not have a transferee permit or a permit to carry a handgun, the dealer must file a report with the police chief or sheriff, who then performs a background check.10 See Background Checks in Minnesota for further information.

A person commits a gross misdemeanor if he or she intentionally transfers a semiautomatic military-style assault weapon to a person he or she knows:

• Has been denied a permit to carry a weapon because the transferee is not eligible under Minnesota law to possess an assault weapon; or

• Has been found ineligible to possess an assault weapon by law enforcement as a result of an application for a transferee permit or transfer report.11

See our Assault Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Minn. Stat. § 624.712, subd. 7(1) lists more than two dozen named types of firearms that are considered “semiautomatic military-style assault weapons.” ⤴︎
  2. Minn. Stat. § 624.712, subd. 7(2). ⤴︎
  3. Minn. Stat. § 624.712, subd. 7(3). An exception exists for licensing agreements entered into before August 1, 1993, the effective date of the statute. ⤴︎
  4. 18 U.S.C. § 925(d)(3). ⤴︎
  5. Minn. Stat. § 624.712, subd. 8. ⤴︎
  6. Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1(1). ⤴︎
  7. Id. ⤴︎
  8. Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1a. ⤴︎
  9. See Minn. Stat. § 624.7131. ⤴︎
  10. Minn. Stat. § 624.7132, subd. 1, subd. 2; see also Minn. Stat. § 624.7132, subd. 12 (exempting transfers from non-dealers from this requirement). ⤴︎
  11. Minn. Stat. § 624.7141, subd. 1. ⤴︎

Background Checks in Minnesota

See our Background Checks policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires federally licensed firearms dealers (but not private sellers) to initiate a background check on the purchaser prior to sale of a firearm. Federal law provides states with the option of serving as a state “point of contact” and conducting their own background checks using state, as well as federal, records and databases, or having the checks performed by the FBI using only the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. (Note that state files are not always included in the federal database.)

Minnesota is not a point of contact state for firearm purchaser background checks. In Minnesota, firearms dealers must initiate the background check required by federal law by contacting the FBI directly.1

State law requires local law enforcement to perform an additional background check in certain situations. With certain exceptions, if a person wishes to acquire a handgun or semiautomatic military-style assault weapon from a federally licensed dealer but does not have a transferee permit or a permit to carry a handgun, state law requires the dealer to file a report with the local police chief or sheriff, who then performs a background check.2 Note that a transferee permit or permit to carry a handgun does not exempt the holder from the background check required by federal law, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) chart that outlines those permits that qualify as alternatives to the Brady Act.

Local law enforcement also must conduct a background check whenever a person applies for a transferee permit or a permit to carry a handgun.3

When performing a background check for any of these purposes, the chief of police or sheriff is required to check criminal histories, records and warrant information relating to the applicant through the Minnesota Crime Information System and any national criminal record repository (including NICS), and commitment information through the state Commissioner of Human Services.4

Minnesota does not require private sellers (sellers who are not licensed dealers) to initiate a background check when transferring a firearm. See our Private Sales policy summary.

 

Notes
  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Instant Criminal Background Check System Participation Map, at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/general-information/participation-map (last visited Aug. 25, 2015). ⤴︎
  2. Minn. Stat. § 624.7132, subd. 1, 2; see also Minn. Stat. § 624.7132, subd. 12(1) (exempting private sellers from this requirement). ⤴︎
  3. Minn. Stat. §§ 624.7131, subd. 2, subd. 4; 624.714, subd. 4. ⤴︎
  4. Minn. Stat. §§ 624.7131, subd. 2; 624.7132, subd. 2; 624.714, subd. 4. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Minnesota

Minnesota prohibits any person from negligently storing or leaving a loaded firearm in a location where the person knows, or reasonably should know, that a child under age 18 is likely to gain access to the firearm, unless reasonable action is taken to secure the firearm against access by the child.1 This prohibition does not apply if the child obtained access as a result of any unlawful entry.2

A person who intentionally or recklessly causes a child under 14 years of age to be placed in a situation likely to substantially harm the child’s physical health or cause the child’s death as a result of the child’s access to a loaded firearm is criminally liable for child endangerment.3

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Minn. Stat. § 609.666, subd. 1(b), subd. 2. ⤴︎
  2. Minn. Stat. § 609.666, subd. 3. ⤴︎
  3. Minn. Stat. § 609.378, subd. 1(c). ⤴︎

Concealed Weapons Permitting in Minnesota

See our Concealed Weapons Permitting policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Minnesota requires that a person have a valid permit to possess or control a concealable firearm in a public place.1

Minnesota is, generally, a “shall issue” state, meaning that the county sheriff must issue a permit to carry a handgun if the applicant meets certain qualifications.2 When an applicant applies for a permit to carry a handgun, the county sheriff must issue a license if the applicant:

• Is at least 21 years old;

• Is a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.;

• Has training in the safe use of a handgun;

• Is not prohibited from possessing a firearm because the applicant:

o Has not committed an assault in the fifth degree;3

o Has not committed an assault upon a family member;4

o Has not violated an order of protection within the past three years;5

o Has not committed a stalking crime;6

o Is not a nonresident alien;7

o Is not currently under arrest for a crime against the person;8

o Is not currently released on bail for domestic abuse, harassment, violation of an order for protection, or violation of a domestic abuse no contact order;9

o Is not prohibited from possessing a firearm by any federal law;10 or

o Is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm by Minnesota Statutes § 624.713 (see Prohibited Purchasers Generally in Minnesota for a full list of prohibited persons); and

• Is not listed in the criminal gang investigative data system.11

Note that a sheriff has limited discretion to deny a permit to carry only if there is a “substantial likelihood” that the applicant would be a danger to herself, himself or others if authorized to carry a handgun.12

To ensure that the applicant is qualified for a permit to carry a handgun, the sheriff is required to check criminal histories, records and warrant information relating to the applicant through the Minnesota Crime Information System, and to the extent necessary, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) and commitment information through the state Commissioner of Human Services.13 The sheriff must also notify the chief of police of the municipality where the applicant resides, so as to give the chief the opportunity to provide any relevant information.14 At least once annually, the sheriff must conduct a background check on a permit holder through the Minnesota Crime Information System and, to the extent necessary, NICS, to ensure continuing eligibility, and may conduct additional background checks at any time the permit is in effect.15 A person who carries, holds or possesses a handgun in a motor vehicle, snowmobile or boat, or on or about the person’s clothes or person, or otherwise in possession or control in a public place without having a permit to carry the handgun is criminally liable for a gross misdemeanor; subsequent offenses are felonies.16

A permit is not required to carry a handgun:

• About a person’s place of business, residence, or land that he or she owns;

• From a place of purchase to the person’s dwelling or place of business, or from the person’s dwelling or business to or from a place of repair;

• Between the person’s dwelling and place of business;

• In the woods, fields, or waters of the state for the purpose of hunting or target shooting in a safe area; or

• In a motor vehicle, snowmobile or boat if it is unloaded and contained in a closed and fastened case, gun box, or securely tied package.17

The sheriff’s failure to notify an applicant that the application has been denied within 30 days of receipt of the application constitutes issuance of the permit to carry and the sheriff must promptly mail the permit to the applicant.18

Firearm Safety Training

Applicants for a permit to carry must have training in the safe use of a handgun within the past year of an original or renewal application.19 Such training may be demonstrated by: 1) employment as a peace officer in Minnesota within the past year; or 2) completion of a firearms safety or training course providing basic training in the safe use of a handgun, conducted by a certified instructor.20

Basic handgun safety training must include:

• Instruction in the fundamentals of handgun use;

• Successful completion of an actual shooting qualification exercise; and

• Instruction in the fundamental legal aspects of handgun possession, carrying, and use, including self-defense and the restrictions on the use of deadly force.21

Instructors must issue a certificate to any person who has completed a firearms safety or training course, which must be signed by the instructor and attest that the person attended and completed the course.22

This requirement does not apply in the case of an emergency permit, which a sheriff may immediately issue if the sheriff determines that the person is in an emergency situation that may constitute an immediate risk to the safety of the person or someone in the person’s household.23

Duration & Renewal

A permit to carry remains in effect for up to five years after the date it is issued and may be renewed “in the same manner and under the same criteria which the original permit was obtained.”24 An emergency permit is valid for 30 days and may not be renewed.25

Disclosure or Use of Information

All data pertaining to applications for permits to carry firearms which are collected by state agencies, political subdivisions or statewide systems pursuant to Minnesota Statutes §§ 624.712 to 624.719 are classified as “private.”26 Thus, that data is not available to the public, but is accessible to the subject of the data.27 In addition, data on persons permitted to carry handguns under the terms of a permit must be shared as required by Minnesota Statutes § 624.714, subd. 6, which requires the sheriff issuing, suspending, or revoking a permit to forward that information to the Commissioner of Public Safety (“Commissioner”).28

The Commissioner must maintain a database available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, only to law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to verify the validity of a permit.29 The Commissioner may also keep a database of permits that were denied or revoked, including the date of, and reasons for, denial or revocation, for six years from the denial or revocation.30 This database may be available only to sheriffs performing their duties related to permits to carry handguns.31

The Commissioner is required to report yearly to the state legislature information regarding permits and permit holders, but “without expressly identifying an applicant.”32 Sheriffs and police chiefs must supply the Department of Public Safety with the basic data required to complete this report, including data classified as private. Copies of the report must be made available to the public.33  The current report states, among other things, that 20,772 5-year permits were issued in 2011.34

A sheriff must not maintain records or data collected, made or held concerning an applicant or permit holder that are not necessary to support a permit that is outstanding or eligible for renewal.35 In addition, a sheriff must completely purge all files and databases yearly to delete all information collected concerning persons who are no longer current permit holders or currently eligible to renew their permit.36 These requirements do not apply, however, to records or data concerning an applicant or permit holder who has had a permit denied or revoked for lack of safe training in the use of a firearm, or because there exists a substantial likelihood that the applicant is a danger to himself or herself or the public if authorized to carry a handgun, for six years from the denial or revocation.37

Finally, notwithstanding any law to the contrary, the Minnesota Commissioner of Health is prohibited from collecting data related to an individual’s right to carry a weapon.38

Reciprocity

The Commissioner of Public Safety must annually establish and publish a list of states whose permits are “not substantially similar” to Minnesota permit requirements. All state permits not on this list are valid if the permit holder is not prohibited from possessing a firearm.39 The Commissioner must, when necessary, execute reciprocity agreements regarding carry permits with jurisdictions whose carry permits are recognized by Minnesota.40

Notes
  1. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 1a. ⤴︎
  2. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 2(b). ⤴︎
  3. Minn. Stat. § 609.224, subd. 3. ⤴︎
  4. Minn. Stat. § 609.2242, subd. 3. ⤴︎
  5. See Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 14. ⤴︎
  6. See Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 8. ⤴︎
  7. Minn. Stat. § 624.719. ⤴︎
  8. Minn. Stat. § 629.715, subd. 2. ⤴︎
  9. Minn. Stat. § 629.72, subd. 2(a), (b). ⤴︎
  10. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 2(b)(4)( ix). ⤴︎
  11. See Minn. Stat. § 299C.091. ⤴︎
  12. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 6(a)(3). ⤴︎
  13. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 4(a). ⤴︎
  14. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 4(b). ⤴︎
  15. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 4(c). ⤴︎
  16. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 1a. ⤴︎
  17. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 9. ⤴︎
  18. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 6(b). Additional application and background check requirements, as well as permit suspension and disqualification information, are detailed throughout Minn. Stat. § 624.714. ⤴︎
  19. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 2(b)(1), subd. 2a. ⤴︎
  20. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 2a(a). ⤴︎
  21. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 2a(b). A sheriff may also accept other satisfactory evidence of training in the safe use of a handgun. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 2a(e). ⤴︎
  22. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 2a(c). ⤴︎
  23. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 11a. ⤴︎
  24. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 7(c). ⤴︎
  25. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 11a. ⤴︎
  26. Minn. Stat. § 13.87, subd. 2. ⤴︎
  27. Minn. Stat. § 13.02, subd. 12. ⤴︎
  28. Minn. Stat. § 13.871, subd 9. ⤴︎
  29. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 15(a). ⤴︎
  30. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 15(b). ⤴︎
  31. Id. ⤴︎
  32. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 20. ⤴︎
  33. Id. ⤴︎
  34. Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Department of Public Safety, State of Minnesota, 2011 Permit to Carry Report, at https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/bca/Documents/2011%20Permit%20to%20Carry%20Year%20End%20Report%20Final.pdf. ⤴︎
  35. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 14(a). ⤴︎
  36. Id. ⤴︎
  37. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 14(b). ⤴︎
  38. Minn. Stat. § 144.05, subd. 5. ⤴︎
  39. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 16(a), (b). See the Minnesota Department of Public Safety website. ⤴︎
  40. Minn. Stat. § 624.714, subd. 16(d). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Minnesota

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Minnesota requires small firearms dealers (dealers displaying 50 handguns or less for sale at a time) to secure all handguns in a locked safe, locked steel gun cabinet or on a locked, steel cable that runs through the handgun’s trigger guards, after business hours.1 The safe, gun cabinet, rod or cable must be anchored to prevent its removal from the premises.2

In addition, the Commissioner of Public Safety (“Commissioner”) is required to adopt standards for minimum security requirements for all firearms dealers.3 The standards may provide for:

• Alarm systems for all firearms dealers;

• Necessary and effective security measures required for large firearms dealers (dealers displaying more than 50 handguns for sale at any time);

• A system of inspections, during normal business hours, by local law enforcement for compliance with the standards; and

• Other reasonable requirements necessary and effective to reduce the risk of burglaries at firearms dealers’ business establishments.4

The Commissioner has issued firearms dealer security standards that describe the required alarm system and other mandatory security features, prescribe the manner in which handguns may be stored, and require the availability of the business for inspection by local law enforcement.5 A firearms dealer may request an exemption from these requirements.6

Minnesota requires federally licensed firearms dealers to post signs conspicuously on their premises with the following warning: “IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STORE OR LEAVE A LOADED FIREARM WHERE A CHILD CAN OBTAIN ACCESS.”7

Licensed dealers in Minnesota must comply with Minnesota’s waiting period and background check laws. See Waiting Periods in Minnesota, and Background Check Procedures in Minnesota.

Minnesota prohibits federally licensed dealers from selling a “Saturday Night Special Pistol.”8 See  Design Safety Standards for Handguns in Minnesota.

Notes
  1. Minn. Stat. § 624.7161, subd. 1(c), subd. 2. ⤴︎
  2. Minn. Stat. § 624.7161, subd. 2. ⤴︎
  3. Minn. Stat. § 624.7161, subd. 1(d), subd. 3. ⤴︎
  4. Minn. Stat. § 624.7161, subd. 3. ⤴︎
  5. Minn. R. 7504.0200—7504.0500. ⤴︎
  6. Minn. R. 7504.0600. ⤴︎
  7. Minn. Stat. § 624.7162. ⤴︎
  8. Minn. Stat. § 624.716. ⤴︎

Design Safety Standards for Handguns in Minnesota

Minnesota prohibits federally licensed firearms dealers from selling a “Saturday Night Special Pistol,” and no person may manufacture or assemble a “Saturday Night Special Pistol.”1 The state defines a “Saturday Night Special Pistol” as a handgun “other than an antique firearm or a pistol for which the propelling force is carbon dioxide, air or other vapor, or children’s pop guns or toys, having a frame, barrel, cylinder, slide or breechblock:

• Of any material having a melting point of less than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit;

• Of any material having an ultimate tensile strength of less than 55,000 pounds per square inch; or

• Of any powdered metal having a density of less than 7.5 grams per cubic centimeter.”2

See our Design Safety Standards for Handguns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

Notes
  1. Minn. Stat. § 624.716. ⤴︎
  2. Minn. Stat. § 624.712, subd. 4. ⤴︎

Disarming Prohibited Persons in Minnesota

See the Domestic Violence & Firearms in Minnesota  section for information about disarming domestic abusers.

Defendants in Cases of Crimes Against the Person

For the release of a defendant pending trial or hearing in cases involving crimes against the person, a judge may order as a condition of release that the person surrender to local law enforcement any firearms owned or possessed by the person, and the defendant may not live in a residence where others possess firearms.1

Any firearm surrendered will be inventoried and retained by local law enforcement and must be returned to the owner upon his or her acquittal, when charges are dismissed, or if no charges are filed. If the gun owner is convicted, the firearm must be returned when the court orders the return or when the person is discharged from probation and has his or her civil rights restored.2

Notes
  1. Minn. Stat. § 629.715, subd. 2. ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Minnesota

See our Domestic Violence and Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Minnesota law does not:

  • Explicitly authorize or require the removal of firearms or ammunition at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining/Protective Orders

Minnesota law incorporates federal law’s prohibition against possession of firearms by persons subject to a domestic violence protective order.1 Minnesota law also separately provides that persons subject to domestic abuse or child abuse protective orders shall be prohibited from possessing firearms for the duration of the order.2 

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

Minnesota prohibits the possession of a firearm by a person who:

• Is prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law’s domestic violence prohibition statute, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), (9), as amended through March 1, 2014;3

• Has been convicted of a stalking crime and used a firearm in the commission of that crime (prohibiting the person from possessing a firearm from three years to the remainder of the person’s life, if so ordered by the convicting court);4

• Has been convicted of any other stalking crime within the previous three years;5

• Has been convicted in another state of committing an assault against a family or household member using a firearm within the past three years;6

• Has been convicted in Minnesota of assaulting a family or household member using a firearm (the court determines the prohibitive period for this violation);7

• Has been convicted of assaulting a family or household member, or of assault in the fifth degree, within the previous three years (whether or not a firearm was used).8

• Has been convicted of violating an order of protection and used a firearm during that violation (prohibiting the person from possessing a firearm from three years to the remainder of the person’s life, if so ordered by the convicting court).9

Minnesota also specifically prohibits possession of a handgun by a person who has been convicted of violating an order for protection within the previous three years;10

The courts are required to notify some, but not all, of these abusers about the firearm prohibitions under Minnesota law.

Federal law prohibits an overlapping set of domestic violence misdemeanants from possessing firearms.

Removal or Surrender of Firearms from Domestic Abusers

Minnesota law generally requires removal or surrender of firearms from individuals subject to domestic abuse or child abuse protective orders.11 When a court issues a domestic or child abuse protective order that (1) restrains the abusing party from harassing, stalking, or threatening the petitioner or restrains the abusing party from engaging in other conduct that would place the petitioner in reasonable fear of bodily injury, and (2) includes a finding that the abusing party represents a credible threat to the physical safety of the petitioner or prohibits the abusing party from using, attempting to use, or threatening to use physical force against the petitioner, the order shall inform the abusing party that he or she is prohibited from possessing firearms for the length the order is in effect.12

If the court determines by a preponderance of the evidence that the abusing party poses an imminent risk of causing another person substantial bodily harm, the court must order that the local law enforcement agency take immediate possession of all firearms in the abusing party’s possession.13 Otherwise, the court shall order the abusing party to transfer any firearms that the person possesses, within three business days, to a federally licensed firearms dealer, a law enforcement agency, or a third party who may lawfully receive them and who does not live with the abusing party.14

An abusing party who is ordered to transfer firearms must file proof of transfer within two business days of the firearms transfer.15 The proof of transfer must specify whether the firearms were permanently or temporarily transferred and include the name of the abusing party, date of transfer, and the serial number, make, and model of all transferred firearms.16

The law enforcement agency, federally licensed firearms dealer, or third party that took possession of the firearms shall return them to the person upon request after the expiration of the prohibiting time period, provided that the person is not otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms under state or federal law.17 

Minnesota law also provides the same procedures requiring removal and surrender of firearms upon a person’s conviction for a stalking offense or a domestic assault offense against a family or household member.18

Additionally, a person violating an order of protection who owns or possesses a firearm and uses it during the commission of the violation must forfeit the firearm.19

 

Notes
  1. Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1(10)(viii). See also, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8). ⤴︎
  2. Minn. Stat. §§ 624.713, subd. 1(13), 260C.201, subd. 3(d), 518B.01, subd. 6(g). A protective order shall prohibit the abusing party from possessing firearms for the length the order is in effect if the order (1) restrains the abusing party from harassing, stalking, or threatening the petitioner or restrains the abusing party from engaging in other conduct that would place the petitioner in reasonable fear of bodily injury, and (2) includes a finding that the abusing party represents a credible threat to the physical safety of the petitioner or prohibits the abusing party from using, attempting to use, or threatening to use physical force against the petitioner. The order shall inform the abusing party of that party’s prohibited status. Minn. Stat. §§ 260C.201, subd. 3(d), 518B.01, subd. 6(g). ⤴︎
  3. Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1(10)(viii). ⤴︎
  4. Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 8(a). This provision applies to handguns if the person was convicted of a stalking crime between August 1, 1996 and 2014.  For convictions after the effective date of 2013 Minn. H.B. 3238’s enactment, this prohibition applies to all firearms. Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 8(c). ⤴︎
  5. Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 8(b), (c). This provision applies to handguns if the person was convicted of a stalking crime between August 1, 1996 and 2014.  For convictions after the effective date of 2013 Minn. H.B. 3238’s enactment, this prohibition applies to all firearms. Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 8(c). ⤴︎
  6. Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1(8). ⤴︎
  7. Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1(9). ⤴︎
  8. Minn. Stat. §§ 624.713, subd. 1(12), 609.2242, subd. 3(d), (e). This provision applies to handguns if the person was convicted between August 1, 1992 and 2014.  For convictions after the effective date of 2013 Minn. H.B. 3238’s enactment, this prohibition applies to all firearms. Minn. Stat. § 609.2242, subd. 3(e). ⤴︎
  9. Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd.14(j), (k). ⤴︎
  10. Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 14(l). ⤴︎
  11. Minn. Stat. §§ 260C.201, subd. 3(d), 518B.01, subd. 6(g). ⤴︎
  12. Minn. Stat. §§ 260C.201, subd. 3(d), 518B.01, subd. 6(g). ⤴︎
  13. Minn. Stat. §§ 260C.201, subd. 3(f), 518B.01, subd. 6(i). ⤴︎
  14. Minn. Stat. §§ 260C.201, subd. 3(d), 518B.01, subd. 6(g). ⤴︎
  15. Id. If the transfer is made to a third party, the third party must sign an affidavit under oath before a notary public either acknowledging that the abusing party permanently transferred the abusing party’s firearms to the third party or agreeing to temporarily store the abusing party’s firearms until such time as the abusing party is legally permitted to possess firearms. The affidavit shall indicate the serial number, make, and model of all firearms transferred by the abusing party to the third party. The third party shall acknowledge in the affidavit that the third party may be held criminally and civilly responsible under section 624.7144 if the abusing party gains access to a transferred firearm while the firearm is in the custody of the third party. If the transfer is to a law enforcement agency or federally licensed firearms dealer, the law enforcement agency or federally licensed firearms dealer shall provide proof of transfer to the abusing party. ⤴︎
  16. Id. ⤴︎
  17. Id., Minn. Stat. §§ 260C.201, subd. 3(f), 518B.01, subd. 6(i). ⤴︎
  18. Minn. Stat. §§ 609.749, subd. 8(e)-(g), 609.2242, subd. 3(f)-(h). ⤴︎
  19. Minn. Stat. § 518B.01, subd. 14(m). See Minn. Stat. § 609.5316, subd. 3 regarding forfeiture of weapons. ⤴︎