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. ⤴︎