In a previous post, this column addressed North Dakota gun laws and who is prohibited from owning a gun in that state. This week, the same topic will be discussed concerning Minnesota. Who cannot own a gun in Minnesota, and what are the consequences if someone is found possessing one illegally?
In Minnesota, there are several reasons why someone may not own a firearm. Regarding certain assault weapons, illegal aliens, those dishonorably discharged from the military, and fugitives may not own such guns. Concerning general gun laws, residents prohibited from owning firearms include:
- Those under the age of 18
- Those with certain mental illnesses
- Those who have chemical dependencies
- Those with certain criminal convictions on record
There are a couple of exceptions to these rules. First, minors may own weapons if they are used while under supervision and after going through a training course. Second, those with criminal records may be granted their gun ownership rights back after so many years — anywhere from two to 10 years.
To obtain a gun in Minnesota, one must present a permit upon purchase or submit to a waiting period of seven days. The passing of a criminal background check is also necessary to own a gun. Minnesota residents found to have firearms in their possession illegally may face several significant consequences — such as time behind bars, fines and loss of gun ownership rights, among others. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help one facing illegal weapons possession charges by reviewing the details of the case and challenging any evidence offered against the accused. In doing so, information may come to light that may help the accused achieve a case dismissal or, at least, minimize any consequences associated with a conviction.