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Can I get my firearm rights back after losing them due to a conviction in Minnesota?

If your firearm rights have been revoked for a violation of Minnesota law, there is a process to request that your rights be restored. Under Minnesota law, a person convicted of a Crime of Violence, which is defined in Minnesota Statute § 624.712, Subd. 5, is not entitled ship, transport, possess, or receive a firearm or ammunition for the rest of that person’s lifetime.

The process to restore your firearm rights begins with filing a petition in a Minnesota State District Court. The Court may grant the petition if the person shows “good cause” to do so, and if the person has been released from physical confinement. The statute imposes two requirements need to be shown before a Court can grant the petition. One of the requirements in the statute is that the person has been released from physical confinement. This requires the person complete their sentence and be discharged from probation. There is no time period noted in the statute that the person must wait after being discharged from probation prior to filing the petition. However, there may be reasons to wait some time prior to filing the petition, and this is an issue that should be discussed with an attorney prior to filing for restoration.

That next requirement is that the person must show good cause. What constitutes good cause is not defined by the statute. Courts in Minnesota have found many different reasons to constitute good cause. Each person’s reason for wanting, or needing, their firearm rights restored is different. You should contact an attorney to discuss whether your situation would meet the good cause standard required by statute.

Finally, the statute states that if the petition for restoration is denied by the court, that person cannot file another petition until 3 years have elapsed, unless the person obtains permission from the court. This is important to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to file a petition for restoration, because if it is denied, you will need to wait 3 years before you can try again. You should discuss when to file the petition with an attorney who has experience in firearm rights restoration.

Keep in mind, this article is discussing the process to have your firearm rights restored if you were convicted of a Minnesota state criminal offense. This process does not apply if you have a federal conviction that limits your firearm rights. There are separate federal statutes that apply to federal convictions.

At Rinke Noonan we have experienced attorneys up-to-date on all Minnesota laws regarding firearm rights restoration, including how to petition the Court to reinstate your firearm rights. Please contact us if you have any questions. We would be happy to assist you.