If you have ever been convicted of a “crime of violence,” which even includes felony convictions for 5th degree possession of a controlled substance, then you are subject to a lifetime ban on firearm possession in Minnesota. Unlike other civil rights, like voting and serving on a jury, which are automatically restored upon discharge from probation, your gun rights do not come back automatically when you are convicted of a crime of violence. There is a process for getting your rights restored. You need to petition the court and ask for judicial restoration. The court will need to find “good cause” to reinstate your firearm rights. Along with your petition, the court will hold a hearing to determine if there is good cause in your case.
What if I received a stay of imposition on my felony and now it is a misdemeanor?
For purposes of your gun rights, a felony conviction that was reduced to a misdemeanor via a stay of imposition still counts as a felony for purposes of the lifetime ban on your firearm rights and you would need to follow the judicial restoration procedure as outlined in Minn. Stat. § 609.165.
Why do I need to restore my rights?
A person who has been convicted of a felony crime of violence and is therefore ineligible to possess a firearm, who is caught in possession of a firearm, commits another felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for up to 15 years and/or pay a $30,000 fine. There is also a mandatory minimum sentence of 60 months for people charged with violating this law.
Do I need an attorney?
While you do not need an attorney to request restoration of your gun rights, you should be aware that if your petition is denied, you will not be able to file another petition for three years unless you get specific permission of the court to file again sooner.
If you have had your gun rights taken away by a conviction for a crime of violence, please contact our office to set up a free consultation at 651-462-0206.