Starting today, Minnesota is joining 18 other states in requiring expanded background checks for firearm purchases and transfers.
The changes were part of a larger public safety package that was passed during the most recent legislative session. In today’s blog, we take an in-depth look at some of the new changes so that you can stay out of trouble.
Gun Purchase Changes
The first changes we’ll spotlight impact how guns are purchased and transferred. Under the new law, anyone who wishes to purchase or receive a pistol or semiautomatic military-style assault weapon must first apply for a permit to purchase or permit to carry. Anyone who is prohibited by law, has been deemed a threat to themselves or the public, or who is listed in the criminal gang investigative database will not be able to obtain a permit to carry.
The law also changes how private transfers are made. Both parties involved in a transfer will need to complete a record of transfer that includes detailed information about the weapon and the individuals involved. This process can be bypassed by completing the transfer through a dealer or a federal firearms licensee. Police chiefs and county sheriffs now have 30 days to process transfer requests instead of the previous seven days.
A person is allowed to loan a firearm to someone for a hunting trip, so long as the parties are together on the trip.
New Machine Gun Laws
New penalties have been enacted for owning, possessing, or operating a machine gun, trigger activator or machine gun conversion kit. Potential jail time has been increased from five years to 20 years and the potential fine has been increased from $10,000 to $35,000.
The law defines a machine gun as any firearm that is designed to discharge or is capable of discharging automatically, or more than once by a single trigger pull. The law defines a trigger activator as a removable manual or power-driven trigger device that is designed to increase the rate of fire or allow a semiautomatic firearm to shoot more than one shot with a single trigger pull.
Red Flag Laws
Finally, a new red flag law creates an extreme risk protection order (ERPO), also known as a red flag gun confiscation order, which allows individuals, family members or law enforcement to petition for an ERPO against someone they believe is a danger to themselves or others. A person can petition for one of two orders:
Temporary Ex Parte Orders – These can be issued without a hearing based on imminent risk.
Final Ex Parte Orders – These are issued following a hearing and can be put in place for up to a year.
The new red flag law will go into effect on January 1, 2023.
If you run into a problem as a result of the changes to the gun laws, be sure to seek out legal help. At Appelman Law Firm, we’re confident that we can help smooth out a sticky situation and leave you in a better place. For more information, or for help with a different criminal matter, reach out to the team at Appelman Law Firm today at (952) 224-2277.