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A Criminal Conviction May Result in a Loss of Firearm Privileges

Some criminal activity carries with it collateral consequences. For example, a DWI/DUI arrest will result in your license being revoked. A drug bust may result in your money or property being forfeited. Certain sex offenses require you to register as a sex offender.

Some criminal activity will also result in you losing your firearm privileges. Federal and Minnesota law dictate the criminal activity that will cause you to lose your firearm privileges. Minnesota law prohibits firearm possession by a person who:

  • has been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
  • has been convicted of a crime of violence;
  • is a fugitive from justice; or
  • has been convicted of the gross misdemeanor offense of assault motivated by bias, false imprisonment, neglect or endangerment of a child, burglary in the fourth degree, setting a spring gun, riot, or stalking.

Federal law, to a large extent, mirrors Minnesota law. However, federal law goes further in one major regard. Federal law prohibits firearm possession by a person who has been convicted of domestic assault, even if the domestic assault is only misdemeanor-level.

The length of firearm prohibition depends on the type of criminal activity at issue. For many offenses, an individual's firearm privileges are restored once an individual completes his or her sentence. However, a person who has been convicted of a crime of violence is not allowed to possess a firearm for the person's lifetime unless and until the person successfully petitions a court to restore the person's firearm privileges.

Unfortunately, many people do not know that certain convictions will result in a loss of firearm privileges until after the person is convicted. People particularly think that only felony convictions result in firearm prohibition. This is simply not true. If you have been arrested for or charged with a crime, your best bet is to contact a criminal defense attorney right away. A criminal defense attorney can assess your situation and provide you sound advice, not only for the crime charged but also for the collateral consequences that flow from a conviction. You do not want to handle a criminal case alone.

Grant Borgen of Bird, Jacobsen & Stevens, P.C. handles criminal cases and is always available for a free consultation.

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