New Gun Law Takes Effect January 1 In Minnesota – Here’s What To Know
Minnesota passed several new gun laws in 2023. Many of those laws have already been in place, while a new law begins on January 1st, 2024.
The laws were passed by a Democrat-controlled legislature in Minnesota earlier this year. In May, Governor Tim Walz signed the laws in to effect as part of the public safety package.
Here are the laws passed in 2023 that are already in effect:
People must undergo a background check when buying or receiving pistols or semi-automatic military-style assault weapons. That's the direct wording from the Department of Public Safety.
Before this year, a background check was not required for private party transfers.
Background checks can be conducted in one of two ways:
- The person receiving the firearm in the transaction can contact the local police department or Sheriff's office to assist with the background check.
- Both parties can transfer the firearm jointly before a federally licensed firearms dealer who conducts a background check on the transferee.
Private parties who transfer a pistol or semi-automatic military-style assault weapon without a firearms dealer's assistance must maintain a record for 10 years of the parties' identification, transferee's permit, and description of the weapon with the manufacturer's serial number.
The exceptions to this law for family members.
Immediate family members are excluded from the law. That means spouses, domestic partners, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren.
New "Red Flag Law" goes into effect on January 1, 2024.
A red flag law allows the court to issue extreme risk protection orders (ERPO) that prohibit the subject of the order from possessing or purchasing firearms while the order is in effect.
Essentially the court can take away a person's firearms and prevent them from purchasing firearms during the restriction.
Who can ask for an ERPO?
According to Gunowners.mn, an ERPO petition can be made by the following:
- Chief Law Enforcement officer or their designee
- A City or County Attorney
- Any Family household members of the respondent, including spouses and former spouses, parents and children, guardians, people living with the respondent, any romantic partners
- Mental Health professionals who determine that a client may harm themself by suicide must communicate this to the sheriff of the county where they live, and they must make a recommendation to the sheriff regarding the client's fitness to possess firearms.
Can you revoke the order?
A respondent of the ERPO can submit one written request for a hearing to terminate the order. The court will have a hearing within 2 weeks of the request. The respondents then need to provide clear and convincing evidence that they do not pose a significant danger to themselves or others by having a firearm.
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Gallery Credit: Katelyn Leboff