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S.F. No. 458 - Omnibus Gun Bill, First Engrossment
 
Author: Senator Ron Latz
 
Prepared By: Kenneth P. Backhus, Senate Counsel (651/296-4396)
 
Date: April 2, 2013



 

Sections 1, 2, 6, 8, and 10 amend various provisions in law prohibiting certain persons from possessing firearms or providing penalties for certain persons who possess firearms to include references to ammunition. Defines ammunition. (Similar changes are made in other sections of the bill as well.)

Section 3 amends the criminal code's provision authorizing a person who is ineligible to possess a firearm based on having committed a crime of violence to have that eligibility restored.

Under current law, a judge may grant the relief sought if the person shows good cause to do so and has been released from physical confinement for the offense. This section requires that the petitioner establish by clear and convincing evidence that the petitioner is not likely to act in a manner that is dangerous to public safety, and that the granting of relief is not contrary to the public interest. Authorizes a person to bring a petition anytime after the person’s sentence for the underlying crime of violence has expired. Requires the petitioner to notify the prosecutorial office that had jurisdiction over the underlying crime of violence and the corrections department that supervised the petitioner of the petition. Requires that the petition be filed in the county in which the petitioner was convicted of the underlying crime. Provides that the petitioner may be required to disclose relevant information, and agree to release mental health information to facilitate the court’s decision. Requires that specified information regarding the petition be reported.

Also adds references to ammunition (see sections 1, 2, 6, 8, and 10).

Section 4 amends the criminal code's falsely reporting a crime provision to make it a gross misdemeanor to inform a law enforcement officer that a firearm has been lost or stolen knowing that the report is false. Makes it a felony if the violation is a repeat violation or it occurs while knowing or having reason to know that the firearm has been transferred to someone who intends use it in furtherance of a felony crime of violence.

Section 5 amends the definition of "crime of violence" in the firearms chapter of law (M.S., chapter 624) by adding repeat violations of the law prohibiting juveniles from possessing pistols or semiautomatic military-style assault weapons (i.e., SAMSAWs). It is a 15 year felony for a person who has been convicted or adjudicated delinquent for a crime of violence to possess a firearm. In addition, such a person is ineligible to possess a firearm for the remainder of the person’s life (unless eligibility has been restored by court order).

Also adds references to ammunition (see sections 1, 2, 6, 8, and 10).

Section 7 amends the provision of the firearms law specifying persons who are ineligible to possess firearms. Expands ineligibility of persons who are mentally ill, developmentally disabled, or mentally ill and dangerous to the public, by striking the requirement that the determination be a judicial one.  Also changes the provision to include involuntary confinement (not just commitment) of these individuals. Expands ineligibility of persons who habitually use controlled substances or marijuana by striking the requirement that this be based on a judicial determination. Also changes the provision to include involuntary hospitalization (not just commitment). Expands the ineligibility of persons who are chemically dependent by striking the requirement that there be a judicial determination. Also changes the provision to include involuntary confinement (not just commitment). Strikes the definition of "judicial determination". This term is no longer used in the section due to the changes discussed earlier. Clarifies that the ineligibility provision relating to mentally ill, developmentally disabled, and mentally ill and dangerous commitments applies also to situations in which the commitment order was stayed.

Provides for a 3-year period of ineligibility to possess a firearm for persons convicted of gross misdemeanor violations of section 4 (lost or stolen firearms; false reporting) or section 31 (transfer of pistol or SAMSAW to ineligible person). Provides that persons who are ineligible to possess a firearm under federal law because they are subject to a domestic abuse order for protection or have misdemeanor domestic assault convictions are ineligible to possess a firearm under Minnesota law. Also adds references to ammunition (see sections 1, 2, 6, 8, and 10).

Section 9 amends the penalty provision applicable to section 624.713 (certain persons not to possess firearms) to provide that a person is criminally liable for a violation of the provision committed by another if the person intentionally aids,  advises, hires, counsels, or conspires with or otherwise procures the other person to commit the crime.

Also adds references to ammunition (see sections 1, 2, 6, 8, and 10).

Section 11 amends the provision of law authorizing a person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to being mentally ill, developmentally disabled, mentally ill and dangerous, or chemically dependent to have that ability restored. Provides that a judge may grant the relief sought if the petitioner establishes eligibility by clear and convincing evidence. Requires the petitioner to serve a copy of the petition on the prosecutorial office responsible for the commitment.

Adds a conforming change related to section 7 and references to ammunition (see sections 1, 2, 6, 8, and 10).

Sections 12 to 16 amend the transferee permit law (i.e., permit to purchase law). Provides that a person is not eligible for a permit if the person is prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a pistol or SAMSAW (see sections 12, 13, and 16). Current law refers only to being prohibited under section 624.713. Requires the proposed transferee to submit an accurate photocopy of the person’s current driver’s license, state identification card, or passport photo page (see section 12). Authorizes the law enforcement agency to require the proposed transferee to appear in-person to present a current driver’s license, state identification card, or passport, if law enforcement is unable to verify the proposed transferee's identity or criminal record (see section 14). In these situations, the law enforcement agency may also fingerprint the proposed transferee. Extends the timeline for granting a permit in these instances to 30 days. Requires a police chief or sheriff to refuse to grant a permit to a person who is a danger to self or others (see sections 12 and 13). Requires that this decision be based on documented past contact with law enforcement. Requires a disqualification notice to describe and document the specific police contact or contacts relied upon to deny the permit. Prohibits a person from reapplying for a permit if less than six months have elapsed since a denial.  Requires a chief or sheriff who denies a permit application based on danger to self or others to provide a copy of the notice of disqualification to other law enforcement entities with joint-jurisdiction over the person’s residence. Authorizes a police chief or sheriff to issue an emergency permit without fully complying with the permit law investigation provision (see section 15).

Sections  17 to 25 amend the transfer report law to make the same changes being made to the transferee permit law in sections 12 to 16 (prohibited by state or federal law--sections 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21; photocopy of driver's license, etc.--section 17; in-person appearance, fingerprinting, extension of timeline--section 19; denial based on danger to self or others--sections 17, 18, 20, 21, and 24).  In addition, makes the timelines specified in the law uniform at seven business days (see section 19).  Prohibits a person from transferring a pistol or SAMSAW unless the transferor or transferee is a federally licensed firearms dealer (see section 22). Provides that if neither party to a prospective transfer is a federally licensed firearms dealer, the parties must complete the transfer through a federally licensed dealer. Specifies the process by which such a transfer must occur. Authorizes a dealer to require a proposed transferee to pay a fee of not more than $25 for assistance. Clarifies the role of auctioneers and specifies the process for transfers of pistols or SAMSAWs taking place at an auction. Provides that a permit or report is not required for a transfer to a relative who is not otherwise ineligible to possess a firearm under state or federal law (see section 23). Provides that a permit or report is not required for loans of up to 72 hours between persons lawfully engaged in hunting or target shooting as long as the loanee is not ineligible to possess a firearm (see section 23). Under current law, these loans are capped at 24 hours and there is no ineligibility language. Makes it a felony for a person to transfer a pistol or SAMSAW to another in violation of the transfer report law, if the person knows or has reason to know that the transferee is prohibited under law from possessing a firearm and the transferee uses the weapon within one year after the transfer in furtherance of a felony crime of violence (see section 25). Also makes a repeat violation of the basic transfer report law a felony (see section 25).

Section 26 amends the permit to carry law to allow sheriffs to deny the issuance of a permit based on there being a likelihood that the applicant is a danger to self or the public. Current laws require there be a substantial likelihood.

Section 27 amends the permit to carry law’s provision authorizing a sheriff to file a petition in court to revoke an existing permit to carry. Strikes language requiring the court to award reasonable costs, expenses, and attorney fees against the sheriff if the court denies the petition.

Section 28 amends the permit to carry law’s provision relating to appeals of a denial of a permit to carry. (This provision is also applicable to judicial determinations on a sheriff's revocation petition.) Under current law, a court must direct that a permit be issued unless the sheriff establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the applicant is disqualified under the permit to carry criteria, or that there exists a substantial likelihood that the applicant is a danger to self or the public if issued a permit to carry. Lowers the standard of proof to a preponderance of evidence and strikes the requirement that the likelihood of danger to self or the public be substantial. Allows incidents of alleged criminal misconduct that are documented to be considered when determining whether there is a likelihood of a danger to self or others (current law requires that the incidents also be investigated). Strikes the requirement that the court award the applicant reasonable costs, expenses, and attorney fees if the applicant is successful on the appeal.

Section 29 amends the permit to carry law’s provision addressing recognition of permits from other states. Strikes language requiring that a court award a permit holder reasonable costs,  expenses, and attorney fees if the court denies a sheriff’s petition to revoke an out-of-state permit holder’s authority to carry a pistol in Minnesota.

Section 30 amends the permit to carry law’s provision regarding the use of permit fees collected by sheriffs. Strikes language allowing sheriffs to use these fees to pay costs, expenses, and attorney fees of successful challenges or the sheriff’s denial of a permit. This language is no longer necessary due to the changes in sections 27, 28, and 29.

Section 31 amends the gross misdemeanor transfer of a pistol or SAMSAW to an ineligible person crime to include violations where the offender has reason to know that the transferee is ineligible to possess a firearm.  Also, expands the crime to include transfers to persons prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a firearm (not just prohibited under section 624.713).

Section 32 amends the felony transfer of a pistol or a SAMSAW to an ineligible person crime to include violations where the transferor knows or has reason to know that the transferee intends to use the weapon in furtherance of a felony crime of violence.

Section 33 is a conforming change necessitated by section 32.

Section 34 repeals two sections of law superseded by this bill.

 

KPB/tg


 

 
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