If the abuser's gun(s) is taken away, what will happen to it?
If the judge orders that the abuser’s firearms be removed in your final order for protection for the reasons explained in I am a victim of domestic violence and the abuser has a gun. Is that legal?, there are two ways that the firearms can be taken away. First, if the judge believes that there is evidence that the abuser poses an immediate risk of causing you or another person substantial bodily harm, the judge must order the local law enforcement agency take immediate possession of all firearms in the abuser’s possession.1 If the judge does not believe there is an immediate risk, the abuser will have three business days to transfer the firearms to a federally licensed firearms dealer, a law enforcement agency, or a third party who may lawfully receive them (as long as the third party does not live with the abuser).2 The third party may be held criminally and civilly responsible if the abuser is able to access the firearm while it is in the custody of the third party. Then, the abuser must file proof of the transfer with the court within two business days of the transfer.3
If the abuser’s guns are taken away after the abuser is arrested for a crime, the judge may order as a condition of his/her release that the abuser surrender all firearms to the local police department or other law enforcement agency. The agency will inventory the gun(s) and will store them until such time that the abuser can get them back under the law. For example, if the abuser is acquitted, charges are dismissed, or if no charges are filed, the firearms will be returned. If the abuser is convicted of a crime, whether or not the firearms will ever be returned will depend on the crime.4
1 MN Statutes § 518B.01(6)(i)
2 MN Statutes § 518B.01(6)(g)
3 MN Statutes § 518B.01(6)(h)
4 MN Statutes § 629.715(2)