I do not have an order for protection against the abuser, and s/he has not been convicted of any crimes. Can s/he have a gun?
Minnesota state law makes it illegal to own a gun in many other situations aside from being the respondent in an order for protection case or being convicted of a crime. It could be illegal if the abuser:
- is a user of unlawful drugs;
- is a fugitive from justice;
- is an undocumented immigrant or was a U.S. citizen and gave up (renounced) his/her citizenship;
- has been dishonorably discharged from the military;
- was deemed mentally ill by a judge and committed to a treatment facility or was found incompetent to stand trial or not guilty by reason of mental illness;
- was committed by a judge for drug treatment; or
- is a peace officer who has been informally admitted to drug treatment, unless the head of the treatment facility provides a certificate that the officer is discharged.1
Note: A person’s right to possess a firearm could eventually be given back, or “restored,” by a judge if s/he falls into categories 5 through 7 listed above.2
If the abuser falls into any of the above categories, you may want to talk to a domestic violence advocate or attorney in your area about how this law is being enforced.
If none of these situations apply, you can still make a plan for your safety. See our Safety Tips page for more information. You can also contact your local domestic violence organization for additional help. You may want to talk to them about whether leaving the area - either long term or for a little while - might help improve your safety. To find a shelter or an advocate at a local program, please visit our MN Advocates and Shelters page.
For additional information on gun laws in Minnesota, you can go to the Giffords Law Center website.
Also, federal laws, which apply to all states, restrict an abuser’s right to have a gun under other circumstances. Go to Federal Gun Laws to get more information.
1 MN Statutes § 624.713(1)
2 MN Statutes § 624.713(1), (4)