In some instances, the length of time that you are prohibited from possessing a firearm is left to the discretion of the court. A common instance is when you are convicted of a felony (other than a “crime of violence”). In this circumstance, you are prohibited from possession a firearm until you fulfill the terms of your sentence, are discharged, and your civil rights are restored. In addition, any person subject to a No Contact Order or Order For Protection cannot possess a firearm while the order is in place.
Another instance is when two facts are present: (1) you are convicted of assaulting a “family or household member”; AND (2) the court finds that a firearm was used “in any way” during the commission of the assault. “Assault” and “family or household member” are specifically defined under Minnesota law (referenced below). The second factor is very broad. The court has the discretion to determine a firearm was used during the offense, which in some cases could mean mere presence.
Under Minnesota Statute Section 609.02, subd. 10, an “Assault” is:
(1) an act done with intent to cause fear in another of immediate bodily harm or death; or
(2) the intentional infliction of or attempt to inflict bodily harm upon another.
The statutory definitions of “Family or household members” are:
(1) spouses and former spouses;
(2) parents and children;
(3) persons related by blood;
(4) persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past;
(5) persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time;
(6) a man and woman if the woman is pregnant and the man is alleged to be the father, regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time; and
(7) persons involved in a significant romantic or sexual relationship.