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Unlawful possession of a firearm in Minnesota is a very serious offense. 

If you’re accused of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, you could face a lengthy prison sentence and a substantial fine.

To protect your freedom and your future, contact a Minnesota criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible. The experienced attorneys of Arechigo & Stokka have decades of experience.

We provide direct and personal representation. We understand how deeply a criminal conviction can affect your life and that of your loved ones.

We put the full extent of our knowledge and resources to work for you, and fight to get you the best possible outcome in your case.

Prohibited Person Possessing a Firearm, Minnesota Law

Under Sec. 624.712 of MN Statutes, transfer refers to the sale, gift, loan, assignment, or any other delivery form of a firearm to another person.

It applies to pistols, semi-automatic military-style assault weapons, or the frame or receiver of either gun.

Who Is a Prohibited Person Under Minnesota Law?

Sec. 624.713 of MN Statutes makes specific individuals ineligible to possess a firearm in Minnesota.

The statute is lengthy and complex, but, in short, it makes you ineligible to possess a firearm if any of the following applies:

  • You are a convicted felon,
  • You have certain pending criminal charges,
  • You are under the age of 18 (there are exceptions with specific qualifications),
  • You are an undocumented immigrant,
  • You were dishonorably discharged from the military, or
  • You have been declared mentally ill by a court of law.

The above list is not exhaustive, and additional circumstances might make you ineligible to possess a firearm.

To learn more, you can contact the criminal defense lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka. We’ll be happy to answer your questions. 

Sec. 609.11 MN Statutes

If you are a felon in possession of a firearm, the mandatory minimum in MN for a conviction will depend on the crime and your prior criminal record. 

Under 609.11, subd. 5(a), if a defendant or accomplice of a violent crime, at the time of the offense, had in their possession or used a firearm, the person will face a mandatory minimum prison sentence of three years. 

Any defendant convicted of a second or subsequent offense in which the defendant or an accomplice, at the time of the crime, had in their possession or used a firearm will face a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years. 

609.11, subd. 5(b) requires the judge to sentence an offender convicted of possessing firearms or ammunition when legally ineligible to do so to a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years.


State or Federal laws may prohibit you from possessing a firearm. Federal law prohibits convicted felons from ever owning a firearm again.

According to the MN gun laws for felons, however, you don’t even have to be a convicted felon to be prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Perhaps the most common misdemeanor crime that can prevent you from possessing a firearm in Minnesota is domestic assault. 

Other circumstances, such as being convicted of the gross misdemeanor offenses of committing a crime for the benefit of a gang, assault motivated by bias, false imprisonment, child endangerment, child neglect, fourth-degree burglary, setting a spring gun, riot, or stalking, can also prohibit you from possessing a firearm in Lakeville.


Being a felon in possession of a firearm in Minnesota can trigger a lengthy prison sentence.

In most cases, the law presumes conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm mandates a minimum five-year prison sentence and could carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

In addition to the potential of a lengthy prison sentence, you face potential fines up to $30,000.

You could also face lengthy, supervised probation along with fines, fees, and other penalties that the court may assess. 


If you have lost your civil rights to own or possess firearms, you are considered to be an “ineligible person” or “prohibited person” in legal terms.

An ineligible person cannot legally possess a firearm in Minnesota. The only exception is if the court grants your petition to have your gun rights restored.

The question at hand is, Can a felon own a gun in Minnesota? And it refers specifically to gun ownership. However, the prohibition discussed above refers to firearms possession.

If you lose your civil rights to possess a firearm, you cannot purchase a gun in Minnesota. If you already own firearms, however, you should speak to an attorney about how to avoid breaking felony possession laws.

If other members of your household own weapons, you must take great care to avoid breaking possession laws.

The question of actual possession versus constructive possession involves complex areas of the law.

Talking to a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can help you avoid having another criminal conviction on your record.  

Another common question we hear is, Can an ex-felon own a gun in Minnesota? Unfortunately, Minnesota’s expungement laws do not allow for expungement of very many felony offenses.

And, an expungement would not restore a person’s ability to lawfully possess a firearm. Once convicted of a felony,  you technically remain a felon for life—even after you’ve served your time and paid your fines. 

If you face charges for unlawful possession of a firearm, contact an attorney immediately to explore options for your defense.

A criminal defense lawyer can also advise you about the potential of getting your rights restored.


Our Lakeville Minnesota criminal defense lawyers can help you fight a charge of prohibited person in possession of a firearm or felon in possession of a firearm.

Our defense attorneys have successfully helped clients avoid the five-year mandatory prison sentences.

If you are charged with being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, contact us today at 651-401-7926 to schedule a free consultation.

Author Photo John T. Arechigo, Esq.

Attorney John Arechigo has a passion for criminal defense in St. Paul, MN. John received his J.D., from Hamline University School of Law and also carries a Bachelor of Arts from, The University of Minnesota. John was named Attorney of the Year for 2019 by Minnesota Lawyer. Additionally, John was also named as a 2019 Rising Star and was selected to Minnesota Super Lawyers in 2021. He devotes nearly 100% of his practice to defending individuals charged with a crime.

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