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  • Andrew Wipper

Will I Ever Be Able to Hunt Again?

In my experience, I have found that many questions during a criminal case go un-answered, and many of them go unasked or unmentioned in the first place. Many questions usually remain after a plea of guilt and subsequently when the court issues the Order for your guilt in criminal court. One very important question, especially here in central Minnesota, is, what about my gun rights?

Now, ideally you would have asked or been told by someone what your plea of guilt would do to your gun rights. However, if you weren't represented by an attorney, the prosecution rarely just volunteers the information that if you accept this agreement as written, you will not be able to possess, receive, purchase, or ship, firearms or ammunition.

Under current Minnesota criminal law, if a crime is one of violence (which happens to include most drug offenses), or a felony, you automatically lose your rights to possess a firearm when you are found guilty or plead guilty. Those rights do not automatically come back to you when your sentence has been completed, like your right to vote does. You have to Petition the court to gain those rights back. But HOW? That's usually the next question.

The process is relatively simple in the grand scheme of the court system. Figuring out the how and when is the real question. To start, you need to Petition the court and give reasons why "good cause" exists as to why your gun rights should be restored. You also need to serve the prosecutorial agency that handled your original case with the Petition and they can choose whether to not take a position on what you are asking, or oppose it. If you and your lawyer have done their jobs correctly and supplied the proper information and filed this case at the right time (not too soon), this shouldn't be an issue. But you don't want to get it wrong.

Wipper Law has experience getting good folks, who once upon a time made a bad decision in their life, their gun rights back. The ability to shoot clays, hunt deer, turkey or duck, or just target shoot is important to many people in this area, and what you did way-back-when doesn't have to be a life sentence. Call to discuss with our attorneys today!

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