Minnesota has relatively strong laws to disarm hate, except state law allows people convicted of violently injuring a victim in a hate crime assault to regain firearm access after just three years.
Access to Guns for People Convicted of Hate Crimes in Minnesota
|Violence with Severe Bodily Injury||Violence with Bodily Injury||Other Crimes Involving Intentional Use of Force||Threats with Deadly Weapons|
Other Credible Threats to Physical Safety
|Federal Law||Very limited or no access||Significant access||Significant access||Very limited or no access|
Very limited or no access
|State Law||Very limited or no access||Some access||Some access||Very limited or no access|
Very limited or no access
Minnesota’s hate crime laws makes it a “gross misdemeanor,” punishable by up to one year in prison, to commit an assault involving intentional infliction or attempted infliction of bodily harm on another person, or involving other acts intended to cause a victim to fear immediate bodily harm or death, based on the victim’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, or national origin.1 (Ethnicity, gender, and gender identity are not included as protected categories). Minnesota also authorizes enhanced prison sentences for certain felony assaults,2 and reclassifies misdemeanor harassment offenses as felonies, when these crimes are committed as hate crimes.3
Minnesota is one of the few states that expressly prohibits people from accessing firearms based on a hate crime conviction: under state law, people convicted of hate-motivated misdemeanor assaults are generally prohibited from accessing firearms for three years after conviction.4 People are also prohibited from accessing firearms if they are convicted of felony “crime[s] of violence,”5 or any other crime punishable by more than one year in prison.6
Minnesota designates most violent hate crime offenses as felonies punishable by well over one year in prison, including stalking,7 criminal threats of violence and harassment,8 and assaults involving serious bodily injury.9 As a result, most violent hate crime convictions in Minnesota trigger state and federal firearm restrictions.
However, people convicted of violent hate crime assault are not subject to federal firearm prohibitions; under state law, such individuals also generally regain access to firearms, including assault weapons, just three years after conviction.
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- Minn. Stat. § 609.2231 subd. 4.
- Minn. Stat. § 609.2233.
- See Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 3(a)(1).
- Minn. Stat. § § 624.713, subd. 1(11); 609.2231, subd. 4(a). Minnesota’s firearm laws apply a three-year firearm prohibition to people convicted of assault motivated by bias “at the gross misdemeanor level”; state law defines as a gross misdemeanor any offense that is punishable by a term that is more than 90 days but does not exceed one year. Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 2 – 4. If a person commits a bias-motivated assault within five years of a previous conviction for that crime, the second offense is a firearm-prohibiting felony punishable by more than one year in prison. Minn. Stat. § 609.2231, subd. 4(b).
- Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1(2).
- Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1(10)(i).
- Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 5.
- Minn. Stat. § 609.713; Minn. Stat. § 609.749, subd. 2(c) and 3(a)(1).
- Minn. Stat. § 609.223, subd. 1.