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S.F. No. 2493 - Firearm Transfers between Private Parties-Background Checks
Author: Senator Ron Latz
Prepared By: Kenneth P. Backhus, Senate Counsel (651/296-4396)
Date: April 26, 2016


Section 1 creates a new crime for persons who violate section 3 (firearm transfers between private parties without a background check). A first-time violation is a gross misdemeanor. A repeat violation is a two year/$5,000 fine felony.

Section 2 amends the report of transfer law to add a reference to section 1 and strike a reference to a crime being repealed in section 4. Also adds an exception to the law for firearm transfers now being governed by section 3.

Section 3 adds a new section of law in the firearms statutes relating to firearm transfers occurring between non firearms dealers (i.e., private parties). Under current law, this type of transfer is not subject to a background check or any other type of specified process.

Subdivision 1 defines key terms, including “federally licensed firearms dealer,” “firearm,” and “transfer.” Of note, the definition of firearm includes long guns as well as handguns and the definition of transfer includes gifts and loans. Note--certain temporary transfers are excluded from the law’s requirements in subdivision 9.

Subdivision 2 requires background checks for all transfers of firearms, except as provided elsewhere in this section.

Subdivision 3 requires non dealers who want to transfer a firearm between themselves to appear before a dealer and have the dealer conduct a background check and facilitate the transfer.

Subdivision 4 requires a dealer who has agreed to facilitate a transfer to process the transfer as if the firearm came from the dealer’s own inventory and comply with all aspects of federal and state law relating to the transfer, including conducting a background check and record keeping.

Subdivision 5 prohibits the transfer if the transferee is firearm-ineligible.

Subdivision 6 addresses the removal of the firearm by the prospective transferor from the dealer’s possession in certain instances.

Subdivision 7 exempts transfers between non dealers from the transfer report law.

Subdivision 8 permits dealers to charge a reasonable fee for their role in the transfer.

Subdivision 9 provides exceptions to the requirements of this section for certain transfers including those involving dealers, law enforcement agencies and public safety officers, and family members, and transfers at death or of curios, relics or antique firearms, and certain specified temporary transfers.

Section 4 repeals two crimes involving firearm transfers to unknown parties and/or without a background check.

Section 5 provides a delayed effective date for the bill of August 1, 2017, for crimes committed on or after that date.

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