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S.F. No. 557 - Firearms Permits; Mental Health Screening
 
Author: Senator Richard Cohen
 
Prepared By: Kenneth P. Backhus, Senate Counsel (651/296-4396)
 
Date: February 20, 2013



 

Section 1 amends the transferee permit law to provide that if a police chief or sheriff believes an applicant’s past police contacts indicate dangerousness or violent behavior, or a mental health or chemical dependency problem, the chief or sheriff may require the person to produce a statement of fitness from the person’s primary care physician or state-certified mental health professional. The chief or sheriff must take the statement into consideration when making a decision but it is not considered conclusive on the matter.

Section 2 amends the transferee permit law to allow a police chief or sheriff to deny an application consistent with section 1.

Section 3 amends the transfer report law to make the same changes as are being made to the transferee permit law in section 1.

Section 4 amends the transfer report law to provide that police chiefs and sheriffs must notify parties when the decision-maker blocks a firearm transfer consistent with section 3.

Section 5 amends the transfer report law to allow a police chief or sheriff to deny a firearm transfer application consistent with section 3.

Section 6 amends the transfer report law to clarify that a person aggrieved by a denial of a transferee permit may appeal to the district court. Removes limitations on what a reviewing court may consider when an appeal is filed.

Section 7 amends the permit to carry law by striking a sheriff’s authority to grant permits to nonresidents. Replaces the list of specific crimes that justify the denial of a permit with a reference to being prohibited from possessing a firearm under any state or federal law.

Section 8 amends the permit to carry law to lower the standard by which a sheriff may deny an application for a permit. Strikes the word “substantial” from the requirement that a person must have a likelihood to be a danger to self or the public before a sheriff can deny an application. Authorizes a sheriff to require a person who applies for a permit to produce a statement of fitness from the applicant’s primary care physician or state-certified mental health professional, if the sheriff believes the applicant’s past police contacts indicate dangerousness or violent behavior, or a mental health or chemical dependency problem.

Section 9 amends the permit to carry law to lower the standard that a sheriff must satisfy to prevail on an appeal of the sheriff’s denial on the grounds that the applicant is a danger to self or the public. Authorizes the sheriff to rely on past incidents that were documented, but not investigated in denying a permit to carry.

Section 10 amends the permit to carry law to clarify that a person with reciprocal authority to carry a firearm in Minnesota forfeits that right if the person becomes ineligible to possess a firearm under any state or federal law.

Section 11 provides the bill's effective date.

 

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