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S.F. No. 568 - Modifying the Judicial Processes for Restoring Firearms Eligibility and for Challenging the Denial of a Permit to Carry
 
Author: Senator Richard Cohen
 
Prepared By: Kenneth P. Backhus, Senate Counsel (651/296-4396)
 
Date: February 20, 2013



 

Section 1 amends the criminal code's provision authorizing a person who is ineligible to possess a firearm based on having committed a crime of violence to have that ability restored. Under current law, a judge may grant the relief sought if the person shows good cause to do so, and the person has been released from physical confinement for the offense. This section requires that the petitioner establish by clear and convincing evidence that the petitioner is not likely to act in a manner that is dangerous to public safety, and that the granting of relief is not contrary to the public interest. Requires a five-year waiting period before a petition may be brought, as calculated from the date of the sentence’s discharge. Requires that the petitioner serve a copy of the petition on the prosecutorial office that had jurisdiction over the crime of violence, and the corrections agent responsible for supervising the person in the community before the sentence's discharge.

Section 2 amends the provision of law authorizing a person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to commitment for being mentally ill, developmentally disabled, mentally ill and dangerous, or chemically dependent to have that ability restored. Provides that a judge may grant the relief sought if the petitioner establishes eligibility by clear and convincing evidence. Requires the petitioner to serve a copy of the petition on the prosecutorial office responsible for the commitment.

Section 3 amends the permit to carry law to allow sheriffs to deny the issuance of a permit to carry based on there being a likelihood that the applicant is a danger to self or the public. Current laws requires there be a substantial likelihood.

Section 4 amends the permit to carry law’s provision authorizing a sheriff to file a petition in court to revoke an existing permit to carry. Strikes language requiring the court to award reasonable costs and attorney fees against the sheriff if the court denies the petition.

Section 5 amends the permit to carry law’s provision relating to appeals of a denial of a permit to carry. (This provision is also applicable to judicial determinations on a sheriff's revocation petition.) Under current law, a court must direct that a permit be issued unless the sheriff establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the applicant is disqualified under the permit to carry criteria, or that there exists a substantial likelihood that the applicant is a danger to self or the public if issued a permit to carry. Lowers the standard of proof to a preponderance of evidence and strikes the requirement that the likelihood of a danger to self or the public be substantial. Also, strikes both the prohibition in current law on incidents of alleged criminal misconduct that are not investigated and documented being considered, and the requirement that the court award the applicant reasonable costs and expenses if the applicant is successful on the appeal.

KPB/tg

 
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