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S.F. No. 434 - Firearm Transfer Background Checks
Author: Senator Ron Latz
Prepared By: Kenneth P. Backhus, Senate Counsel (651/296-4396)
Date: January 16, 2020


Sections 1 and 2 amend the transferee permit and transfer report laws to expand them from applying only to pistol and semiautomatic military-style assault weapon (SAMSAW) transfers to applying to a transfer of any firearm. The direct effect of this is to require a person seeking to purchase any firearm from a federally licensed dealer to obtain a transferee permit or file a transfer report (or use a permit to carry). Currently, this is required only for pistol or SAMSAW purchases and so currently a person buying a non-pistol/SAMSAW firearm (such as a shotgun or non-semiautomatic rifle) from a dealer must undergo a federal NICS background check but need not comply with any other state-related requirement. Also, requires local police to do monthly follow up electronic background checks on transferee permit holders and authorizes additional electronic background checks beyond this (section 1).

Section 3 requires a private party (i.e., nonfederal dealer) who transfers a firearm (any type) to another private party to require the transferee to produce a valid transferee permit or permit to carry and proper identification. Requires the parties to complete a specified record of transfer, which they must retain for five years and produce upon request of a peace officer pursuant to a criminal investigation. Failure to comply with the section is a gross misdemeanor. Lists exceptions to the section’s requirements.  Current law imposes no record keeping, background check, or other requirements for transfers of firearms between private parties.

Section 4 amends the permit to carry law to require sheriffs to do monthly electronic background checks on permit holders. Current law requires this annually.

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