Can a convicted felon own/possess a BB gun in MN?

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Can a convicted felon own/possess a BB gun in MN?

Postby Xscream on Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:21 am

This debate came up at work today and I have been unable to verify the answer since the laws surrounding the legality are on a state-by-state basis.

Is it legal for a convicted felon to own or possess a BB gun in the state of Minnesota?
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Re: Can a convicted felon own/possess a BB gun in MN?

Postby Squib Joe on Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:53 am

Either way, you're still going to take an eye out with that thing.
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Re: Can a convicted felon own/possess a BB gun in MN?

Postby Tommy Gun on Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:58 am


:rotf: :rotf: :rotf:
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Re: Can a convicted felon own/possess a BB gun in MN?

Postby RobD on Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:01 pm

A gun or firearm is defined by federal law to mean any weapon that is designed to fire a bullet or other projectile by means of an explosive. The federal definition of a firearm does NOT include antique firearms, which is any firearm manufactured in or before 1898. This is codified in 18 USC § 921- Definitions.

Minnesota Appellate Courts have held that a BB gun does fall under the general rule that a felon is ineligible to possess a "firearm." Although the applicable Minnesota "definition of terms" statute does not specifically define "firearm" for purposes of Minnesota's "felon in possession" statute.

State laws defining "firearms" fall into several classes:

1. Track the federal rule, basically a cartridge-loading arm.

2. Or expels projectiles by action of an explosive (nevermind that smokeless powder is hardly an explosive, legislatures don't know that much), or

3. Expels a projectile by means of an expanding gas (which would include BB guns).
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Re: Can a convicted felon own/possess a BB gun in MN?

Postby Pezhead on Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:27 pm

Would this apply to a paint ball gun too?
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Re: Can a convicted felon own/possess a BB gun in MN?

Postby RobD on Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:27 pm

Pezhead wrote:Would this apply to a paint ball gun too?


It would be classified as a "Dangerous Weapon" by statutes ... IANAL, but from my searching, the State really fails to specify what constitutes a "Firearm" that a felon cannot own.
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Re: Can a convicted felon own/possess a BB gun in MN?

Postby Xscream on Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:44 pm

Thanks Rob!

To summarize, the federal law doesn’t classify a bb gun as a firearm, but the MN state law does. The Minnesota “definition of terms” doesn’t identify if the state, federal or some other definition of firearm should be used. Case law in Minnesota suggests that a convicted felon is ineligible to possess or own a BB gun.

Is that correct?
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Re: Can a convicted felon own/possess a BB gun in MN?

Postby Seismic Sam on Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:24 pm

So WHY would a convicted felon want to chance getting his parole revoked by a cop that doesn't know the law by getting a BB gun to begin with?? We all know that the LEO's in this state are relatively uniformed about the MPPA, and have made many wrong judgements. This is a much finer interpretation of the law, and thus subject to much more chance of misintrepretation. So why in hell would you want to go fishing in legal water that murky to begin with?? A BB gun is still callled a GUN!! And yes, you can shoot somebody's eye out with it for real!! That constitues GBI, flat out...
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Re: Can a convicted felon own/possess a BB gun in MN?

Postby hammAR on Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:50 pm

RobD wrote:3. Expels a projectile by means of an expanding gas (which would include BB guns).


Would that then also include squirt guns................ :shock:
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Re: Can a convicted felon own/possess a BB gun in MN?

Postby rtk on Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:55 pm

hammAR wrote:
RobD wrote:3. Expels a projectile by means of an expanding gas (which would include BB guns).


Would that then also include squirt guns................ :shock:



Or White castle?
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Re: Can a convicted felon own/possess a BB gun in MN?

Postby m4andxdisbliss on Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:52 pm

rtk wrote:
hammAR wrote:
RobD wrote:3. Expels a projectile by means of an expanding gas (which would include BB guns).


Would that then also include squirt guns................ :shock:



Or White castle?


You read my mind...
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Re: Can a convicted felon own/possess a BB gun in MN?

Postby RobD on Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:22 pm

Xscream wrote:Thanks Rob!

To summarize, the federal law doesn’t classify a bb gun as a firearm, but the MN state law does. The Minnesota “definition of terms” doesn’t identify if the state, federal or some other definition of firearm should be used. Case law in Minnesota suggests that a convicted felon is ineligible to possess or own a BB gun.

Is that correct?


Yep...

A convicted felon barred from carrying a firearm broke the law when he started toting a BB gun, the Minnesota Court of Appeals has ruled.

John Fleming Jr. couldn't legally carry a gun because of two felony assault convictions, so he packed a BB gun instead.

Ramsey County prosecutors decided Fleming was splitting hairs and charged him with unlawful possession of a firearm.

Fleming won when a Ramsey County District judge threw out the charge, ruling the statute doesn't apply to BB guns. But the appeals court ruled prosecutors could again take aim at the two-time felon.

The appellate court reinstated the charge against Fleming, finding that a firearm is "any gun from which a shot or a projectile is discharged by means of explosive, gas or compressed air."

Fleming is accused of carrying a black metal BB gun that discharges a pellet by means of a CO2 cartridge.


Worth Repeting.........

The appellate court reinstated the charge against Fleming, finding that a firearm is "any gun from which a shot or a projectile is discharged by means of explosive, gas or compressed air."


That's right... no super-soakers gunny.
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Re: Can a convicted felon own/possess a BB gun in MN?

Postby Xscream on Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:56 pm

Thanks Rob!
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Re: Can a convicted felon own/possess a BB gun in MN?

Postby hunter722 on Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:17 pm

Pezhead wrote:Would this apply to a paint ball gun too?

In State v. Coauette, 601 N.W.2d 443, Minn. App. 1999 the suspect fired and hit a 14-year-old girl walking down the street with a paint ball gun causing swelling and scratches. The The Court said that paint ball guns are not firearms because they aren’t designed to be used in a way that causes great bodily harm. The Court’s opinion indicates that one must look at the ‘purpose of the projectile the gun is designed to discharge.'
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Re: Can a convicted felon own/possess a BB gun in MN?

Postby 1911fan on Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:29 am

Under the State law, it would seem an awful lot of Carpenters are in violation of the law, because if you use an airnailer, you're SOL.
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