​“Minnesota’s Historic Gun Safety Measures.”

Earlier this year, Governor Tim Walz signed into law what is being called “Minnesota’s Historic Gun Safety Measures.” Beginning August 1, 2023, there are several changes to Laws pertaining to firearm purchasing and ownership. Regardless of personal feelings towards these new legislations, for the time being, these are the regulations that we must follow. Below is a brief overview of each of the new legislations.

1. Universal Background Checks: The days of private party sales with a bill of sale are long over. As of August 1st, 2023, if you wish to sell a pistol or semi-automatic firearm private party, you are now required to bring the item to a participating FFL or police department to complete the transfer. The exception to the universal background check is if you are transferring a hunting rifle. Additionally, you are allowed to transfer items to immediate family members. With these exceptions, both parties of the transfer are required to retain a bill of sale/proof of ownership transfer for 10 years. According to Merriam-Webster, immediate family is defined as “a person’s parents, brothers, sisters, husband/wife, and children.”

Make sure that you contact either your FFL or police department to ensure that they are accepting private party transfers. The buyer will be required to provide all applicable permits.

**The new laws prevent owners from lending someone a firearm, which means friends and family can’t hand over their rifles or shotguns to someone for a weekend hunting trip. Loaning a gun to a friend while on a hunting trip together is still legal and requires no legal transfer, but the owner must be with the person who has possession of their firearm.**

2. Red Flag: Out of the new legislation that was put in place, Red Flag laws are one that go against so many fibers of my being. Red Flag laws allow for family members, guardians, city or county attorneys, or police chiefs to intervene when they perceive someone to being “at high risk” of hurting themselves or others. My issue with this is that they come in, take your firearms, and then you are now required to prove that you are not a danger. What happened to being innocent until proven guilty. With this legislation, you are now guilty until you can prove you are innocent. While the Red Flag law was included with the Universal Background Check legislation, it will not go into effect until January 1, 2024.