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Archive for the ‘Firearms’ Category

Gun bill passed by MN Senate

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

The Minnesota Senate passed a bill last week to revise the current version of Minnesota’s gun laws. This bill makes relatively minor changes to Minnesota’s gun laws in comparison to the much more controversial bill proposed earlier this year that included restrictions on certain firearms and magazine capacities.

The bill allows officials to gain access to more information on applicants by updating national and state records as it relates to mental illness and minor criminal convictions. The revised bill does not expand background checks, place greater restrictions on magazine capacities, or expand the scope of crimes that prohibit individuals from purchasing firearms.

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Coley Grostyan is a Minneapolis firearm attorney who regularly represents and advises individuals on federal and state gun laws in the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs, and throughout the State of Minnesota.

Law Office of Coley J. Grostyan, PLLC
701 Fourth Avenue South, Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55415
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MN Supreme Court: Knowledge of possession required for firearm possession convictions

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Today, in State v. Ndikum, the Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals holding that knowledge of possession of a pistol is an element of the crime of possession of a pistol in public.

Mr. Ndikum, an attorney in Minneapolis, was originally charged with felony possession of a dangerous weapon within a courthouse complex and gross misdemeanor possession of a pistol in public after a revolver was found in his briefcase as he attempted to enter the Hennepin County Family Justice Center in 2009. Although he admitted the revolver was his, from the onset, Mr. Ndikum claimed he did not know the firearm was in his briefcase as he was on his way to a hearing at the courthouse.

At trial, Ndikum’s wife testified that she placed the firearm in the briefcase before he left for work. Mr. Ndikum, consistent with his previous assertions, testified that he did not know the firearm was in his briefcase. Based on this testimony, Mr. Ndikum asked the district to instruct the jury that knowledge is an element of both the felony and gross misdemeanor charges he was facing. However, the trial judge only agreed to give such a jury instruction on the felony, but not the gross misdemeanor charge as the statute has no express knowledge requirement. The jury acquitted Ndikum on the felony and convicted him on the gross misdemeanor.

On his appeal to the Court of Appeals, Ndikum argued that the trial court made a mistake by not instructing the jury that knowledge is an element of possession of a pistol in public. The Court of Appeals agreed and reversed the conviction. The State appealed that reversal, but the Minnesota Supreme Court agreed that knowledge is an element of possession of a pistol in public. The Supreme Court reasoned that silence as to some mens rea (i.e. that a defendant know the facts that make his conduct illegal), is typically disfavored and not sufficient to avoid such a requirement.

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Coley Grostyan is a Minneapolis, MN gun crime lawyer who represents individuals accused of gun crimes in the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs, and throughout the State of Minnesota.

Law Office of Coley J. Grostyan, PLLC
701 Fourth Avenue South, Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55415
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Governor Vetoes Defense of Dwelling and Person Act

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Citing law enforcement’s opposition to the bill, Governor Dayton vetoed the Minnesota Defense of Dwelling and Person Act of 2011 today.

I have been following this bill closely as it made its way through the Minnesota legislature as it would have substantially changed the advice I give to my clients who own and carry firearms. As I previously posted, the bill would have done away with the common law duty of reasonable retreat when self-defense is exacted outside of the home. With Governor Dayton’s veto, the law will remain as only authorizing the use of deadly force when necessary to resist a crime when there is an objective, good faith belief in the threat of great bodily harm or death, or to prevent the commission of a felony in your own home.

Coley Grostyan is a Minneapolis, MN criminal defense attorney who represents individuals accused of gun crimes in the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs, and throughout the State of Minnesota.

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Law Office of Coley J. Grostyan, PLLC
701 Fourth Avenue South, Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55415
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Minnesota Defense of Dwelling and Person Act Passes House

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

As expected, the Minnesota House passed the Minnesota Defense of Dwelling and Person Act of 2011 on Wednesday. The bill passed by a vote of 85-47. The bill has been sent to Governor Mark Dayton for signature. After meeting with the bill’s sponsor and hearing opposition from law enforcement, Governor Dayton stated that he wait three days to decide whether to sign or veto the bill.

I previously wrote about the castle doctrine bill and how it would change Minnesotans’ ability to use deadly force to defend themselves here.

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Law Office of Coley J. Grostyan, PLLC
701 Fourth Avenue South, Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55415
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Minnesota bill would allow prosecutors to carry firearms

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

In a reaction to the shooting of Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell, a Minnesota legislator has authored HF1829, a bill that will allow County Attorneys and Assistant County Attorneys who possess a valid permit to carry a firearm to carry firearms while on duty. Currently, with the exception of licensed peace officers, Minnesota law prohibits state workers from being armed on the job.

Another bill submitted would increase penalties for individuals who attack or kill state and federal prosecutors. Current Minnesota already has increased penalties for assaulting or killing law enforcement and correctional officers.

Both bills are expected to have sufficient support to pass into law.
http://www.kare11.com/news/article/958809/14/Prosecutor-shot-at-MN-courthouse-supports-guns-bill
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Law Office of Coley J. Grostyan, PLLC
701 Fourth Avenue South, Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55415
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