Minnesota appeals court rules domestic assault convict allowed to get gun permit

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has sided with a Coon Rapids man who sued to get a transferee gun permit after his application was rejected by police due to prior domestic assault convictions. 

Jeremy Kilde's permit was rejected by Coon Rapids Police Chief Brad Wise due to two prior domestic assault convictions for incidents in 2012 and 2013, citing federal law. Kilde's attorney argued this was improper because the law didn't cover the crimes Kilde was convicted of. That's because the first arrest was for an assault involving Kilde's brother and the second was a conviction for domestic assault under a "fear" statute – not harm. Both of which, Kilde's attorney argued, aren't covered under federal law.

However, the police chief countered that because Kilde had been convicted twice in three years for domestic assault, he was barred for life from owning a firearm.

In the district court, the judge agreed with Kilde, in part, saying the federal restrictions weren't applicable. However, the judge decided that Minnesota law made him ineligible to own a pistol but not other firearms.

In Monday's ruling, the Court of Appeals said that the determination was also incorrect. Justices ruled that Minnesota law only restricts an individual from owning a firearm for three years after a domestic assault conviction.

Since Kilde was past that timeframe, the court ruled he is legally allowed to get a gun permit and ordered the Coon Rapids chief to issue the permit.