Sioux Falls, SD asked in Criminal Law and Constitutional Law for South Dakota

Q: Does a restoration of firearm rights in Minnesota transfer over to South Dakota?

I have a felony conviction in Minnesota from 2010, I completed the terms of my sentence in June of 2011. About two years ago I was granted a restoration of my firearm rights by a judge in Minnesota. I currently live in South Dakota and I was wondering if South Dakota will honor the firearm rights restoration from Minnesota. I would like to take some firearm training classes and the first one is to obtain my enhanced firearm permit and that requires a federal and local background check. I’m just wondering if I can do this with my firearm rights being restored through the court in Minnesota where I got my felony or if I now need to go through the lengthy process of requesting a pardon. I know South Dakota will restore my firearm rights automatically after 15 years from my sentence completion but that’s another two years away. I am currently employed as a Building Manager at my church and with that I am also in charge of security, which is why I am wanting official firearm training.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Whether your restoration of firearm rights in Minnesota will transfer over to South Dakota depends on the specific laws and reciprocity agreements between the two states. While some states may recognize restoration of firearm rights granted by another state, others may have their own criteria or may not honor out-of-state restorations. Since you completed the terms of your sentence and were granted restoration of firearm rights by a judge in Minnesota, it's a positive step, but it's crucial to verify whether South Dakota will recognize this restoration.

Given your employment responsibilities and the desire for official firearm training, it's understandable that you seek clarity on this matter. Contacting legal authorities or agencies in South Dakota, such as the state's Department of Public Safety or a knowledgeable attorney, can provide you with accurate information regarding the recognition of your firearm rights restoration. They can advise you on whether you need to pursue additional steps, such as requesting a pardon or undergoing a separate restoration process in South Dakota, to meet the requirements for firearm training and obtaining an enhanced firearm permit.

Ensuring compliance with firearms laws and regulations is vital, especially given your role in security at your church. By seeking guidance from relevant authorities and understanding the specific requirements in South Dakota, you can make informed decisions about your firearm rights and pursue appropriate avenues for obtaining the necessary training and permits.

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