Minnesota gun rights lawyer & firearms charges attorney2020-02-26T03:21:44+00:00

Minnesota Gun Rights Lawyer

Firearms, guns, Second Amendment, firearms and weapons charges Minneapolis and the State of Minnesota

Minnesota has various statutes punishing the possession or carrying of a firearm or other weapon.  These can be simple possession or carrying of a firearm without the proper permit, or, in conjunction with another offense, such as possession or dealing of drugs, use in connection with an assault, or in a robbery, etc.  Possession of a firearm in connection with another offense will likely make the potential punishment much more serious, such as a mandatory minimum prison time, or, a more lengthy prison sentence.  Attorney Lynne Torgerson, , Esq., a gun rights lawyer with over 29 years experience, can represent you in such cases.

Gun and firearms and weapons charges lawyer, Lynne Torgerson, Esq.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson, Gun Charges Lawyer, is here to assist you in carrying without a permit case, felon in possession of a firearm, ineligible person in possession of a firearm, carrying while under the influence, gun charges, weapons charges, negligent storage of firearms, presenting a firearm at an airport security check point, pointing a firearm at another, road rage, etc.

Gun charges lawyer Lynne Torgerson wins victory with dismissal of carrying while under the influence case 

Attorney Lynne Torgerson has won, on her client’s behalf, a dismissal of a charge of carrying a firearm, a pistol, under the influence.  The case was out of the City of Robbinsdale, County of Hennepin, State of Minnesota.  The City charged her client with being under the influence of a controlled substance and alcohol while carrying a pistol in his driveway.  The case did have an interesting issue of whether a driveway is private or public property.  After a number of months, the City dismissed the case in its entirety.  Her client states that he can now sleep better.  Kudos Ms. Torgerson!

Second Amendment Lawyer Lynne Torgerson wins stay of adjudication in carrying without a permit case

Ms. Torgerson’s client was charged with carrying a pistol without a permit, no proof of insurance, possession of marijuana, and possession of paraphernalia, out of Dakota County.  Ms. Torgerson obtained on her client’s behalf a stay of adjudication on the carrying without a permit charge, with the remaining counts dismissed.  Presuming the client successfully completes probation, the carrying without a permit charge will be dismissed.  Well done Ms. Torgerson!

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer, Lynne Torgerson, Wins Dismissal of Felon in Possession of a Firearm Case

Lawyer, Lynne Torgerson, Esq. was notified of a ruling that a motion to dismiss a charge of felon in possession of a firearm case was granted for lack of probable cause.

Because of the finding of a lack of probable cause, the case must be dismissed.  The threat of a five (5) year mandatory minimum prison term is also dismissed.

The facts were essentially that because Ms. Torgerson’s client had prior felony convictions, the client was barred from possessing a firearm for life, under state and federal law.  The facts included that a fire occurred in the attic where the client was sleeping.  Client had some personal property stored in the attic.  Other people also had access to the attic.  The home had been inherited by the client’s mother, where client and the mother lived.  Years before, the grandparents had lived in the home, and the grandfather was known to own firearms.  The Fire Department responded and put out the fire.  During the process of putting out the fire, a good number of items were thrown around.  After the fire was extinguished, a firearm wrapped in plastic was found in the attic.  Client was charged with felon in possession of a firearm.  Because the evidence of possession was circumstantial, and because there existed a reasonable hypothesis inconsistent with the client’s guilty, after many months of litigation, the case was dismissed for lack of probable cause.  Bravo Ms. Torgerson!

Gun charges lawyer Lynne Torgerson obtains dismissal of negligent storage of firearms case

Minnesota gun charges lawyer Lynne Torgerson obtained dismissal of a case charging negligent storage of firearms.  Ms. Torgerson’s client was charged with negligent storage of firearms after a grandson injured himself with her client’s firearm.  Initially, Ms. Torgerson obtained a stay of adjudication of the case.  Thereafter, upon successful completion of probation, the entire case was dismissed.  This means her client has no conviction on his record.  Well done client and Ms. Torgerson!

Second Amendment 

Our Second Amendment rights are so important. Indeed, the United States Supreme Court has recognized them as a fundamental right. The United States Supreme Court recognized and wrote that our rights to possess firearms existed before their codification in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms enables a citizen, should the need ever arise, to protect self, family, and property, to protect the United States in the event of an attack, and to protect citizens from and deter governmental tyranny.  This has been specifically recognized by the United States Supreme Court in the seminal case of District of Columbia v. Heller.  How people actually usually use firearms is in hunting, range shooting, or target practice activities.

Did you know that in the 1600s, by statute, people were required to have a minimum amount of ammunition, and, if they did not, they were fined! This is the context in which the Second Amendment was promulgated.

The United States Supreme Court has recognized that the right to keep and bear arms is based on three (3) things. The first is our right of self defense.  For example, self defense, defense of your family, your property.  The second is defense of State, in the sense that if the United States was attacked, we would have men and women already armed and ready to defend our Country (a militia) before the military was dispatched. This also provides a deterrent to enemies of the United States, in that enemies are less likely to attack the mainland of the United States if everyone is armed and ready to defend our Country.  The third is to defend against governmental tyranny: in other words, to defend ourselves against our own Government, in the instance of tyranny.  It also helps to deter governmental tyranny.  Isn’t all of that fascinating. So, our rights to keep and bear arms, our Second Amendment rights, are extremely important.  Sometimes, this constitutional right may be a defense in your criminal case.

Gun charges, weapons charges, representation 

Ms. Torgerson, a long time criminal defense lawyer, also represents people charged with violating the gun laws.  These sorts of charges can be extremely serious.  For exaple, if a person has been convicted of a felony, and subsequently is found in possession of a firearm, they can be charged with the very serious offense of felon in possession of a firearm.  This carries the potential sentence of a five (5) years mandatory prison term, and up to 15 years in prision.  There are also charges such as carrying a firearm without a permit, which is a gross misdemeanor.  The legislature has also recently enacted laws against a person being under the influence of alcohol and carrying a firearm.

Ms. Torgerson can represent you in all these and similar cases, throughout the State of Minnesota.  Ms. Torgerson has been working on cases involving constitutional rights since 1988; that’s about 32 years now!  She has experience with these kinds of cases both in the cities, and out state.  Ms. Torgerson had represented citizens all the way up to our northern border in International Falls, and all the way south to Freeborn and Olmsted Counties, and many cities and counties in between.

Please give Lynne Torgerson, Esq., a lawyer of excellence, a call today! (612) 339-5073!

Criminal charge aggravated if also possess firearm

In criminal law, weapons and guns come up in numerous different contexts. While one could be charged with a criminal offense for ‘regulation of gun rights’, and, possession of weapons and guns could lead to more dire consequences in the case of crimes such as theft and burglary. A criminal conviction or a civil court order leading to the loss of civil and property rights can also lead to the loss of gun rights.

CASE LAW UPDATE:  The Minnesota Supreme Court rules that a BB gun is not a firearm 

In amazing and hugely important holdings, the Minnesota Courts have ruled that BB guns do not constitute a firearm.  Consequently, many people convicted of the crime of felon in possession of a firearm (also known as person ineligible to possess a firearm crime), based on possession of a BB gun, will have their convictions vacated.  And, if they are in prison, they will be released.  This is significant because the crime of felon in possession of a firearm carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five (5) years/sixty (60) months in prison.

The Minnesota Supreme Court, in State v. Haywood, (Minn. 2016) and the Minnesota Court of Appeals, in State v. Yang, (Minn. Ct. App. 2016) have held that a bb gun is not a firearm.  The reason for the Courts’ holdings is because BB guns use compressed air, rather than gunpowder or other explosive force, as a propellant.  A further reason was that the term “firearm” is not defined in either statute, Minn. Stat. section 609.165 nor Minn. Stat. 624.713.  This is a substantive change in the law, and, applies retroactively.

This is a significant change in the law.  For essentially 40 years, people have been operating under the belief, based upon caselaw, that BB guns are firearms.  State v. Haywood breaks with prior case law precedent set in State v. Seifert, (Minn. 1977), wherein the Minnesota Supreme Court held that the term “firearm” should be construed to include guns that use compressed air.  This issue has been litigated for years, but the Minnesota Supreme Court never took the case.

If your case fits, Ms. Torgerson, Esq. can help you bring a request for vacation of your conviction, and release from prison.  Give her a call, a criminal defense lawyer of excellence:  (612) 339-5073.

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Constructive possession 

Although unpublished, this is a very important case for felon in possession of firearms cases involving a constructive possession issue.

There are two (2) kinds of possession.  One is actual possession, and the other, much more grey, is constructive possession.  Actual possession is where a person actually possesses a firearm, holds it, carries it in one’s holster, and the like.  The other is constructive possession, and the legal definition is if the person can exercise dominion or control over the firearm.  If so, then a jury could find one guilty of possessing a firearm.  This becomes important if a person is convicted of a felony, and, say, for example, one’s spouse or girlfriend has a firearm in the house, or the closet, or in the vehicle.  Another example may be if a the felon goes hunting with other people who possess firearms.  The question arises:  does the felon constructively possess the firearm, and can he/she be charged with felon in possession of a firearm?  This is a very grey area, and the question would be left up to a jury.

So, recently, in 2017, in an unpublished decision from the Minnesota Court of Appeals, a defendant appeals from his conviction for possessing a firearm.  He argued that (1) the trial court erroneously instructed the jury on the element of constructive possession, and (2) the evidence was insufficient to prove that he constructively possessed the firearm.  Defendant argued that the instruction was in error because the trial court’s instruction eliminated the act of exercising dominion and control and reduced constructive possession to merely a mental state.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals held that constructive possession does not required an act of exercising dominion and control; it required evidence that the defendant was consciously exercising dominion and control.  Affirmed.  State v. Owens, A16-0559, Hennepin County.

Commentary:  this does not appear to be a very good case, nor very instructive.  There are not enough facts provided to guide behavior.  It does illustrate however that people ineligible to possess firearms must be very cautious to not be in constructive possession of a firearm.  Further, it is worth pointing out, if you have violated these provisions, be certain to invoke your rights to remain silent.

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Constructive possession of a firearm jury instruction upheld as sufficient 

In this direct appeal from the judgment of conviction of unlawful possession of a firearm, defendant argued that the trial court’s jury instructions materially misstated the law regarding constructive possession.  Defendant did not object to the jury instruction at rial.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the instruction requiring the jury to find that defendant “knowingly had both the power and the intention to exercise authority and control” over the handgun did not constitute a material misstatement of the law.  Affirmed.

State v. Hoffman, A18-1386, Hennepin County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Circumstantial evidence of constructive possession of a firearm by ineligible person sufficient  

A jury found defendant guilty of five (5) offenses based on evidence that he unlawfully possessed a firearm, ammunition, and a controlled substance.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that the only reasonable inference in light of the circumstances proved was that defendant was consciously exercising dominion and control over a handgun found wrapped in a motel towel in his motel room.  However, defendant was unlawfully sentenced on multiple convictions because two of his convictions were based on the same behavioral incident.  Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

State v. Dow, A18-1856, Mower County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Defendant in felon in possession of a firearm case receives aggravated sentence 

Defendant pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Upon consideration of the statutory sentencing factors, the trial court concluded that aggravating factors, including discharging a firearm in the vicinity of his wife and pointing it in the direction of a bystander, outweighed the mitigating factors.  The District Court therefore varied upward for defendant’s sentencing.

Where the District Court thoroughly explained its reasons for imposing an upward variance to defendant’s sentence, it did not abuse its sentencing discretion.  Judgment is affirmed.

United States v. Garcia, 18-2125, appealed from the Western District of Arkansas, per curiam.

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Whether admission of DNA evidence of non-testifying scientist violated defendant’s 6th Amendment right of confrontation 

Defendant challenged his unlawful possession of  a firearm conviction, arguing that the admission of DNA test results developed by a non-testifying scientist violated his rights under the 6th Amendment Confrontation Clause.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that violation was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt, noting the overwhelming evidence that defendant possessed the firearm.  Affirmed.

State v. Scott, A18-1199, St. Louis County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Present sense impressions hearsay exception in ineligible person in possession of a firearm trial 

Defendant challenged his conviction of being an ineligible person in possession of a firearm, which stemmed from him carrying guns into an apartment.  Defendant argued that the trial court erroneously admitted both of two peoples’ out of court statements to police as they were inadmissible hearsay and no exception applied.  The Minnesota Court of Appeals concluded that an out of court statement by a witness that defendant carried guns into her bedroom 30 minutes earlier qualified as a present sense impression and that any error in admitting a second witness’ statement did not affect defendant’s substantial rights.  Affirmed.

State v. Manypenny, A18-2084, Becker County.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer was not attorney of record in this case.

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Was the evidence sufficient to convict of felon in possession of a firearm? 

Where a defendant in a felon in possession of a firearm case argued that the government only established his proximity to a firearm in a jointly owned car, the defendant controlled the car and was its sole occupant just before the discovery of the gun, and the defendant also fled the scene, which could allow a jury to conclude that he was fleeing due to his illegal possession of the gun.  Therefore the evidence was sufficient to sustain the conviction.  Judgment is affirmed.

United States v. Bridgeforth, 18-3213, appealed from the Eastern District of Arkansas, per curiam.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

CASE LAW UPDATE:  Sentence enhancement for possession of a firearm in connection with another felony 

Where a defendant challenged a four level sentencing enhancement for using or possessing a firearm in connection with another felony, the defendant’s attempt to contest the enhancement fell within the plain language of an appeal waiver, and the waiver was knowing and voluntary, so the appeal is dismissed.

United States v. Guice, 18-1327, appealed from the Eastern District of Missouri, Kelly, J.

Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer Lynne Torgerson was not attorney of record in this case.

Contact Us Today For A Free Consultation 

Our Gun Charges and Weapons Charges Lawyer Lynne Torgerson represents clients throughout the entire State of Minnesota.

Contact Gun Charges Firearm Charges Weapons Charges Lynne Torgerson today at 612-339-5073 for your free consultation.  Our law firm can help you with our qualified Weapons Guns Firearms Charges Lawyer  in Minnesota.

Localities Served

Ms. Torgerson, Esq. practices throughout the State of Minnesota.  She can also represent people in other states if granted pro hace vice admission.  More specifically, the terrorities in which Ms. Torgerson, Esq. practices include:  Minneapolis, St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Aitkin County, Albert Lea, Anoka County, Becker County, Beltrami County, Benton County, Big Stone County, Blaine, Bloomington, Blue Earth County, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Brown County, Carlton County, Carver County, Cass County, Chippewa County, Chisago County, Clay County, Clearwater County, Columbia Heights, Cook County, Coon Rapids, Cottonwood County, Crow Wing County, Crystal, Dakota County, Dodge County, Douglas County, Faribault County, Freeborn County, Fridley, Goodhue County, Fillmore County, Grant County, Hennepin County, Hopkins, Houston County, Hubbard County, Isanti County, Itasca County, Jackson County, Kanabec County, Kandiyohi County, Kittson County, Koochiching County, Lac Qui Parle County, Lake County, Lake of the Woods County, LeSueur County, Lincoln County, Lyon County, Mahnomen County, Maple Grove, Marshall County, Martin County, McLeod County, Mille Lacs County, Meeker County, Minneapolis, Morrison County, Mower County, Murray County, Nicollet County, Nobles County, Norman County, Olmsted County, Otter Tail County, Pennington County, Pine County, Pipestone County, Plymouth, Polk County, Pope County, Ramsey County, Red Lake County, Red Wing, Redwood County, Renville County, Rice County, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Rochester, Rock County, Roseau County, St. Louis County, St. Louis Park, St. Paul, Savage, Scott County, Sherburne County, Shakopee, Sibley County, Spring Lake Park, Stearns County, Steele County, Stevens County, Stillwater, Swift County, Todd County, Traverse County, Wabasha County, Wadena County, Waseca County, Washington County, Watonwan County, Wilkin County, Winona County, Wright County, Yellow Medicine, and throughout the State of Minnesota. Again however, she practices in all cities, all counties, and all courts.