Skip to comments.Knowing Unlicensed Possession of a Gun in Public Required for Punishment Under Minnesota Law
Posted on 07/17/2012 6:34:12 AM PDT by marktwain
Last week, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that for one to be found guilty of possessing a firearm illegally, prosecutors must prove that the individual was aware that he/she was breaking the law.
The case, State v. Ndikum (Minn. July 11, 2012), involved a Minneapolis immigration and family law attorney, Christian Chi Ndikum, who was arrested for bringing his loaded Ruger revolver into the Hennepin County Family Justice Center in early September 2009.
Ndikum told local authorities that he had no idea that the gun was in his briefcase; his wife testified that she put the gun in the bottom of briefcase while cleaning up his files the night before he walked into the courthouse.
But they didnt buy it. He was subsequently convicted of carrying a pistol in public without a permit and was put on probation for one year.
Ndikum challenged the decision and won. An appeals court overturned the original verdict, and ruled that the State had to prove knowledge of possession of a pistol as an element of the crime of possession of a pistol.
Not ready to give up the fight, prosecutors challenged the appeals court decision and brought the case to the state Supreme Court.
Prosecutors argued that the gun statute for possession of a pistol in pubic omits any knowledge requirement or mandate. It simple reads a person who carries, holds, or possesses a pistol ... in a public place" without a concealed carry permit is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
However, the state Supreme Court disagreed with prosecutors and upheld the appeals court ruling, concluding that silence does not suggest that the Legislature intended to dispense with mens rea as an element of possession of a pistol in public," in a unanimous opinion.
(In other words, just because the knowledge component of the law wasnt explicated when it was written and passed by the state Legislature, doesnt mean its not applicable).
court-supreme-mn"Thus, to obtain a conviction the state was required to prove that Ndikum knew he possessed the pistol," Associate Justice Helen Meyer wrote in the court's decision.
Ndikum was "absolutely astounded" by the ruling, Bill Orth Ndikums attorney told the TwinCities.com.
"This case was going to mess with his law license, so it's a big deal for him," said Orth.
Whats the moral of this story?
Get your concealed carry license ASAP! The majority of this mess could have been avoided had Mr. Ndikum held a valid CCW permit.
Now, to his credit he had planned on getting his CCW permit, but according to Orth, he missed a class due to complications with his wifes pregnancy.
Is that excuse legitimate? Sure. But he did have the gun for a month and a half, enough time one would think to reschedule, take the class and file the requisite CCW paperwork.
Again, this is a teachable moment. The lesson: one should make getting his/her CCW permit a priority if they plan to carry in public (even though one doesnt need a CCW permit to carry a firearm back and forth from work in Minnesota).
Proving intent for mala prohibita offenses should be mandatory.
I’m a WI resident, but want to get a permit in MN. As I understand it, I have a few options...
1. Complete training ($?) that MN recognizes as acceptable and then pay a county sheriff $100 to get a permit.
2. Complete training ($?) for another state that MN recognizes a permit from (UT for example) and then pay Utah for a permit ($50).
3. Any other ideas that might cost less or be more simple?
Unless there are special circumstances (i.e., threats), people can wait a bit before carrying around a gun everywhere they go. Just wait until you have the damn license. In fact, there are many licensed people that don’t carry around a gun everywhere they go...and they still get home safely, practically every single time.
“And when they are eventually confronted with a bad guy and have left their weapon at home, the bad guy wins practically every single time.”
My only point is to not be in such a hurry to carry. If a CCW is required, then GET IT FIRST. Most people can make it 6 weeks without the bad guy winning.
Once is all it takes....
I assume you cary life, home health and auto insutrance 24-7/365?
Why not buy it only when you feel the need or the likelihood of requiring it?
Your comment may be statisitically valid, but not logically so.
Hope you carry your defensive arms when you need them the most.
“Oh, bother” isn’t likley to thwart a lethal attack on your person or on those you hold most dear; on the other hand, “the ugly eye” of your sidearm looking at the torso of a lethal threat may be sufficient to so thwart.
Gonna be a lot of memory loss and denial in the future...
I can’t carry where I work, and so far, I get home safely.
All citizens of the USA have one.
See: Article the Fourth. (A.K.A. The Second Amendment)
The Utah permit also requires a current photo which has a small additional cost. You must also be fingerprinted for the Utah permit, which is not required for the Minnesota permit, as I recall.
I don’t know if Wisconsin has reciprocity as I have my cheese mailed to me.
WI accepts MN permit, but MN doesn’t accept WI.
“Once is all it takes....”
I won’t argue with you much...you are right (of course). And one thing that I considered was that going to a government building often puts people in close proximity to not-so-good people (i.e., the takers).
Even so, you do have to be careful about the laws...because no matter how right one might be, it sucks to have a criminal record.
Thanks for the link...it makes a nice printout for the wallet.