Minnesota man can’t have gun permit, despite expungement

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A court’s expungement of a man’s prior domestic violence conviction didn’t restore his right to carry a firearm because it didn’t wipe all records of his conviction clean, so it doesn’t qualify as an expungement under federal law, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. According to court documents, James Bergman’s court records were sealed as part of a 2007 expungement of his 1996 domestic assault conviction. At the time, the state court found that his conviction was ineligible for “statutory expungement” — meaning records held by all other government agencies would be sealed — so his conviction remained in national and state background check databases. Error 0: Isanti County Attorney Jeff Edblad said the case highlights a need for clarity on what constitutes expungement under state and federal law when it comes to determining who is eligible to own a firearm. He said clarification would help sheriffs, who approve gun permits, as well as people who may be applying for a permit with past domestic violence offenses. Bergman sought to expunge his conviction in 2007 so that he could hunt. An Anoka County judge granted the expungement and ordered that the judicial and arrest records be sealed. Bergman applied for, and was granted, a permit to carry in 2008. But when he tried to renew his application in 2017, Isanti County Sheriff Christopher Caulk denied his request because his prior conviction showed up in a background check. The Isanti County District Court denied Bergman’s request to […]

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