This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
State of Minnesota,
Chad Ray Altman,
Filed August 29, 2006
Kanabec County District Court
File No. K9-03-795
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, Kelly O’Neill Moller, Assistant Attorney General, 1800 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-2134; and
Loren, Kanabec County Attorney,
Stuart, State Public Defender, Leslie J. Rosenberg, Assistant Public Defender,
Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge; Randall, Judge; and Peterson, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
In this appeal from a conviction of felon in possession of a firearm, appellant argues that the state should have been required to prove that he had received notice that he was ineligible to possess a hunting rifle. We affirm.
On November 8, 2003, a conservation officer received a call stating that appellant Chad Ray Altman is a convicted felon and would be hunting on his uncle’s property. The conservation officer went to the uncle’s property and found an individual, who identified himself as appellant, in a tree stand holding a Remington pump .280-caliber rifle. Appellant admitted to the conservation officer that he is a convicted felon, and the officer took the rifle away from him.
Appellant was charged by complaint with one count of felon in possession of a firearm in violation of Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1(b) (Supp. 2003). The case was tried to a jury. A Department of Corrections agent testified that appellant had been convicted of third-degree assault and that his sentence for that offense expired on July 24, 2002. The jury found appellant guilty, and the district court sentenced appellant to an executed term of 60 months in prison. This appeal followed.
D E C I S I O N
Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1(b) (Supp. 2003), states, “The following persons shall not be entitled to possess a pistol or semiautomatic military-style assault weapon or . . . any other firearm: . . . a person who has been convicted of . . . committing . . . a crime of violence.” Appellant does not dispute that he has been convicted of committing a crime of violence or that he possessed a hunting rifle. Instead, citing Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 3(a) (Supp. 2003), appellant argues that he was not notified that he is ineligible to possess any firearm and that Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1(b), should be construed to require the state to prove that he had been notified about his ineligibility.
Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 3(a), states,
When a person is convicted of . . . a crime of violence . . ., the court shall inform the defendant that the defendant is prohibited from possessing a pistol or semiautomatic military-style assault weapon for the remainder of the person’s lifetime, and that it is a felony offense to violate this prohibition. The failure of the court to provide this information to a defendant does not affect the applicability of the pistol or semiautomatic military-style assault weapon possession prohibition or the felony penalty to that defendant.
Appellant argues that because the statute only provides that the applicability of the possession prohibition is not affected by a failure to inform a defendant that the defendant is prohibited from possessing a pistol or semiautomatic military-style assault weapon, the legislature must have intended that the applicability of the possession prohibition is affected by a failure to inform a defendant that the prohibition applies to any firearm. Therefore, appellant contends, to be convicted of illegally possessing a hunting rifle, a defendant must have been provided notice that he is ineligible to possess a hunting rifle.
But in State v. Taylor, 590 N.W.2d 155, 158
(Minn. App. 1999), review denied
(Minn. May 18, 1999), this court rejected the construction urged by
The problem in the present case
arises because the “any firearm” language, added to subdivision one, was not
added to the notice provision in subdivision three when the legislature amended
the statute in 1994. The notice requirement
specifically provides that the court shall inform the defendant that he is
prohibited from possessing a pistol or semiautomatic military-style assault
weapon. The district court concluded
that because subdivision three, the notice exception, was not amended in 1994,
as was subdivision one, to include “any firearm,” and because
. . . .
The legislature has amended this
statute numerous times.
Interpreting the statute to give
effect to all provisions and reading the unambiguous plain meaning of each
subdivision, we find that subdivision one expressly applies to
In State v. Dendy, 598 N.W.2d 4, 6-7 (Minn.
App. 1999), review denied (Minn.
Sept. 28, 1999), this court applied the
Appellant pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, but the
plea was withdrawn because the plea agreement contemplated a 43-month sentence
rather than the mandatory minimum 60-month sentence. Appellant later agreed to plead guilty in
exchange for a downward sentencing departure from 60 to 43 months, but the
district court refused to accept the plea because appellant absconded to