Hi, my name is Sara. And I’m fundraising for my son Walker. The funds raised will be used to help cover legal expenses as Walker goes to trial in September to defend his innocence and Second Amendment right, after being charged for being in possession of two Privately Made Firearms in Sherburne County, MN.
The statute he has been charged with 609.667(3)
The statute reads-
MN 609.667 FIREARMS; REMOVAL OR ALTERATION OF SERIAL NUMBER. Whoever commits any of the following acts may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both:
(1) obliterates, removes, changes, or alters the serial number or other identification of a firearm;
(2) receives or possesses a firearm, the serial number or other identification of which has been obliterated, removed, changed, or altered; or
(3) receives or possesses a firearm that is not identified by a serial number.
As used in this section, "serial number or other identification" means the serial number and other information required under United States Code, title 26, section 5842, for the identification of firearms.
In May 2022, Walker was with a friend target shooting on a private property in Sherburne County Minnesota. There was a complaint from a homeowner (about 1/2 mile away) and sheriffs deputies came out. As law abiding and responsible gun owners, and wanting to cooperate with law enforcement, when the deputy asked to come look at where they were shooting, he was welcomed onto the property to inspect the firing range and ask questions. After determining the range was sound, and the boys were shooting responsibly, he inquired about what kind of weapons they were shooting. Which, Walker feeling confident in the legality of his firearms, and being respectful of law enforcement, gladly permitted. The deputy stated the firearm were illegal, lacking serial numbers, and Walker informed the deputy of the federal laws around PMFs and not requiring a serial number if for personal use. And since he is a lawful gun owner, no restrictions on owning them. The deputies detained Walker for several hours, and confiscated his firearms. Eventually he was allowed to leave but was warned he would be hearing from the county attorney and will charged with felony gun possession. After several weeks of getting no information from the Sherburne County Sheriff’s department, he received a letter in the mail with a summons and charges. Two felonies, one for each firearm.
Walker has been a hunter with gun safety training since he was young. After turning 18, he has legally purchased sport rifles for hunting and target shooting-having gone through all the routine background checks. So when he decided he would like to go through the process of making his own firearm by purchasing lower 80%, he did extensive research on both federal laws and state laws because he is responsible and does not take his Second Amendment right lightly. A simple search on the internet will show that Minnesota does not have any laws restricting privately made firearms. There are only a handful of states with such laws. Even the most anti gun websites show Minnesota has no restrictions on PMFs. Furthermore, we spoke with an ATF agent in St. Paul just to make sure he was not violating any laws. To which he was assured he was not violating federal law, and the agent told him they were not aware of any state laws restricting PMFs.
After several court hearing, and three different judges, and failing to have the charges dismissed, Walker is set for a jury trial and, if convicted, a long and expensive appellate process. Walker has no criminal record. He has been a registered gun owner since he was 18. He’s a college student-set to graduate a few weeks before trial. A talented mechanic who is just starting his career. He plays amateur baseball, and is a big brother to 2 siblings and 6 step siblings-three of which live in Canada. A felony conviction would be devastating to our family and would follow him through life. Impacting employment, housing and travel to see family. He has alway respected laws, firearms and the responsibility of gun ownership. And to be very very clear, owning a privately made firearm is 100% protected under the Second Amendment. And legal under the 1968 Gun Control Act. (And certainly is covered under Bruen) Nothing Walker did violates federal law. And I believe he did not violate state law. The state is making an argument of a plain text reading “posses a firearm not identified by a serial number”So please understand this is not just limited to privately made firearms, but also those firearms made before 1968, when firearms were not required to have serial numbers. With Minnesota’s rich tradition of hunting, it is reasonable to say many Minnesotans have a firearm in their homes that has been passed down through the generations that do not have a serial number. The state of Minnesota knows they are not illegal given during their 2022 “seized firearms auction” the MNDNR auctioned off 9 unserialized firearms. It is my belief that this Minnesota law is simply meant to reflect the federal law regarding firearm serialization, not make a law, without the knowledge of its citizens, outlawing any and all unserialized firearms, INCLUDING those which federal law determines do not require serial numbers. The title of the statute is “REMOVAL OR ALTERATION OF SERIAL NUMBER.” -something he did not do.
Due to the nature of this case, the outcome could have ripple effects throughout Minnesota. If convicted, it would mean thousands of law abiding gun owners all across out state would become potential felons. It’s just that real. I would never want another family to go what we are going through. It is so important we have the means and support to fight this.
I fight for Walker, but understand this fight affects many others just like him, potentially you or your family. Thank you for your support, prayers and shares ~Sara