Ohio: Question about felon gun 'Possession'


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Ratzinger_p38
April 23, 2008, 06:56 PM
OK guys I cannot find an answer to this one, so I will explain.

A co-worker and I were thinking of getting an apartment. Trouble with that is, his girlfriend is a felon (she has a check fraud conviction I think) and she would also be staying with us. As you might have guessed, I own a few firearms, and I am wondering if me living in the same place with this woman be considered 'possession' on her part - or even worse be considered to be me 'furnishing' the weapons to her because they reside in the same household. (obviously, I would never let her near any of my firearms)

The law is a bit vague on this sort of situation but I would like to know (OH police offers comments/suggestions would be appreciated! )

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steveno
April 23, 2008, 07:15 PM
nothing good can come from this arrangement

Oana
April 23, 2008, 07:22 PM
I don't know the situation or how long ago the crime was, but I would seriously rethink a close living arrangement with a man whose girlfriend commited check fraud.

Ah, the sweet smell of identity theft in the morning...

NavyLCDR
April 23, 2008, 07:24 PM
I am not a police officer, but, I would think the solution would be to store them locked in a safe and only you have the combination, or a locked room and only you have the key. If she has reasonable access to the firearms when not in your presence, IE she does not have to forcibly enter past a lock which she does not have the key/combo to, I would guess that you/her could end up in legal trouble if LEO was ever called to your house and discovered the firearms.

Obviously, in your presence, she would not be allowed to even touch the weapons.

That, to me, would be the common sense answer, but I have no qualification.

Treo
April 23, 2008, 07:32 PM
I have no idea what the legalities are, but I know a foolproof way of avoiding any problems.

NavyLCDR
April 23, 2008, 07:36 PM
I have no idea what the legalities are, but I know a foolproof way of avoiding any problems.

Get a lawyer? :barf:

Oh, wait, that's everybody elses' answer. :banghead:

I bet you mean don't move in there! ;)

buck00
April 23, 2008, 07:36 PM
Ratzinger

Ok I think I have an answer for you.


The issue here is your roommate (the girl) isn't buying, using, or owning your guns... but the question is what does possession mean? For example, in many states, while a person is on probation (even for something like a DUI or simple assault) they cannot have guns nor even live in a house where they would have access. I originally assumed this would be the same situation for you. Then I found this:

http://www.nraila.org/statelawpdfs/OHSL.pdf

The key word here is violent felony. According to this (Ohio state law) she can actually possess guns. However, that is not the case- we're talking about you.

Overall, I would really try to get a judge of character before signing anything. Can you even confirm what felony she had? What if that is her cover story? If it was drugs, she cannot be around guns.

I would really careful. You don't want money missing off the dresser due to old habits coming back. :mad: Familiarity can breed contempt... the honeymoon often ends really quick with new roommates.

Ratzinger_p38
April 23, 2008, 07:37 PM
Guys, yes I know it 'doesnt sound like a good idea'. But I want to know the legalities first. It is a good opportunity for me, but in the end not good enough for me to want to sell my firearms if this issue would prove to be a problem.

buck00:

Yes that was one of the legal listings I read before posting this - and yet I still feel like this is an odd and vague situation, legally speaking. As far as she goes, no I wouldnt trust her too well but I would keep things locked up where possible. I will have to ask my co-worker tomorrow what the *exact* felony she was convicted of is. I do not believe it was drug related. She might possibly be still on parole and/or probation, which I had forgotten about, and this complicates it further. I know to my fellow THR'rs this sounds like nothing but trouble.

2nd 41
April 23, 2008, 07:40 PM
Run Ratz Run

newbie4help
April 23, 2008, 08:32 PM
DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY. I AM NOT ADVISING, ENCOURAGING, OR OTHERWISE TELLING YOU TO DO ANYTHING THAT VIOLATES THE LAW OF THE STATE IN WHICH YOU RESIDE. YOU SHOULD GET AN ATTORNEY.

1) How would anyone know? Just make sure this chick doesn't run her check-scam operation from your place.
2) On the bright side, it's her butt on the line not you. She would be the one "possessing" illegally, not you. I don't see how you could be doing anything illegal here.

ambidextrous1
April 23, 2008, 08:54 PM
That's maybe true, but some states say it is a crime to "sell, loan or furnish" a firearm to a felon or someone who has a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction.

I don't see that you are entering into a "good deal", Ratz. :uhoh:

You should enlist the services of an attorney, as others have urged.

Ratzinger_p38
April 23, 2008, 09:09 PM
You should enlist the services of an attorney, as others have urged.

That seems a bit too much to me, I mean, I have not done a thing yet.

I was hoping an Ohio policeman might be a THR'er, or perhaps someone can show me some caselaw in Ohio for similar situations, etc.

2nd 41
April 23, 2008, 09:35 PM
You should enlist the services of an attorney, as others have urged.
You can seek an Attorney now or later. Will be less expensive now. Seems like you are asking for trouble with this situation.....

Ratzinger_p38
April 23, 2008, 09:38 PM
You can seek an Attorney now or later. Will be less expensive now. Seems like you are asking for trouble with this situation.....and waiting for the answer you want to hear (from a total stranger).

"now or later" I wasnt going to just go ahead with it until I knew.

No, actually. I just want a 99 percent confirmation of what Ohio policy is on this. At best, I was expecting that I had to keep them in safe. At worst, the situation is unworkable.

Prince Yamato
April 23, 2008, 09:58 PM
It's not Ohio law you must worry about, but FEDERAL LAW. Federal law states that a firearms cannot be readily accessible to a felon. In your case, they would need to be in a safe to which only YOU had the combination. It's in the same vein of storing NFA weapons at a friends house. Yes, the weapons can be on the same premises as the prohibited possessor BUT the prohibited possessor must NOT have access to them (ie, they must be in a locked safe to which only YOU have the combination).

If the person gains access to the weapons, you are guilty of providing weapons to a prohibited person.

StrawHat
April 23, 2008, 10:10 PM
Something else to consider.

If she is arrested again, the residence will be searched. Eventually, you may get your firearms back but it will be after much hassle and wrangling.

Perhaps a different room mate.

DMF
April 23, 2008, 10:47 PM
According to this (Ohio state law) she can actually possess guns.Doesn't matter. If she has a felony conviction she is still prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition by federal law. (18USC922(g)(1)).

RatzingerP38, you should NOT live with these people, even aside from any issues related to the firearms. These people will have access to the place where you live, with access to your mail. She's got a history of check fraud, and you want to trust that she won't collect info on you and steal your identity? If so you're crazy.

Caveat Emptor.

Treo
April 23, 2008, 11:12 PM
Ok Ratz the fact is that none of us know this person. I know a pastor in Pueblo that did 5 years in Caņon for manslaughter. There's another pastor in Colorado Springs named Promise Lee, who did time for murder 1. They are both different men today, point being people do change. That said is it worth the(pontential) hassels you're going to have to put up W/ to make this arrangement work?

A lot of people are telling you this is Baaaaaaaad Ju-Ju but the decision is ultimately your's to make

kentucky bucky
April 24, 2008, 12:14 AM
She could be charged with possession if she was found in the vicinity of the weapons. I have seen this happen many times. Same goes for the car. Police and prosecutors many times use this to nab someone that they can't prove is selling dope, etc. I would think about this really good before I commit.

Aguila Blanca
April 24, 2008, 04:15 AM
I was hoping an Ohio policeman might be a THR'er, or perhaps someone can show me some caselaw in Ohio for similar situations, etc.
Attorneys know case law, not police officers. That's why you NEED to speak with an attorney. You cannot count on any information you might receive from a police officer, because their understanding of the specific laws involved is likely no better than yours. An attorney will at least look it up before answering you. A police officer may not even know where to look it up, or want to be bothered.

Off-the-cuff, IANAL opinion: If you have a gun safe or even one of those Homak or Stack-On gun storage cabinets and you ALWAYS keep your guns (and your checkbook) locked inside, legally you are probably covered and more than likely she is also covered.

That said -- I still think you're making a mistake even considering this arrangement.

Thernlund
April 24, 2008, 04:28 AM
Ain't it nice how everyone wants to comment on your life rather than take a stab at answering your question. Heh. :rolleyes:

I suspect that you'll be fine where the firearms are concerned so long as you have them locked up. I don't think I'd worry about it so long as I had a gun safe or something of the sort to put them in. But that's a given anyway, eh? ;)


-T.

mwl6240
April 24, 2008, 04:55 AM
i work as a police officer but would defer to an atty for a technical question like this. My experience though, is that to actually "possess" it means more than to have access to something. mere access does not constitute possession, at least under Ohio law. Also, unless it is a violent felony or drug case (any) it's not illegal in Ohio. and a 5th degree felony, which some check cases are, don't even disqualify under federal statutes. i agree that if this is something you want to do, just lock the guns up and don't give her access. Most of the time, conduct has to be pretty well "out of bounds" to be prosecuted, at least where I'm at. I would be more worried about any future criminal issues with her than the guns.
hope this helps

vis-ā-vis
April 24, 2008, 04:59 AM
Grew up in Ohio.

This was years ago when I was a lad. My Uncle told me I had to come pick up my Dad's shotguns because his son was a felon and couldnt live in there so long as arms were around. Don't know how legit that was, but that's the way I remember it.

thorn726
April 24, 2008, 05:31 AM
It's not Ohio law you must worry about, but FEDERAL LAW. Federal law states that a firearms cannot be readily accessible to a felon. In your case, they would need to be in a safe to which only YOU had the combination. It's in the same vein of storing NFA weapons at a friends house. Yes, the weapons can be on the same premises as the prohibited possessor BUT the prohibited possessor must NOT have access to them (ie, they must be in a locked safe to which only YOU have the combination).

If the person gains access to the weapons, you are guilty of providing weapons to a prohibited person.

correct it isn't that hard to look this stuff up on govt websites.

above is a good summation of the federal laws, the paragraphs are long, drawn out, and boring, but they come to the above. debatable- keys vs combo...
i can provide physical evidence i have key and you don't, combo not so...

POLICE INFO - uh, worse than them offering incorrect information, expect them to ACT on incorrect information.

in other words, the whole situation could work out poorly

but at the same time there are also provisions in the laws which enable a felon to defend themselves in absolute danger- SO if you have three guns locked up and get raided by banshees with swords, there is a fair chance the felon could be momentarily loaned a gun for defense, but they could still would most likely endure lengthy court proceedings

coloradokevin
April 24, 2008, 05:54 AM
Okay, there are so many things at work here that I can barely begin to provide quality information.

I am a police officer, albeit in Colorado (I grew up in OH, and lived there for over twenty years, if that helps). Federal law is the major consideration, but that doesn't mean that state law may not also play a role in this issue.

Anyway, I don't think you will have gun-related legal problems (for you or her) if the guns are kept in a manner which would prohibit her from accessing them (in a safe, or locked room, etc).

I actually worked a case similar to this one a couple of years ago... Son was arrested at the house on (another) felony warrant. Guns were found in the house during the course of the arrest. Daddy claimed guns were his, and he did not allow son to have access to the room (room had a padlock on the outside). DA was okay with this explanation (until a check revealed that daddy was also a felon -- for robbery!).

In short, I think you are okay from the gun standpoint. It sounds relatively reasonable.

What doesn't sound reasonable is why a fine upstanding person like yourself would willingly put yourself in this situation!!! I think you'd be foolish to move in with someone like that... Sounds like a great way to have your identity stolen, your personal security put at risk, etc.

No "great deal" is worth that!

Henry Bowman
April 24, 2008, 10:09 AM
Whatever you decide, remember that ammo = firearms under felon-in-possession laws. All ammo would have to be secured same as firearms.

Kentak
April 24, 2008, 10:34 AM
Ratzinger,

For what it's worth: You described the person you want to share a place with as your "coworker," and not a friend. I think that's significant. Sharing living space with a friend can be difficult enough, let along someone you are not really close with on a personal-friendship level. How much do you really know about him and his background, character, etc., outside of work? I assume you know even less about his girlfriend, except she has a serious character flaw.

You would be smart to pass on this arrangement on the face of it.

K

Blackbeard
April 24, 2008, 02:24 PM
If you're absolutely set on moving in with these people, it might be worth it to buy an hour of an attorney's time and ask if cohabitation meets the definition of "posession". He may also suggest ways to avoid posession, such as the aforementioned safes & locks.

gopguy
April 24, 2008, 03:40 PM
I would contact Attorney General Marc Dann's office and put the question to them.

http://www.ag.state.oh.us/

thorn726
April 24, 2008, 04:06 PM
Whatever you decide, remember that ammo = firearms under felon-in-possession laws. All ammo would have to be secured same as firearms.

plus 1 million on that- the law indicates ANY PART of a gun!!
empty magazine, ANYTHING functional counts

Ratzinger_p38
April 24, 2008, 05:06 PM
How much do you really know about him and his background, character, etc., outside of work?

Well enough. We've gone drinking together before but he is defiantly cut from a different cloth than she is (he is a good ol boy).

Whatever you decide, remember that ammo = firearms under felon-in-possession laws. All ammo would have to be secured same as firearms.

That is not true in all states. In Ohio, felons can buy ammo. I read a story about it a few years ago. Of course, I would still heed the advice.

I doubt I will go through with it now.

TEDDY
April 24, 2008, 09:03 PM
the heck with ohio law the federal law applies.and the ATF will take your guns and you will never see them again.trust me.if you did not know she had a problem then you MIGHT have a defence.but you know.find another room mate.:uhoh::rolleyes::D:D

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