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Felons in homes with firearms

Discussion in 'Legal' started by ford8nr, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. ford8nr

    ford8nr Well-Known Member

    Can someone with a Class C felony conviction live in a home with firearms present if the firearms are locked up and they don't have a key? The state is CT. I only ask because I know someone who did something stupid, will accept a Class C felony conviction as a plea and was told by his lawyer when he gets out his wife can keep their (her) shotgun and his son can store a handgun in the house IF the guns are locked up and he doesn't have a key. I told him he'd better talk to his parole agent cause this doesn't seem right. Anybody know?
  2. Blueduck

    Blueduck Well-Known Member

    Good advice about talking to his Parole (Probation?) Officer. Even if the State law in Con. says one thing, the terms of his Probation or Parole might indeed be more strict.

    Other than that I'll remain silent as CN law is likely different form where I work, and while I know how the Fed's view the matter here, I would never swear different places did not have different interpretations even among the same agency.
  3. rdhood

    rdhood Well-Known Member

    I don't know, but don't trust any reply you read in this forum until you have researched it and verified it. It's not the kind of thing you want to make a mistake on just because you read it in a forum. Some will say "speak to an attorney". When it comes to staying out of prison, that's pretty good advice.
  4. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    We've had several felons who were found in a house with a firearm. Their defense is it isn't theirs. The DA won't press charges when that's raised (because the juries are plain old fashion stupid).
  5. Sol

    Sol Well-Known Member

    HA, that is really good advice though.

    Your friend needs to pony up for a lawyer.
  6. I'm not a JD....

    Or a JAG lawyer.
    Most felons/parolees must be subject to search at anytime or not allowed to live/reside near any firearms.
    I'm not sure what your state/location laws-statues are, but Id sell-remove the guns from anywhere a felon/ex-con might be.
    A local legal aid group or community service officer might answer your specific questions.

    PS; in some states/jurisdictions, ammunition or reloading equipment may be factors too.
  7. Aaron Baker

    Aaron Baker Well-Known Member

    And ironically, the follow-ups all seem to agree: he should talk to a lawyer.

    He did. His lawyer gave him an answer. Why should he trust an answer from the internet instead of his Connecticut-barred attorney?

    If he wants to be super-cautious, then instead of relying on the answer from his attorney, asking the prosecutor or his future probation officer will tell him whether they would arrest and prosecute in such a situation. But as a general rule, attorneys know the law better than cops.

    It really is dependent on both the factual situation and state law. If the law requires possession and he can't exercise dominion and control, then he shouldn't be convicted by a jury. But that doesn't mean that his probation officer won't charge him. Being charged with a crime and being convicted are two different things. The old saying is "you might beat the rap, but you won't beat the ride."

  8. ford8nr

    ford8nr Well-Known Member

    I feel his lawyer has given him other erroneous advice. Just because you're barred doesn't mean your good. I was just trying to feel out whether I was way off base or not. I warned him, if he gets caught and I'm right it's his butt not mine. He was an idiot once, wouldn't discount a second time. He has sold/removed all his other guns, ammunition, bows and BB/pellet guns by recommendation of his lawyer before he accepts the plea.
  9. steve4102

    steve4102 Well-Known Member

    So, you guys are saying that if a member of your household is a recent felon and now a "Prohibited Person", you(the home owner) are not allowed to own or possess firearms in your own home and are also considered "Prohibited persons"? Even if they are locked in a safe and the "felon" has no key, no combo or no access?

    Really? BS!
  10. ford8nr

    ford8nr Well-Known Member

    Is that as in BS I don't agree, or BS I KNOW differently?
  11. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

    If a member of the household is a prohibited person, and if the prohibited person as access to guns lawfully owned/possessed by another member of the household --

    • The member of the household risks federal prosecution for being a prohibited person in possession (because he has access) of firearms.

    • The person lawfully owning the firearms and storing them in such a way that allows the prohibited person access to them risks prosecution for aiding and abetting the unlawful possession of firearms by a prohibited person.

    • Both the unlawful possession and the aiding and abetting are federal felonies with penalties of up to five years in federal prison and/or a fine (plus a bonus of a lifetime loss of gun rights).

    • When the Federal Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (Pennsylvania) looked at the issue a while ago, it let stand an indictment for aiding and abetting the unlawful possession of a gun by a prohibited persons in a situation in which a gun owner had a cohabitant who was a prohibited person. The point in that case, United States v. Huet, 665 F.3d 588 (3rd Cir., 2012), was that the gun the prohibited person was charged with possessing was not secured against the prohibited person's access, supporting both the prohibited person's conviction for unlawful possession of a gun and the indictment of his cohabitant. From the opinion (at pg. 593, emphasis added):

    • On the other hand, in U.S. v. Casterline, 103 F.3d 76 (C.A.9 (Or.), 1996), the 9th Circuit set aside a conviction for being a felon in possession of a gun, because the conviction was based solely on evidence of ownership, but under the circumstances the defendant did not have access to or possession of the gun and ammunition.

    In any case, the OP's acquaintance has a lawyer and should rely on him.
  12. Legal definition...

    This is a good example of practicing law without a license. :rolleyes:
    As stated, the best bet is to confirm this information with a lawyer or law firm/legal aid group.
    I'm not a lawyer or a parole officer/agent but from what I do know(law/law enforcement), convicted felons/parolees are subject to open searches & must meet certain conditions to maintain their status(not get violated), things like no firearm or ammunition ownership/use, no illegal drugs or drug related items, not associating with felons/gang members, etc.

    I don't know how a lock or key is going to be a huge deterrent if the felon lives in the same house as the gun owner. :uhoh:
  13. BSA1

    BSA1 Well-Known Member

    One of the my jobs in my misspent life was a Parole Officer for several years.

    PAROLE is what I call a extension of a person limits of confinement. A person on parole is still serving their sentence. All that is changed is where they are serving it. Parolees still have a number of rules (we call it "conditions") they must follow. If a Parolee violated any of the conditions they could be sent back to prison in appear before the Parole Board and to finish serving their sentence. This is done in a Administrative Hearing and frankly having a lawyer was usually a waste of time and money. Basically I as the Supervising P.O. would investigate the violation and submit it to my supervisor who if they agreed with me would approve sending the parolee back to Prison for a hearing before the Parole Board. Lawyers in my State were largely powerless as the issue was mainly if the Parolee was to be returned back to prison, loss of Good Time credits and when he could see the Parole Board again for possible release.

    In the State I was a P.O. we had a strict condition that banned possession of any firearm, including blackpowder ones. Possession was defined as living in a house with firearms, being in vehicle with firearms and hunting with firearms. (we did allow bowhunting). The gun belonging to someone else and I didn't know it was there were not acceptable excuses. We had very little tolerance about a felon still on supervision being around guns. The Parolee also ran the very real risk of facing charges in a Court of Law for being a felon in possession of a firearm and getting more time added to his sentence.

    The O.P. and Blueduck have it right. Your friend needs to meet with a Parole Officer and get a thorough explanation of ALL of the conditions of his parole which also include things like maintaining employment, travel restrictions, going to bars, etc.

    This is far to important of a decision to make based on a lawyers advice. The rules of Parole can vary greatly from State to State. I realize this is a long post but many folks do not understand what parole really is and how it works.
  14. Post #13.....

    Post 13 makes some great points.
    A Internet forum is not where I would base all of my legal actions or quality of life issues. :uhoh:
    If there was a sliver of a chance, Id be sent back to prison or violated, Id take my conditions very seriously.

    If I were a parolee/felon I wouldn't want any guns or ammunition anywhere near me or my living conditions.
    The "hey, I did not know" excuse wouldn't fly either if I were a parole/probation agent.
  15. steve4102

    steve4102 Well-Known Member


    I have several firearms, they are all locked in a $High Dollar$ fireproof safe. I am the only one with access to said safe.

    A family member or friend gets released from jail on Parole, he/she is a Felon and I take him/her in till they get back on their feet.

    Now what, guns gotta go? Guns can stay in the safe? What?
  16. BSA1

    BSA1 Well-Known Member

    In my state the Guns have to go while the Felon is on parole. As his Parole Officer the LAST thing I want to do is have to explain to my supervisors, the Governor, assorted political leaders and the media why I was allowing a Felon under supervision to live in a house with guns in it after the Parolee was arrested for committing a crime, especially a violent one or sex offense.

    After the Felon completes serving his sentence and is released from supervision it is between you, him/her and how much risk you are willing to take. Frankly having the media standing in my front yard doing live broadcast on the 6:00 o'clock news isn't my idea of a good thing.
  17. LawBot5000

    LawBot5000 Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't worry about federal prosecution. In all my years of state level criminal defense, I never saw the feds except one time when a bunch of mexicans got pulled over with 30+ lbs of coke in their car. The mexicans vanished during pretrial discovery (feds snatched them up) and the local prosecutor dismissed. I also heard anecdotally about a guy who robbed a local bank with a machine gun and got a federal prosecution, but that was it. The other 99.99 percent of the time, the feds have absolutely no involvement in law enforcement or prosecution. They want big splashy cases to further their careers. They couldn't give a warm bucket of piss about actually fighting crime.

    Federal felon in possession charges are never brought unless it's part of a larger federal operation where they already have someone in custody with a gun and discover he's a felon. I've seen countless instances of people possessing guns in violation of federal law (ie, while under felony indictment, etc). It never gets prosecuted because the state LEs don't enforce federal law and the feds aren't a national police force. It's only a problem if the feds decide they don't like you.
  18. LawBot5000

    LawBot5000 Well-Known Member

    Being released from jail on parole doesn't mean they're a felon. Jail is also used as a punishment for misdemeanors.
  19. LawBot5000

    LawBot5000 Well-Known Member

    Also, be less afraid of state law than the terms of the probation/parole. There's a lot of things in there that will typically go far beyond what you would think is legal (ie, you can't associate with so-and-so, can't consume alcohol, can't do this or that) and still have very real consequences if you violate. And terms of release are no a uniform thing even state-wide. Judges will often append terms to them as they see fit.
  20. LawBot5000

    LawBot5000 Well-Known Member

    My feeling is that if his actual lawyer said it was ok, and his lawyer does crim defense for a living... his lawyer might actually be right.

    Also, is this a felony with a withhold or somesuch after he complates probation? IE, will he not be a convicted felon once he's done?

    That being said, listen carefully to those caveats he said- so long as they belong to the wife/kids- if someone breaks into the house and he grabs the gun, how will he explain getting possession of it. He certainly can't be caught hunting or even shooting a raccoon with it. He can't go to the range with it. Is he comfortable with that?

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