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Old July 9, 2014, 08:35 PM   #1
ford8nr
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Felons in homes with firearms

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?
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Old July 9, 2014, 08:56 PM   #2
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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.
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Old July 9, 2014, 08:56 PM   #3
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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.
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Old July 9, 2014, 09:01 PM   #4
4v50 Gary
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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).
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Old July 9, 2014, 09:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdhood View Post
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.
HA, that is really good advice though.

Your friend needs to pony up for a lawyer.
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Old July 9, 2014, 09:37 PM   #6
RustyShackelford
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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.

Rusty
PS; in some states/jurisdictions, ammunition or reloading equipment may be factors too.
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Old July 9, 2014, 09:43 PM   #7
Aaron Baker
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Quote:
was told by his lawyer when he gets out...
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."

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Old July 9, 2014, 09:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
He did. His lawyer gave him an answer. Why should he trust an answer from the internet instead of his Connecticut-barred attorney?
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.
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Old July 9, 2014, 10:55 PM   #9
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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!
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Old July 10, 2014, 01:03 AM   #10
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Is that as in BS I don't agree, or BS I KNOW differently?
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Old July 10, 2014, 01:16 AM   #11
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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 --
  1. The member of the household risks federal prosecution for being a prohibited person in possession (because he has access) of firearms.

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. 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):
    Quote:
    ...on June 6, 2008, a valid search warrant (the “search warrant”) was executed on the couple‟s Clarion County home. Agents seized an SKS, Interordnance M59/66 rifle (“SKS rifle”) from an upstairs bedroom.

    Although Huet is legally permitted to possess a firearm, Hall was convicted in 1999 of possessing an unregistered firearm, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d), and is therefore prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm. After being informed of the raid, Huet allegedly told investigators that the guns in the house belonged to her and that it was not illegal for her to purchase weapons. Despite Huet‟s assertions that she alone possessed the SKS rifle, the Government sought and obtained an indictment charging Hall with illegal possession of the weapon, and Huet with aiding and abetting Hall‟s possession....
  5. 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.
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Old July 10, 2014, 01:18 AM   #12
RustyShackelford
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Legal definition...

This is a good example of practicing law without a license.
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.
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Old July 10, 2014, 10:00 AM   #13
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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.
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Old July 11, 2014, 07:36 PM   #14
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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.
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.
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Old July 11, 2014, 08:07 PM   #15
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Hypothetical.

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?
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Old July 12, 2014, 09:20 AM   #16
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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.
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Old July 12, 2014, 12:25 PM   #17
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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.
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Old July 12, 2014, 12:26 PM   #18
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Being released from jail on parole doesn't mean they're a felon. Jail is also used as a punishment for misdemeanors.
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Old July 12, 2014, 12:29 PM   #19
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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.
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Old July 12, 2014, 12:32 PM   #20
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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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Old July 12, 2014, 01:13 PM   #21
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Having litigated and won criminal cases in Florida as they relate to convicted felons in possession of firearms. I can tell you I always tell my clients (who are convicted felons) that you can do everything right by the letter of the law but you'll still get arrested, charged, and have to pay for a defense. It's not worth the pain and headache in my opinion (I charge seven grand per felony defense where the cases are not related to murder, rape, or drug trafficking).

It'll cost him if a cop or PO shows up and learns there are guns in the house. Law enforcement is rarely your friend once you become a convicted felon (or even before in my opinion. Also in Florida, he would not want to ride in a car with the said guns because the law in Florida could easily throw in prison for being in possession. He'd have to be in a vehicle with a trunk that locked and was only accessilbe by key (no trunk release inside the car), with the key never being in his possession, in Florida. And even then you have to sell it to a jury.

Mind you I'm not licensed in any other state than Florida so I can't provide legal advice and haven't. But you can see where the headaches and pain could easily come about.

The smartest thing in my opinion would be for him to move all the guns outside of the house. Do his bit till he can petition for a restoration of his civil rights (and rights to own guns) which typically takes five years and during those five years he better be doing all kinds of charity work to show he has been trying to be a good guy (Boys and Girls Club is easy and fun, and looks good to a judge making the call).

Again none of this was legal advice, just discussion on the matter.
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Old July 12, 2014, 02:23 PM   #22
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Please allow me to further clarify some of the differences between PROBATION and PAROLE.

PROBATION is the term for supervision of persons convicted of MISDEMEANOR offenses. Probation is granted by the Sentencing Judge and the person is supervised by his Court. If a Probationer violates the terms of his probation then it is up to the Judge to decide what, if any, penalties he wants to impose.

PAROLE is the term of supervision of persons convicted of FELONY offenses. The Court has no authority over a felon once they have been sentenced to the custody of the Secretary of Corrections / Dept. of Corrections. That is why Parole is basically a change in the Offenders custody level. The D.O.C. has the authority to return the person to prison based on Administrative Rules and Regulations and does not need to involve a criminal act.

On a Federal level I rarely saw a Federal firearms conviction. It was usually included when the charges were stacked. (I agree with comments in Post 17).

HOWEVER on the local level the Police and the D.A. may be very interested in getting the offender out of their community for a long time. In fact the longer the better from their point of view especially depending on the victim(s) and the media. For the record when a offender came up for parole we would ask the Police, Sheriff and D.A. for comments about the offenders proposed release plan. I NEVER once had them support the plan. The best response was no comment. They objected to the vast majority of the plans regardless of the changes the offender made while in prison.

For persons convicted of State crimes a offender can petition to have his 2A right restored to the Federal Government five years after completing their sentence. However they still must get relief from the State which in my State never happened. In other words they can still be charged and convicted of being in possession of a firearm on the State level even though the Feds say it is ok.

One of the biggest issues with Probation is since the Judge keeps authority over the case he has wide latitude with setting the conditions of the persons release supervision. A common criticism of Probation is due to the inconsistency between Judges. Judges generally don’t have to worry about answering to someone else.

A MISDEMEANOR conviction usually will not result in loss of the right to own firearms although it may be a condition of release while on Probation.

Also since the case remains with the Court the probationer has the right to have a lawyer.

From real world practical experience Judges are sensitive to media attention and don’t enjoy being on the 6:00 o’clock news or in the newspaper trying to explain why he granted Probation to someone who makes a newsworthy crime.

Your friend needs to be very careful about agreeing to a plea agreement if he wants to retain his 2A rights.

Last edited by BSA1; July 12, 2014 at 06:19 PM.
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Old July 12, 2014, 03:47 PM   #23
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Post #18....

To reply to #18:
If a parolee or convict on probation had a misdemeanor, I highly doubt allowing firearms/weapons/ammunition in their ownership-possession or having these listed items in their residence/home would be granted.
Id also think(as I'm not a judge/lawyer/parole board member) a violation of a parole mandate or probation by owning/carrying a firearm would be a felony.
People are very touchy about guns & convicted criminals.
Some feel felons or convicts should not have guns or get their civil rights restored. Others say a felon should be allowed to pack heat or hunt after he/she has "paid their debt to society".

I, for 1, feel felons should not have access or own guns. Misdemeanors can be waved if the person stays clean & meets the requirements of parole/probation.
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Old July 12, 2014, 05:34 PM   #24
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As I recall, one of Nixon's men (G. Gordon Liddy?) was quite a shooter, and when asked if he still had firearms after his Watergate-related felony convictions, he replied that while he had nothing more than an airgun, his wife had quite a gun collection.

Here's a question - say someone is released on parole. OK, the court can impose all kinds of conditions on the parolee. Now, say the parolee moves in with someone else who owns guns and keeps them locked up in a safe the parolee doesn't have access to. Can the court's conditions on the parolee be applied against the other person who was never part of the crime and who didn't take part in the parole process? I mean, OK, the parolee can be violated for just about anything, which I presume includes making an unauthorized move. But can the other person's property be subject to things like warrantless searches if he was never part of the parole process?
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Old July 12, 2014, 06:05 PM   #25
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HankB,

I edited my reply in Post 22. (I got busy and only submitted a partial response). I carefully explain the differences between PROBATION and PAROLE.


Quote:
Here's a question - say someone is released on parole. OK, the court can impose all kinds of conditions on the parolee. Now, say the parolee moves in with someone else who owns guns and keeps them locked up in a safe the parolee doesn't have access to. Can the court's conditions on the parolee be applied against the other person who was never part of the crime and who didn't take part in the parole process? I mean, OK, the parolee can be violated for just about anything, which I presume includes making an unauthorized move. But can the other person's property be subject to things like warrantless searches if he was never part of the parole process?
In some States it is a condition of both Probation and Parole that the residence the offender is living in may be subject to a warrantless search at any time. This is something you as the homeowner/renter consent to when you agree to provide a place of residence for the offender.

When you agree to provide a place of residence for a offender you become a very important part of the offenders supervision and hopefully success from going back to his/her old lifestyle such as using drugs, associating with wrong people, maintaining a job, etc. Since you are the person that will be spending the most time with the offender you most likely will be the first person to know how the offender is doing.

As the person owning/leasing the residence you are also responsible for what is in the home. In other words it is your responsibility to keep drugs and other illegal items out of the home. For example if drugs were to be found in your home you could well be charged with a crime along with parolee.

So the short answer is yes.

The decision to provide a place of residence to a offender is something that should be given careful consideration to before agreeing to do so.

p.s. G. Gordon Liddy was a entertainer on the radio and a great b.s.er.

(Thank you to the Mods for allowing me to give these long winded explanations about Probation and Parole. Many folks do not understand the differences and how the system works).

Last edited by BSA1; July 12, 2014 at 06:22 PM.
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