Felons and firearms in the same house

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Felons and firearms in the same house

Postby walnut red » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:33 pm

One of my cousins will be getting out of prison next year after serving a sentence for white collar crime. My wife suggested that we offer him a place to stay for a while until he gets back on his feet. Is that even an option with firearms in the house?
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Re: Felons and firearms in the same house

Postby JediSkipdogg » Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:21 pm

Depends on the rules of his parole. Keep in mind it also opens you up to losing your 4th Amendment right for your residence. Pretty much his parole officer can say they want to verify if there are firearms in the house and you cannot deny them entry. Well, you can, but then your cousin goes back to prison.
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Re: Felons and firearms in the same house

Postby mreising » Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:38 pm

I would tell him that you are sorry he made some poor choices in life, but you will not be able to accommodate him in your house.
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Re: Felons and firearms in the same house

Postby Stryker74 » Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:50 pm

I have a family member who is a felon. I don't allow him in my house at all.

Sorry - he made his choices, so I have made mine as well.
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Re: Felons and firearms in the same house

Postby gilly32 » Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:37 am

What is the actual law regarding felons and the presence of firearms in a building where they don't reside? Is it all a matter of access? Would firearms locked in a safe be an issue? Can I hire a convicted felon to work at my business and still legally carry my firearm?

Is there a section of the ORC where this is spelled out?
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Re: Felons and firearms in the same house

Postby JustaShooter » Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:15 am

gilly32 wrote:What is the actual law regarding felons and the presence of firearms in a building where they don't reside? Is it all a matter of access? Would firearms locked in a safe be an issue? Can I hire a convicted felon to work at my business and still legally carry my firearm?

Is there a section of the ORC where this is spelled out?

Spelled out as clearly as mud is more like it. There is no law I can find that says they can't be in a building where there are firearms present, whether or not they reside there. Here are the two sections of the ORC I was able to find:

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2923.13

2923.13 Having weapons while under disability.

(A) Unless relieved from disability under operation of law or legal process, no person shall knowingly acquire, have, carry, or use any firearm or dangerous ordnance, if any of the following apply:

(1) The person is a fugitive from justice.

(2) The person is under indictment for or has been convicted of any felony offense of violence or has been adjudicated a delinquent child for the commission of an offense that, if committed by an adult, would have been a felony offense of violence.

(3) The person is under indictment for or has been convicted of any felony offense involving the illegal possession, use, sale, administration, distribution, or trafficking in any drug of abuse or has been adjudicated a delinquent child for the commission of an offense that, if committed by an adult, would have been a felony offense involving the illegal possession, use, sale, administration, distribution, or trafficking in any drug of abuse.


http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2923.20v1

2923.20 Unlawful transaction in weapons.

(A) No person shall:

(1) Recklessly sell, lend, give, or furnish any firearm to any person prohibited by section 2923.13 or 2923.15 of the Revised Code from acquiring or using any firearm, or recklessly sell, lend, give, or furnish any dangerous ordnance to any person prohibited by section 2923.13, 2923.15, or 2923.17 of the Revised Code from acquiring or using any dangerous ordnance;


So it looks to me like it really is about possession and access - they can't have them, you can't give them one, nor can you "Recklessly ... furnish" one to them - I would think that failing to lock up any firearms that are not under your direct control when they are (or even might) be there would be reckless. I thought the same thing applied to ammunition, but I don't see that in these sections of Ohio law so that might be a Federal restriction, I don't know.

Edit: Yes, the ammunition prohibition is in Federal law, and the Federal law regarding firearms, ammunition and prohibited persons looks to be about possession and access as well.
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Re: Felons and firearms in the same house

Postby troy bilt » Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:44 pm

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictiona ... possession

Constructive Possession

Constructive possession is a legal theory used to extend possession to situations where a person has no hands-on custody of an object. Most courts say that constructive possession, also sometimes called "possession in law," exists where a person has knowledge of an object plus the ability to control the object, even if the person has no physical contact with it (United States v. Derose, 74 F.3d 1177 [11th Cir. 1996]). For example, people often keep important papers and other valuable items in a bank safety deposit box. Although they do not have actual physical custody of these items, they do have knowledge of the items and the ability to exercise control over them. Thus, under the doctrine of constructive possession, they are still considered in possession of the contents of their safety deposit box. Constructive possession is frequently used in cases involving criminal possession.

I looked into this for a friend some time ago. From what I remember even if you have all your guns in a safe the felon can be charged with possession if he knows where the key is, and can get to it.
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Re: Felons and firearms in the same house

Postby schmieg » Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:44 pm

From State v. Davis, 2016 Ohio 7964 (8th District):


In the instant matter, Davis was convicted of having weapons while under disability, in violation of R.C. 923.13(A)(2), which provides

"[u]nless relieved from disability under operation of law or legal process, no person shall knowingly acquire, have, carry, or use any firearm or dangerous ordnance, if * * * [t]he person is under indictment for or has been convicted of any felony offense of violence or has been adjudicated a delinquent child for the commission of an offense that, if committed by an adult, would have been a felony offense of violence."

In State v. Adams, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 93513, 2010-Ohio-4478, this court held that in order to “have” a firearm or dangerous ordnance within the meaning of R.C. 2923.13, an individual must either actually or constructively possess it.
Id. at ¶ 19, citing State v. Hardy, 60 Ohio App.2d 325, 327, 397 N.E.2d 773 (8th Dist.1978). “The issue of whether a person charged with having weapons while under disability knowingly acquired, had, carried, or used any firearm or dangerous ordnance ‘is to be determined from all the attendant facts and circumstances available.’” State v. Bray, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 92619, 2009-Ohio-6461, ¶ 21, quoting State v. Teamer, 82 Ohio St.3d 490, 492, 696 N.E.2d 1049 (1998).

Possession may be actual or constructive.

Constructive possession may * * * be inferred when a person has dominion or control over the premises upon which the object in question is found and knows that the object is on those premises. State v. Scalf (1998), 126 Ohio App.3d 614, 710 N.E.2d 1206. Furthermore, a person may knowingly possess or control property belonging to another; the state need not establish ownership to prove constructive possession. See State v. Robinson, 8th Dist. [Cuyahoga] No. 90751, 2008-Ohio-5580. Bray at ¶ 23. Ownership does not need to be proven, and constructive possession may be established by circumstantial evidence. State v. Blue, 9th Dist. Lorain No. 10CA009765, 2011-Ohio-511, ¶ 17.
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Re: Felons and firearms in the same house

Postby walnut red » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:20 am

Still a little muddy to me.

2923.13 Having weapons while under disability.

(A) Unless relieved from disability under operation of law or legal process, no person shall knowingly acquire, have, carry, or use any firearm or dangerous ordnance, if any of the following apply:

(1) The person is a fugitive from justice.

Not a fugitive, convicted and served his time.

(2) The person is under indictment for or has been convicted of any felony offense of violence or has been adjudicated a delinquent child for the commission of an offense that, if committed by an adult, would have been a felony offense of violence.

Not a violent offence, white collar. I'd be more concerned about access to a computer than a firearm.

(3) The person is under indictment for or has been convicted of any felony offense involving the illegal possession, use, sale, administration, distribution, or trafficking in any drug of abuse or has been adjudicated a delinquent child for the commission of an offense that, if committed by an adult, would have been a felony offense involving the illegal possession, use, sale, administration, distribution, or trafficking in any drug of abuse.

Felony did not involve illegal substances in any way.

So would his parole office or my county prosecutor be the one to talk to about an exact interpretation?
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Re: Felons and firearms in the same house

Postby JustaShooter » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:17 am

walnut red wrote:Still a little muddy to me.

2923.13 Having weapons while under disability.

(A) Unless relieved from disability under operation of law or legal process, no person shall knowingly acquire, have, carry, or use any firearm or dangerous ordnance, if any of the following apply:

(1) The person is a fugitive from justice.

Not a fugitive, convicted and served his time.

(2) The person is under indictment for or has been convicted of any felony offense of violence or has been adjudicated a delinquent child for the commission of an offense that, if committed by an adult, would have been a felony offense of violence.

Not a violent offence, white collar. I'd be more concerned about access to a computer than a firearm.

(3) The person is under indictment for or has been convicted of any felony offense involving the illegal possession, use, sale, administration, distribution, or trafficking in any drug of abuse or has been adjudicated a delinquent child for the commission of an offense that, if committed by an adult, would have been a felony offense involving the illegal possession, use, sale, administration, distribution, or trafficking in any drug of abuse.

Felony did not involve illegal substances in any way.

So would his parole office or my county prosecutor be the one to talk to about an exact interpretation?


In this case, the prohibition is at the Federal level. See https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/922 section (g):

(g) It shall be unlawful for any person—
(1) who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
(2) who is a fugitive from justice;
(3) who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802));
(4) who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution;
(5) who, being an alien—
(A) is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or
(B) except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(26)));
(6) who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
(7) who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship;
(8) who is subject to a court order that—
(A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had an opportunity to participate;
(B) restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and
(C)
(i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or
(ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; or
(9) who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,
to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.


Federal law does not distinguish between violent and non-violent felonies - in fact, it doesn't even specify felonies, simply "a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year" - note that this says "punishable", not "sentenced to" so if you *could* be sentenced to more than a year, the crime disqualifies the offender from possessing firearms or ammunition.

So, although they might not be prohibited under Ohio law, they can still be prohibited under Federal law, which appears to be the case here.
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Re: Felons and firearms in the same house

Postby walnut red » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:39 am

Thanks, Federal is much clearer in this case.
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Re: Felons and firearms in the same house

Postby Werz » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:16 am

JediSkipdogg wrote:Depends on the rules of his parole. Keep in mind it also opens you up to losing your 4th Amendment right for your residence. Pretty much his parole officer can say they want to verify if there are firearms in the house and you cannot deny them entry. Well, you can, but then your cousin goes back to prison.

Parole for most felony offenses has not existed since 1996. Post-release control supervision is a possibility, but that is optional. I don't know what type of "white collar crime" is being referred to, but I'm guessing that post-release control is less than likely. Simply put, continued supervision after release is far from a foregone conclusion.
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Re: Felons and firearms in the same house

Postby Thanlon23 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:04 pm

I would talk to a Parole Officer to find out, they would probably know best. Find out before he gets out so he knows if he has to make other arrangements.
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