Can I own a gun in the house if my husband has felonies? 42 Answers as of July 08, 2013

My husband was convicted of drug related felonies in 2007 and is no longer on probation. I want to purchase a gun and I know I am able to own one, but am I able to keep it in my home if it is locked in a gun safe and my husband doesn't have access to it? I am home alone for most of the day and with crime in my neighborhood on the rise, I'd feel more comfortable with the gun stored securely in my home. And if God forbid I ever have to use it to protect myself, will my husband be arrested for it being in my possession?

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Law Office of James A Schoenberger
Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
Yes, if it is in a safe and he does not have the combination, you should be OK as he cannot have possession or control of the weapon.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/16/2012
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
I wouldn't recommend it; it's a big risk for your husband. Proving possession may be difficult if anything happens.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/2/2011
Law Office of Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq.
Law Office of Elizabeth B. Carpenter, Esq. | Elizabeth B. Carpenter
From my experience, police officers and courts would consider your husband in possession of a firearm if it is in the house that he occupies. Having the gun locked up with your husband not having access to it will not make a difference. I would not allow anyone to have a gun in your house as long as he is living there.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 10/12/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
It is always a difficult call even when the prohibited person does not appear to have access to the gun. Keeping it locked away from him is a prerequisite at the very least. Whether that will be enough if it ever comes to the attention of the police is a question I cannot predict however.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/10/2011
Fabian & Associates, Inc.
Fabian & Associates, Inc. | Stephen G. Fabian, Jr.
Not if he's in the house.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Replied: 7/8/2013
    Greco Law Office
    Greco Law Office | Dominic Greco
    No as long as your husband does not own it and he can't have access to it.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Iyer Law Office
    Iyer Law Office | V. Iyer
    Yes. But you must absolutely make sure that your husband, whose is prohibited from "possessing" a firearm because of his felon status, cannot ever come into possession of the gun. You must always have the key to the gun case in your physical possession at all times. Possession not only includes "actual physical possession" but also includes the lunge able or reachable distance. Just be careful as your husband could be charged with possession of aweapon by aprevious offender if he could access the guns but may not have actually accessed the guns. If you can have a gun case that is unbreakable it would be even better.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/10/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    Your husband is prohibited from owning, possessing, or having any form of control over a firearm. If he has no access to the gun safe, and there are ways to prove that, he may not be in for charges if you own the gun. I would strongly advise against it because proving he doesn't know the combination or have access to a key to the safe may be hard to prove.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    It appears you've evaluated it correctly.but is always up to the police whether they charge someone with such a crime. But, the way you've analyzed it appears accurate. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Levine & McHenry LLC
    Levine & McHenry LLC | Matthew McHenry
    Technically you can own a gun if it is truly yours and your husband truly has absolutely no access to it. Possession means that a person has control over the item. That being said, it is still a risky proposition that could make things difficult for your husband if there was any law enforcement contact.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    I would need further information because it may depen on things like what did the terms of probation say , and what were the terms of his plea bargain or sentence.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    It depends on the terms of your husband's probation and any other restrictions that were placed on him. Typically, a gun restriction will mandate that the defendant not own or possess a gun. If the gun is in your name and not in your husband's possession, then he can't be charged with violating the restriction. However, if your husband lives in your home, a Deputy District Attorney may have an argument that he was in possession.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    That would be up to your local police chief as he is the one who will approve or not approve your firearm's card.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    You should not have a gun in your home if your husband has a felony conviction. If our home is ever searched by police they will claim that he has access to the gun, and he will likely be charged and sent to prison. Why take the chance? If your husband were to have his civil rights reinstated, and if his conviction does not bar the possibility of the return of gun rights, he may be able to petition to have his gun rights reinstated.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Your husband should consult with an attorney to determine how long he is prohibited from possessing a gun. Having a gun in the home if he cannot be in possession of a gun could be risky.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    IN THEORY you can have a firearm in the house so long as your husband doesn't have access to it. I have seentoo many caseswherethe policearrestedevery felon they found anywhere near a firearm on the assumption he had access to it. It can take anywhere from a few hours to many months to sort out that kind of mess, and your husband could be stuck in jail while youhis lawyer try to sort it out. So, unless you cankeepthe firearm onyour person and away from him, I suggest getting pepper spray, a big dog, or something else thatyour husbandis allowedto have.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    Yes, under those circumstances you may have a gun. Your husband should not be charged with its possession if all the legalities are followed. There are no guarantees, of course, but you just do the best you can.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    So long as he has no access to the gun he is OK.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson | Kathryn L. Hudson
    Your husband's felonies preclude him from owning or possessing a fire arm, and If he does not own nor possess one he cannot be charged with the offense. Be sure to keep records and have the guns permitted in your name with the keys to the gun cabinet in your possession.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    If your husband lives in that house, you cannot possess a gun there.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    An attorney should be consulted. It depends on the nature of the felonies whether he can be around guns or not the attorney would have to have the exact convictions and then tell you what has to be done.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    The law on possession is pretty broad. It could be that he jointly possesses it as in community property. It could also be seen that he has constructive possession because he has access to it. If you want to keep your husband out of prison, you should not have a gun in the house.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    That is a gray area of the law. Technically, if he didn't have access to it and did not touch it, i.e. in a locked safe, he could argue he was not in possession. However simply being in the same house as a firearm could lead to a charge of being in possession. It is not a risk you would want to take given the potential consequence of a felon in possession charge.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/3/2013
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    It is unlawful for any person who is Convicted of Felonies to possess firearms or to possess ammunition. Any person who (a) has been convicted of a felony under the laws of the United States, the State of California, or any other state, government, or country, or (b) is addicted to any narcotic drug may not own or have in his or her possession, custody, or control any firearm. A felony conviction refers to a conviction of an offense that can only result in felony punishment under California law or any sentence to a federal correctional facility for more than 30 days, or a fine of more than $1,000, or both. I have always advised my clients meeting the above criteria to keep all firearms and ammunition out of any home or vehicle that they own or live in or is own by any family member.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas | Thomas Ogas
    YOU can own a gun, but he could get arrested for it being in the house that he lives in. You can take steps, such as keeping it locked up and not giving him a key, but that wont ensure that hell stay out of trouble. It depends on the police. He cant get in trouble for you having it. Hed get in trouble if he has access to it or if its ever in his possession.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Gutin and Wolverton
    Gutin and Wolverton | Harley Gutin
    You can. He can't. He can not be around firearms to the extent law enforcement claims he has possession of said firearms. So if you choose to keep a firearm keep it somewhere he can't get to like a locked room that is solely yours.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    In Oregon law there are two types of possession, actual and constructive. Actual possession is fairly straightforward, the object is in your hand, your pocket, your backpack. Constructive possession is a bit trickier. To be in constructive possession of an object, you have the right to control it. For example husbands and wives can usually be said to be in constructive possession of the things in their home they collectively own. You may not be holding all your plates but you could if you wanted to (or break them or wash them, whatever), the same is true of your husband. Thus with this gun issue, if the firearm is on the coffee table, then you are both in constructive possession. However, if the gun is locked up where only you have access to it, although reasonable minds may disagree, I'd think most juries would not say your husband possesses that weapon. Under the bed, yes, in the nightstand, maybe, locked in a place only you can get to, I'd say is a safe bet.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    It may be possible for your husband to get his felony vacated and dismissed. If that occurs, he can also get his firearms rights restored. If that is the case, he can possess them. As long as your husband is no longer under DOC jurisdiction, you could keep a firearm in your home but your husband must not be anywhere where he can access it or even in the same room with it. Still, the best case would make your husband eligible to vote, hold public office and own firearms.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    Law Office of Maureen Furlong Baldwin | Maureen Furlong Baldwin
    Thats a tough situation. Ultimately the police would have to believe you that your husband has no access to your gunwhich you would normally store in the master bedroom I expect! Or the alternative is you give up your constitutional right to bear arms. Legally, he is not allowed to be in possession of a gun. Possession means that he has the ability to "exercise dominion or control" over the firearm. that is quite subjective.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    The key is access. If you are legally able to own and possess a firearm, your living with a felon does not prevent such ownership. However, just as it would be illegal for a felon to posses a firearm, it is illegal to provide access of a firearm to a felon. So long as the firearm is kept locked and the felon does not have access to the weapon you should be within the law.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Rudolph A. Serra, Attorney
    Rudolph A. Serra, Attorney | Rudolph A. Serra
    "Possession" can be either "actual" or "constructive." Actual possession occurs if you have the gun on your person. "Constructive possession" occurs where the gun is not on your person but is still within your control because you have access to it. The doctrine of "constructive" possession applies also to drugs. If the police find drugs in your home, they may not be "on your person" but you can still be charged because you have "constructive possession." Accordingly, if your husband does not have ACCESS to the gun because it is locked up and he is either unaware of it or can't get to it, he would not be in possession. A police officer whose spouse has a felony conviction can still keep their gun at home as long as it is kept in a place and in a manner that guarantees that the felon cannot get it. Just being nearby is not enough to be considered possession. If a felon sits next to a police officer who is carrying a gun - the felon does not have "possession" of the gun. It will be important to be able to show that you have exclusive control of the lock, key or other storage.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC | Jeffery A. Cojocar
    He could be arrested for that.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    Yes you can still own a gun in the house, however, if they search and find it, they may go after him that he had access or control over it. Seems like quite the trap to set for him. It's up to you.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    You have a right to have a weapon, but you are putting your husband at risk. As a convicted felon, he has no right to possess a firearm or dangerous weapon until that right (if possible) is restored by the court. Your husband is living in the home with you and has access to the home, just as you do. This includes the contents of the home. The risk is great. You need to weigh the risks.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Thank you for your inquiry I have represented persons who were alleged to have guns in the home, but it was shown that the person had no access, and the charges dismissed. This is not to say that some other judge would disagree.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    If your husband resides wit you, you may not have a firearm in the house.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    Your husband would be in "constructive possession" of any weapon in your home. You are better off getting a dog and a security system. He can do several years in prison for possession of a weapon as a prior felon.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/7/2011
    The Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC
    The Zwiebel Law Firm, LLC | Elizabeth Zwiebel
    NO. No matter who owns the gun a person that has felonies cannot be around weapons of any kind for any reason.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/28/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    You may own. You may possess. Husband cannot. Placement of a firearm in a common are where he has access is always going to be a problem and probably not wise. Personally, I believe a securely stored weapon is a wasted expenditure of funds. You would probably have whatever unpleasantness is being perpetrated happen whie you get your securely stored defender.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/7/2011
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