Can the spouse of a convicted felon own a gun? 9 Answers as of August 29, 2011

The felony conviction is from 1991 in Vermont and I know live in California. As convicted felon I understand that I cannot own any firearm but can my wife. We live together and the mortgage is under both of our names. Is is possible to get my felony conviction removed?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
LynchLaw
LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
Just because you have a felony record does not preclude your wife from owning a firearm. However, she must not allow you access to the weapon. As a felon, you could not own or possess such a weapon. If you live together, and your wife wanted to have the weapon in your home, it would require her to keep the weapon out of your possession and control. If she were to keep it in a safe, and you did not possess the key or combination, this should suffice.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/29/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
Since you can't even have constructive possession of a gun (that is access), the gun would have be locked up and you have no ability to get to it. Given you are a married couple you would be taking a chance having a gun in the household if it came to the attention of the police. As to your other question, you would have to get an attorney in Vermont to advise you how and if a felony conviction there can be legally set aside so as to permit gun ownership.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/29/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
No matter who owns the gun, you cannot have a gun in the home that you live in, if your wife wanted to keep the gun some place other than your home, like the gun club or shooting range, then she can own a gun.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/29/2011
A.L.A. Law Group, LLP
A.L.A. Law Group, LLP | Lauren M. Mayfield
Yes but this can put you, as the convicted felon, in a risky position. She can purchase and keep a firearm but to be safe you should not have access to it and it should be kept in a place that you either don't have a key to or don't have access to altogether. Keep in mind that you could be charged with possession even if its not in your name so trying to get around the law this way is very risky. You should speak with a local attorney about the possibility of reducing the 1991 charge to a misdemeanor through 17(b) motion. Not all charges are eligible so you will need the exact charge you were convicted of.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/29/2011
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
Yes, there is no restriction on your wife. You would need to contact an attorney in Vermont (maybe the attorney who represented you) to ask about the expungement law there.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/29/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    You need to talk to a Vermont lawyer about expunging your felony conviction. 2. Even if it is expunged you will still be in violation of a FEDERAL ex-felon in possession of a firearm. 3. If the gun is in your wife's name ALONE have her lock it in a gun safe and have her keep the only key with her at all times. Don't piss her off or you will be doing serious time for being an ex-felon in possession...
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Law Office of Mark Bruce
    Law Office of Mark Bruce | Mark Corwin Bruce
    Technically your wife can own a firearm. Problem is, you live there too. Your PO or any other law enforcement will assume you have access to the weapon. Better plan is not to have firearm where you can get to it-meaning, not in the house, not in the garage, nowhere where you live. Period.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Can own and possess. However, cop attitude is that if it is in the same place as where the felon lives, the felon is in possession. So, you have one, put it in a gun safe with a combo the felon does not know. But possession is not recommended.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/29/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    As long as your wife doesn't have any disqualifying reasons, she can own a firearm. The problem is, that as a convicted felon, you cannot own, use or possess a firearm. It's not just ownership - it's the "possession" that could hurt you. If you have access to it - and it would be an uphill battle to prove you didn't have access to something in your common house - then you can be found in "possession" of it. If that happens, you're looking at a new felony charge and up to three years in state prison. You may want to look into what (if anything) can be done in Vermont to reduce and/or expunge your conviction. That may restore your gun rights - but verify 100% with both a Vermont and California criminal defense attorney that can sit down with you and review the details and paperwork.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/29/2011
Click to View More Answers: