Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

Felons and guns

Can a felon be charged with guns in the house if those guns are locked in a gun safe and someone else has the key?

Asked on 6/21/09, 12:23 am

4 Answers from Attorneys

Michael Stone Law Offices of Michael B. Stone Toll Free 1-855-USE-MIKE

Re: Felons and guns

Anybody can be charged with anything. Evidence of the situation you described might (or might not) convince a jury that the defendant is innocent. Of course, to get there from here you would have to be arrested, charged, make bail, and hire a lawyer.

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Answered on 6/21/09, 12:28 am
Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

Re: Felons and guns

Yes. It is a crime for a felon to possess a gun, even if accessing that gun would be difficult.

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Answered on 6/21/09, 12:29 am
Brian McGinity McGinity Law Office

Re: Felons and guns

Generally after someone has been convicted of certain felonies it is illegal for them to possess a firearm. California Penal Code, section 12020 & 12021 are the statues which control the situation. The law states that a felon may not own, or have in their possession or they may not have the custody & control of any firearm and if they do so it is a felony. Now the question becomes was the firearm in possession or under the custody & control or was it owned by the felony. Custody & Control and possession are the "catch all" provisions and the courts tend to error on the side of caution. So, back to your question. Under the simple facts as you have described them, the simple answer is yes, a felon can be charged with guns in the house if those guns are locked in a gun safe and someone else has the key. In order for them to be convicted of the charge there will have to be evidence to suggest they have access to the guns, however this is the type of situation that can blow up in someone's face. I suggest you contact a private attorney who is familiar with the jurisdiction where you were charged. It will be will worth the cost of the consultation to find out where you stand under your particular set of circumstances. If you are looking for representation please feel free to contact my office. Good luck.

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Answered on 6/22/09, 10:10 am
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

Re: Felons and guns

Yes. His only hope of defense is for the other person to 'prove' the guns were his and the con had no access to them. Tough sell. After he gets out of prison for this violation, I suggest he learns and follows the rules.

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Answered on 6/22/09, 2:23 pm

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