Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

If I am prohibited from owning a gun, and my wife buys a handgun for her protection, and we move to California, do their community property laws make me a legal owner of my wife's gun and thus a lawbreaker?

Asked on 8/30/13, 3:59 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Joe Dane Law Office of Joe Dane

The prohibition typically isn't against just ownership, but also includes possession or control. If there was a firearm in your home, regardless of legal ownership, yes - you could be potentially in possession and in violation of the law.

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Answered on 8/30/13, 4:35 pm

Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

I agree with Mr. Dane. But I would want to know more about the reasons why you say you're prohibited from owning a gun. It sounds like this was ordered under the laws of a different state or even a different country. Since I don't know who issued the order, what it says, or why it was made, I can't be sure what effect it would have here. (Some people can't have guns because they are felons, others can't have them due to a restraining order, while still others can't have them due to a serious mental illness. There are other reasons, too. Different laws govern in these situations.) But don't get your hopes up; California would probably limit your rights in much the same way they are limited now.

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Answered on 8/30/13, 4:46 pm
Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

For a felon or anyone otherwise prohibited from possessing guns under federal or state law, it is a serious risk for him living in a house where there is a gun. He can not even be in the presence of firearms or ammunition without risk of being charged with a felony. I have for years been warning that to be as safe as possible from legal problems when a felon or other prohibited person is present in a house [resides or visits], a gun owner must secure all guns and ammo in a locked gun safe, preferably in a locked room to neither of which a prohibited person has access. Knowingly allowing the prohibited person access to firearms could result in the gun owner being charged with ‘aiding and abetting’.

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Answered on 9/04/13, 11:41 am

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