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Am I a felon? (Actions that are likely illegal under I-594)

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by skjos, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. skjos

    skjos Orting Member

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    If I-594 passes would these actions make me a felon or at least get me hit with a gross misdemeanor?:

    While fishing for halibut off the coast of Washington in my buddy’s boat, he hooks a 40lb halibut and brings it to the side of the boat; I grab his .410 shotgun and humanely dispatch the fish. Am I a felon?

    While out hunting, I trade hunting rifles with my buddy, and we split up to cover more ground. He gets back to camp sooner than I do and decides to run to the store to get more supplies. To keep the rifle secure he takes it with him in the pickup. Because he left the legal hunting area with my loaned rifle am I a felon?

    While out hiking in the Northeast corner of the state with my girlfriend, I bring along a .44 revolver as protection from bears and wolves. After setting up the tent, I leave the pistol with her as I climb a nearby peak. Am I a felon?

    While out camping with my buddies in the national forest I bring along some plinker pistols and a couple of rifles to target shoot with. I let my friends target shoot using my guns. Would we all go to jail for life, because this would be multiple transfers with each felony stacking on top of the other?

    At a rural (non-gov authorized range), the person at the bench next to me has a hunting optic that I’m thinking about buying for my rifle. I ask him how he likes it, and he invites me to take a look though the scope. I shoulder the rifle to look through the optic, but do not fire it. Did I just take a temporary transfer from him? Am I a felon?

    My dad has an old rifle (not an antique) that he would like me to disassemble and refinish the stock; he brings the rifle to my house and leaves it with me to get it looking pretty again. He did not gift me the rifle, am I a felon?

    My girlfriend stores her expensive jewelry in my gun safe, to get to the jewelry box she has to open the safe and move one of my pistols out of the way. Does the move of the pistol constitute a transfer of possession? Am I a felon?

    Every month I take my O/U shotgun to a rural field on private property and bring along my son for skeet shooting; he just turned 18, am I a felon if I take him again?

    The way I read the initiative the answer is yes to all of these situations. Maybe someone who understands lawyer speak can set me straight.
     
  2. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I haven't read the proposed law (I no longer live in WA state), but I would think the answer to your question would be whether the law talks about transfer of possession or it talks about transfer of ownership.

    I can give you the keys to my car and let you drive it, but while you have possession, you in no way, shape or form, have ownership of the vehicle even though you may be using it exclusively.

    If the proposed statute defines "possession" (most laws usually have definitions near or at their beginning) as "simple" possession (i.e., common and simplest understanding) and uses that terminology throughout with regards to "transfers" that it prohibits or constrains, then the answer to your question may be yes.

    But don't read too much into the law - don't assume that a "transfer" means a transfer of possession when it probably means a transfer of ownership.

    Post the relevant parts of the law you think may make you felon along with the first part of the proposed law that contains the definitions I mentioned above and we can answer your question better. Don't make me read the whole legislation.

    That said, if the law would make you a felon in those circumstances, you have some very good use cases to present in testimony to the legislature in session and/or to write to your legislator.
     
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  3. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    Most of us commit at least one felony a day. Some of us commit many more than that. It'll just be one more on the list, like that stupid 922r crap.
     
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  4. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    We are a nation of laws, badly written and randomly enforced.
     
  5. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    You are IF caught AND convicted.
     
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  6. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. Might as well pick and choose the ones you follow.
     
    Caveman Jim likes this.
  7. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    By OUR standards,but not by a lawyer's.How else can he pick and choose which ones his clients can get away with.
    Or his fishing budy the judge,He needs to be able to read something else into the law that fit his agenda or beliefs
     
  8. skjos

    skjos Orting Member

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    I'm going to send this list of scenerios, plus a few more, to wagunresponsibility to see if they can clarify the legality of the situations.

    The additional scenerios:
    1. A hunting partner of mine comes to my house to plan a hunting trip in the Spokane area, he is going to drive there with an RV and I am going to fly over a few days later, and he will pick me up at the airport. I give him my rifle to bring with him so I don’t have to go through the hassle of having to fly over with it. Is this legal?

    2. I am selling a rifle to another person, the future owner wants to have the rifle inspected by a gunsmith prior to completing the transaction, can I give the rifle to the gunsmith (he is not performing any service or repair of the firearm, just an inspection)?

    3. A friend is being deployed overseas for a tour in Afghanistan; he would like me to store his firearms in my safe during his deployment. Is this legal?

    4. My brother lost his job and needs some money, he would like me to loan him some money using his firearm as collateral. He intends for me to return the firearm when he pays me back the amount of money I loaned him, is this legal?
     
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  9. 8ball

    8ball WA Quit talkin' and start chalking!

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    Don't bother - they aren't interested.

    Better idea - get your local Rep to write the AGs office to get an opinion. We should all do this - there is less than 100 days to the election.
     
    Michael Js likes this.
  10. Peteralexander78

    Peteralexander78 vancouver Slow is smooth, smooth is fast

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    To me the worst part of this law that is sounds good to the non gun person and in turn it will do nothing to prevent crime.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
    Caveman Jim, BigStick and Michael Js like this.
  11. 8ball

    8ball WA Quit talkin' and start chalking!

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    skjos, do you mind if I start a new thread with the intent of getting a response from the AG on your excellent set of questions? :)
     
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  12. addiction

    addiction Monroe Wa Active Member

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    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.
     
  13. twoclones

    twoclones Tri-Cities, WA Well-Known Member

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    So, would my girlfriend's guns in my gun safe constitute Constructive Possession and a transfer to everyone who has a combination to that gun safe?
     
  14. addiction

    addiction Monroe Wa Active Member

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    I think that since you also have the combination, she no longer has "constructive Possession" she has relinquished possession to you, as for others that have the combination, unless they also have unfettered access to your home, they would not have possession.

    I am not a lawyer, so take that with a grain of salt.

    Constructive Possession, is what allows the gun shops in NV to let you hold and shoot a class 3 weapon without having to do all the paper work as if you owned the weapon. They still control the weapon while you are shooting it.
     
  15. twoclones

    twoclones Tri-Cities, WA Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps I should have specified that we live in the same home.

    Time for His & Her gun safes.
     
  16. addiction

    addiction Monroe Wa Active Member

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    I guess that is one solution, my best example of constructive possession is when you fly with a gun, FAA requires a hard sided case with a non TSA lock that only you have the key or combo to. That way even though you allow them to take your guns and put them in the plane, you are in constructive possession because to access the guns they would need the key or combo, since they do not have it. they are not in control of the guns, you are.....
     
  17. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I was born a felon.
     
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  18. Gunguy45

    Gunguy45 Well-Known Member

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    I-594 makes the acts you suggest (and not all of them) Gross Misdemeanors, not felonies. In other words, for anyone OTHER than the law-abiding, it's at the worst, a minor inconvenience If they get caught, which they won't, if they're simply smart enough to keep their mouths shut.

    In my NCO school, the FIRST rule they taught us is: NEVER give an order you know will be disobeyed. All it does is wreck unit discipline. Likewise, NEVER pass a law that you know will be ignored by virtually everyone.
     
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  19. twoclones

    twoclones Tri-Cities, WA Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much what the first sentence of the original post says...

    Second violation is a felony but is that the second violation of the day or second violation ever?

    I-594_Privacy.jpg
     
  20. twoclones

    twoclones Tri-Cities, WA Well-Known Member

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    I would like to remind everyone that certain Washington State Legislators have been trying for years to lay a foundation for enforcing laws like I-594.

    KlineSearch.jpg
     
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