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Felon in possession of a firearm.

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by IronMonster, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    I know there will be some issues with my question because it involves a young boy and the indecent caused injury to another child. That is awful and someone should be held responsible for that but that is not my question here

    Ok. So If I understand this correctly the boy, who does not live with his mother, Took a firearm from his mothers boyfriend's house, where she does not herself live. Once the indecent happened the mother was originally charged with battery in the third degree but the charges where modified to felon in possession of a firearm.

    So... My understanding is...

    The mother, who was prohibited from owning a firearm, took her son who she does not have parental custody of to her boyfriends house which from the sounds of it was legally able to possess a gun. She knew he had guns, however it does not state if he knew she was prohibited. The son lifts a unsecured pistol from the boyfriend, takes it to school, and there is a negligent discharge while it is in his bag injuring a classmate.

    Bauer, the boyfriend had his assault charges dropped after the state decided it did not have enough to convict.

    So I have several questions.

    1) How do you feel about the chain used to establish possession? If the guns would have been locked out of her reach would she still have been in possession (a theoretical question since if the guns would have been locked up conceivably none of this would have happened)

    2) How do you feel about the 14 month sentence? It is actually quite lenient by federal standards. My understanding is the FEDS usually use the Felon in possession charge as a booster for other charges but I am pretty sure with certain qualifiers (such as use in the committing of the new violent crime) its a 15 year minimum sentence, just in general it can be up to 10 years

    Ignore for the moment that the guns where not secured, I know if the guy would have been responsible and all the firearms where secure this would likely not have happened. However for theoretical sake of discussion

    3) Should the boyfriend/firearm owner be held responsible for letting a felon in his home A) knowing she was prohibited or B) what if he was unaware she was a felon?

    I have no children in my home. All my kids are adults. But that does not mean I have absolute control over who has access to what. What If my wife has a Tupperware party and someone (who happens to be a felon but none of us know that) brings her 10 year old boy. While the party is going on the boy goes into my bedroom and roots around and finds a revolver that is stashed for home protection. The boy then takes the weapon to school and shoots someone. Is the mom then charged for felon in possession of a firearm even though she never knew? Am I charged because I had a unsecured weapon even though I had no reasonable expectation that a child would have access? How would I know the mom should not be in the house in the first place?

    All this is hypothetical of course.

    I also posted a link to a old Seattle times story. In it they talk about the state sentencing for felon in possession. They seem remarkably lenient. If it is accurate a felon can be caught several times with a gun before serving any prison time for it. A juvenile could have 5 felon in possession charges prior to any serious consequences.

    So the next bit of this is with I594.

    So if I594 passes and it criminalizes transfers of firearms without a background check, What is the effect on the felon if he can already get caught with a gun several times prior to having to worry about going to jail? Obviously as felon has no expectation of following the law so I594 will not keep him from using illegal channels to obtain a firearm. Does it not seem like rather than making a criminal out of a law abiding citizen who chooses to engage in a transaction with another law abiding citizen we should just use the law as it is and actually punish felons found in possession of a firearm?

    If there was a 15 year minimum sentence for a felon in possession of a firearm during the committing of a new crime don't you think that would do far more than I594 while not infringing on the rights of law abiding gun owners?
  2. Joe13

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

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    Felons can be in your house legally.

    As long as they are not handling the firearm, they are not in possession.
  3. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    As a side note reading the comments on any of these news stories pretty much just makes me sick to my stomach.

    One stated that "Hording guns is a mental illness" and quantified "Hording" as anything more than 5.

    One stated that anyone who buys a gun should be implanted with a RFID that has a tranquilizer in in so the cops can incapacitate them at will if they are deemed a threat

    Another stated that there needed to be a database of gun owners so any time there was a police call and the person was in the database they could respond with SWAT and armor personal carriers to "neutralize" the gun owner

    The ignorance is terrifying
  4. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    It sounds to me like she plead to the lesser charge to drop the assault charge - which I don't understand how she can be charged with that either as it seems she didn't have custody of the child.

    I am either missing some info here or there are some convolutions in the law going on.

    Yes, she apparently took the child to her boyfriends house - that doesn't mean she plotted the assault, does it?

    From what I have read in this article, no adult knew the child was going to do what he did - take the gun. IMO - somebody could at most be charged with criminal negligence for improper storage of the firearm - maybe.

    I do not believe it is against the law for a felon to be near guns or physically in the presence of somebody who has guns. The presence of a gun does not mean you have possession of it. If she was near a police officer, does she have possession of the firearm that the LEO has? No.

    Do I have to "lock up" my firearms if someone convicted of a felony visits my home?

    I guess it would be different if that felon lived in my home - I guess it would then become "constructive possession"? I didn't see in the article where it stated that she actually lived with her boyfriend - I guess it leaves us to assume that?

    Lot's of facts missing here.

    If she was living with her boyfriend and he knew she was a felon, he should have locked up the guns, and none of this would have happened.

    Which goes to my opinion that most criminals are just stupid and do criminal things because they are stupid.
  5. Dave Workman

    Dave Workman Western Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    You are missing the point of such laws and such enforcement. The idea is not so much to jail people but to DISQUALIFY as many as possible from legally owning or possessing firearms. Makes great statistics for further restrictions later.

    The boyfriend in this case didn't wind up in the trouble that the mom did. In a sense, he's a crime victim, too, because the kid stole his pistol, from his house. It doesn't matter that many people think he left it carelessly laying around where anyone could take it. Theoretically, anyone should be able to leave his stuff out, and even his doors unlocked, because nobody should be walking off with his property.
    ejmpnu92, cooper and IronMonster like this.