Does a felon get to decide who gets the guns he can no longer own?
This is some serious stuff, so please bear with me. I find myself in an awkward situation: I have a son, in his mid-twenties, who has a felony conviction. I have had possession of two rifles: one given to him by his mother (now my ex), and another - a .22 that I bought for him when he was a child (not yet a criminal). I have had these guns in my safe since January, 2008, since he and his wife separated and he bounced from place to place to live. Along the way, he got into trouble and was convicted of a felony (originally car-jacking but plead down to unauthorized use of a vehicle)
He recently got out of jail, and moved to another state - coincidentally near his mother. Since the day he was released, he has been discussing with various family members (not me) getting these guns - even though he is no longer allowed to be in possession of a firearm. (Hasn't learned much, I guess). Recently his mother approached me with a request to send the guns to her, saying that he has decided to "give" them to her. My question is, what legal standing does he have? Does he even have a say over these guns anymore? It's not that I care about keeping the guns myself, but more along the lines of what I know will happen - if she gets the guns, HE gets the guns, as she does virtually everything he says. This concerns me on so many levels: Aside from the obvious...he's a felon and will go back to jail for being in possession of them, I'm also concerned with what he might do with them. A little history - he has a long history of substance abuse and mental instability, and he has two little children and is going through a contentious divorce/custody/visitation battle with his soon-to-be ex-wife. He has threatened in the past to take the kids from her and disappear. These are my grand-kids, so naturally I take threats like that very seriously.
I replied to my ex, saying that there's no way in hell I'm going to send these guns to her - and why. I wouldn't be surprised at this point if he decides to sue me for them in civil court. I know the court won't grant him possession of them, but my fear is they will assert his ability to decide their disposition. The state where I live and where the guns are kept, and the venue of his conviction - is Virginia. If anyone can give me an idea about what I might expect from the courts in a case like this, I'd sure appreciate it.