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Old December 1, 2009, 11:50 AM   #1
2damnold4this
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An ethics question

Our hunting club is made up of some great guys that are generous and often bring guests. Two of these guest are a father and his son. Normally, I think it's great to involve family in hunting but the father is a convicted felon. It worries me that some of my friends are bringing this this fellow to the club lands and loaning him firearms knowing that he is out on parole after shooting someone intentionally over ten years ago. I'm worried that my friends might lose their firearm ownership rights if they are caught loaning him firearms. What should I do?
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Old December 1, 2009, 11:56 AM   #2
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It is not your friends you should be worried about but the convicted felon as he is the one violating the law. I would inform the person bringing in the felon of the law being violated and if you see it happen again, you will be obligated to call the authorites. Yes, you will create a conflict between the two of you by doing this, but you are not the one violating the law. Good luck.
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Old December 1, 2009, 12:03 PM   #3
Brian Pfleuger
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What PTS1 said!

Absolutely correct. He is violating the law. Inform him of such and inform him that you don't want any problems but feel obligated to inform the authorities and will do so.
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Old December 1, 2009, 12:04 PM   #4
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Your concerns are Valid !!!

Your concerns are very valid. Last year, we were directed by the state, not to accept any felons in our hunter safety classes and that legal action could be taken if we knowingly do so. We decided to bring up this question during our enrollments. We were also informed that felons cannot even handle ammo, let alone a firearm. M/L's are classified as firearms and includes them as well. Convicted felons are fully aware of this and these folks as well as your club, are playing with fire. Enforcement is a real problem.



Be Safe !!!
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Old December 1, 2009, 12:10 PM   #5
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Years ago,I recall a case where a woman was sent back to prison because she had a criminal history and then posed for a "girl with a gun " poster.

As far as the father/son aspect,setting the example for the son to sneak around the law versus saying"Son,I made mistakes,and now I must keep the straight and narrow."

It is just not OK
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Old December 1, 2009, 12:15 PM   #6
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I suspect the majority of felons out there have guns. The guy wants to hunt I would leave him alone myself if I did not consider him a threat. Of course, everybody is going to do what they think is best in their own situation.
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Old December 1, 2009, 12:20 PM   #7
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I suspect the majority of felons out there have guns. The guy wants to hunt I would leave him alone myself if I did not consider him a threat. Of course, everybody is going to do what they think is best in their own situation.
That may be true, but there are different "kinds" of felons. I have an uncle who is a convicted felon. It involved a physical relationship with a minor and it was like 40 years ago, maybe more. THIS GUY has a felony that specifically involved the violent use of firearms and it was not all that long ago. "Felon" doesn't say it, "shot someone" says it for me.
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Old December 1, 2009, 12:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Convicted felons are fully aware of this...
This guy knows he`s a felon, knows that he`s jeopardizing himself and those around him. Apparently doesn`t care. That said, seems to me he`s not only a felon but a selfish one at that. Wouldn`t feel bad at all talking to him and the other members of the hunting club and expressing my feelings.
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Old December 1, 2009, 12:31 PM   #9
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Dunno how you feel about this; but bow hunting wouldn't violate the law, right? Perhaps that could be ground your club could agree on.
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Old December 1, 2009, 01:44 PM   #10
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Depends on how you feel about the law. If you think it's an unjust law and want to fight it then educate people about it so that they can vote Not Guilty when they are on Jury Duty (they never tell you that you have the right to vote Not Guilty if you think a law is unjust - that is the final checks and balances in the legal system - the people have the final say in making and enforcing laws).

If you feel it is a just law then you have a dilemna on your hands; you need to decide then if you are willing to speak up or keep quiet about it.
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Old December 1, 2009, 02:09 PM   #11
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The guys providing the guns are playing with fire. If they know the guy is a felon they are committing a crime.

If they don't know he is a felon they could still get into trouble.
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Old December 1, 2009, 02:30 PM   #12
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I don't know if the Skoien case will cover this but it may. I guess he will have to wait and see.
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Old December 1, 2009, 03:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
It is not your friends you should be worried about but the convicted felon as he is the one violating the law.
This is not accurate. Yes, it is a felony for a felon to possess a firearm, and it is also a felony to knowingly provide a felon with a firearm, so your club should take action in this case.
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Old December 1, 2009, 04:49 PM   #14
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Sorry for the typos in the op and thanks for the replies.

I guess I have several options.
I can do nothing, I can quit the club, or I can threaten to turn the fellow in. I think I should probably quit the club and ask my friends that are in the club not to mention taking the felon gun hunting.
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Old December 1, 2009, 10:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
I guess I have several options.
I can do nothing, I can quit the club, or I can threaten to turn the fellow in. I think I should probably quit the club and ask my friends that are in the club not to mention taking the felon gun hunting.
In my opinion, if you are passionate enough about this issue to quit going to that club , that issue should be reported to the local authorities. This isn't a case of someone always dumping hot brass down your neck, putting a round into your targets, or shooting in an unsafe manner, things that make you want to find a new place to shoot to get away from an annoyance. The "guest" and those loaning him firearms are willfully breaking the law, and even if you leave the club, you still have knowledge about the activity taking place, and could get in hot water if he gets caught and you say nothing.

If it were me, I would have no problem calling in the local LEO. I may not agree with all the laws that are in place, but they are still the law. If no one at the range knew about the felony conviction before loaning him firearms, but stopped loaning firearms when they found out, I wouldnt have an issue with still shooting there. But, to know about this man's past, and disregard the laws pertaining to it and allow him access to thier firearms............not the kinda people I want to hang out with, and makes me wonder what other laws they disregard.


Just my opinions, we all see things from different prespectives.
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Old December 1, 2009, 10:45 PM   #16
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My $0.02...take the issue to the club hierarchy first. If they do nothing, I'd contact the local leo's and then find another club.
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Old December 1, 2009, 10:55 PM   #17
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To cover all of the bases, you might find out for sure that he hasn't completed a probationary period and process by which some felons can restore their firearms rights.

Seems like around here that involves 7 or maybe 10 years of CLEAN record, and then the approval of a or maybe the convicting judge.

If the guy seems like a decent dude, you might even put it to him like, "Ya know, you could get legal with guns if you did this---- and it would set a great example for your boy."

Many of us have a past that was less than stellar, and have, by the grace of God, put it behind us. Walking the straight and narrow is the only way to do it.

That being said, if your guts don't like the feel of things, and there is ANYTHING scary, flaky, or wrong about the way the guy behaves, call the cops and don't feel bad about it. Guys who are going the right direction don't seem scary or flaky, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell. jd
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Old December 2, 2009, 12:02 AM   #18
Big Bill
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Talk to the club president and inform him of your intentions. Ask him/her to take appropriate action. Then, if your club continues to support this felon, I'd drop out of the club and find another one.
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Old December 2, 2009, 02:34 AM   #19
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I'm not going to suggest what you should or should not do. That's for you to decide.

However, I will tell you this:

Felons may NOT possess firearms unless their rights have been restored.

A felon in possession of a firearm, or in possession of ammunition, is guilty of a felony-level offense.

A person who provides the felon with a firearm, or access thereto, has also committed a felony offense.

A person who assists, aids or abets the possession of a firearm of a felon can be charged with rendering criminal assistance.

Do you REALLY want to be associated with people like this?

Think about it.
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Old December 2, 2009, 05:48 AM   #20
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In Florida the authorites have taken to crossreferencing quota hunt permits and hunting licenses with felony records. When they get a hit they then make a point of checking the WMA where the permit is issued spicifically looking for the guy.

Not a bad policy in my book.

Convicted felons do have a path to getting their civil rights back, including gun rights. They have paid their debt to society at some point and should avail themselves of the option if it's available.

Beyond that, as was suggested, the archery option is a exellent compromise.
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Old December 2, 2009, 08:28 AM   #21
2damnold4this
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There is a fellow that hunts archery only as a guest while his father hunts with a firearm. I don't know if he is hunting with a bow because he has to or if it's a choice. I'd have no problem with the felon hunting with archery tackle.

I feel like if I see the felon in possession of a firearm, I'll be obliged to report it. At this point, I'll speak to the folks that brought the felon as a guest and ask them not to do so in the future.

The folks that have brought the felon as a guest have been bringing the son to hunt while the felonious father was in prison. He's seems to be a good young man but I think it has more to do with the nice guys in the club than the father that who has been in prison for the last ten years.

I'm not sure the folks that brought the felon as a guest provided the firearm but they might have. They certainly know he was hunting with a firearm and they know he is a felon.
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Old December 2, 2009, 09:12 AM   #22
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I read about a case here in Missouri a few years ago in which not only the felon was arrested for possession of a rifle, but the guy who gave it to him was also charged with (?) aiding and abetting a known felon.

I find it ironic that a club which supports the 2A would condone something like this, if in fact it is well know among the club. Discuss it among the club officers and go from there.

If the club members really want to do the right thing and they feel this guy is now an upstanding member of the community, let them get together and help him submit his paperwork to restore his rights.

I personaly would not want to be associated with a club that condones this type of behavior. JMHO.
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Old December 2, 2009, 11:06 AM   #23
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Quote:
A person who provides the felon with a firearm, or access thereto, has also committed a felony offense.

A person who assists, aids or abets the possession of a firearm of a felon can be charged with rendering criminal assistance.
Quote:
I read about a case here in Missouri a few years ago in which not only the felon was arrested for possession of a rifle, but the guy who gave it to him was also charged with (?) aiding and abetting a known felon.
Take heart as this is how the law may see it regardless of what your persoanal feelings might be. I also know of a case in Northern Illinoise where a dealer handed a firearm to a convicted felon, without requiring this felon to show his FOID card. Not sure what action was taken against that dealer but sure shook up a bunch of them. Perhaps some Illinoise folks can shed some additional light on this. I got this from a dealer who asked for my card at a show and would not let me look at one of her firearms till I showed this card. Told "Her" that I was out of state and just wanted to see this particular model. I thanked her and started to walk away, at which point she let me look at it. I thanked her
again.

Be Safe !!!
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Old December 2, 2009, 11:24 AM   #24
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2damnold4this
I'm not sure the folks that brought the felon as a guest provided the firearm but they might have. They certainly know he was hunting with a firearm and they know he is a felon.
It also entirely possible that they don't actually know that they're breaking the law. It not unreasonable at all that they would have no knowledge of such a thing. The felon knows, for sure, but, well, he's a felon, what do you expect? He's not going to be honest about it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 2damnold4this
I guess I have several options.
Whatever option you choose, be diplomatic about it. Personally, I don't see why you'd have to quit the club unless you make an effort to fix the problem and things REALLY go south but if you think that quitting the club is the right thing to do then that's what you should do.

If it were me I would discreetly talk to the folks who brought the guy and ask them if they are aware that letting a felon use their firearms is illegal. You're pretty likely to get a and a from them and you won't see it happen again.
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Old December 2, 2009, 11:39 AM   #25
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I would certainly begin by discussing the matter with whoever is the "boss" of the hunt club, pointing out the legal issues. His reaction would influence any next action on my part. I'd probably discuss it with any club member with whom I was most friendly.

I really don't know if I'd inform the legal authorities; odds are I'd just drop out of the club if the other members were unconcerned. If other members turned out to obviously not care, or were hostile toward me, I'd drop out of the group and probably go ahead and tell the legal authorities.

But, one step at a time...
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