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Old August 31, 2014, 09:00 AM   #1
cjwils
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Lots of legal twists in this one

Woman, who was prohibited from possessing firearms and who did not have custody of her son, was sentenced to 14 months because the son got a gun in mom's boyfriend's home and took it to school where another student was badly injured.

http://news.msn.com/crime-justice/mo...enced?gt=51501

Regardless of the legal issues, this is another example of why guns must be locked up when kids are around.

Last edited by cjwils; August 31, 2014 at 10:47 AM. Reason: fix a mistake
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Old August 31, 2014, 10:35 AM   #2
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It seems pretty clear-cut. "Constructive possession" is a concept that has been discussed before. If/when there is a prohibited person living in the vicinity of firearms, irrespective of the presence or absence of children the firearms have to be stored in a way that doesn't allow the prohibited person to have access to them.
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Old August 31, 2014, 11:00 AM   #3
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if the child had access, then the prohibited MOM (in the same household) did too.
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Old September 1, 2014, 11:28 PM   #4
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I wonder why the school district agreed to pay $900,000 to the injured child. There had to be more to the story than one kid bringing in the gun, resulting in the second kid being injured.
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Old September 2, 2014, 12:34 PM   #5
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How does a gun go off in a backpack?
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Old September 2, 2014, 03:13 PM   #6
carguychris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glh17
How does a gun go off in a backpack?
The chamber was loaded, the safety (if present*) wasn't engaged, and who-knows-what got wedged in the trigger guard.

This is a good example of why it's important for a handgun to be properly holstered rather than just carelessly tossed into a bag.

*I'm not familiar with this story, I don't know what kind of gun it was, and I don't feel like researching whether it had a manual safety.
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Old September 3, 2014, 04:37 PM   #7
motorhead0922
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Everything about this situation with the kids is wrong. Father out of the picture, kids living with an uncle, mom's a felon, etc, etc. There's a whole lotta shackin' up going on.

She is certainly no angel, but the gun was her boyfriend's, and the home was her boyfriend's. That seems like it's all on the bf. She admitted she knew the guns were there though.

Makes me wonder if a prohibited person can enter a home he or she knows, or strongly suspects contains guns. I've got an NRA sticker on my SUV in the driveway. Should visitors, if they are prohibited, be asking me if I need to lock anything up?
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Old September 3, 2014, 05:29 PM   #8
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motorhead0922
...Makes me wonder if a prohibited person can enter a home he or she knows, or strongly suspects contains guns. I've got an NRA sticker on my SUV in the driveway. Should visitors, if they are prohibited, be asking me if I need to lock anything up?
Or you should be asking some questions.

Consider the case of United States v. Huet, 665 F.3d 588 (3rd Cir., 2012). The Third Circuit (Pennsylvania) let stand an indictment for aiding and abetting the unlawful possession of a gun by a prohibited persons in a situation in which a gun owner had a cohabitant who was a prohibited person. In that case the gun the prohibited person was charged with possessing was not secured against the prohibited person's access, supporting both the prohibited person's conviction for unlawful possession of a gun and the indictment of his cohabitant. From the opinion (at pg. 593, emphasis added):
Quote:
...on June 6, 2008, a valid search warrant (the “search warrant”) was executed on the couple‟s Clarion County home. Agents seized an SKS, Interordnance M59/66 rifle (“SKS rifle”) from an upstairs bedroom.

Although Huet is legally permitted to possess a firearm, Hall was convicted in 1999 of possessing an unregistered firearm, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 5861(d), and is therefore prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm. After being informed of the raid, Huet allegedly told investigators that the guns in the house belonged to her and that it was not illegal for her to purchase weapons. Despite Huet‟s assertions that she alone possessed the SKS rifle, the Government sought and obtained an indictment charging Hall with illegal possession of the weapon, and Huet with aiding and abetting Hall‟s possession....
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Old September 4, 2014, 09:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Or you should be asking some questions.
At what point are you supposed to be asking questions?

I don't remember the code number to look up, but isn't it "reason to believe" or some such that you're supposed to know they're prohibited for it to work?

Is that the defense when you have friends over for a Superbowl party in your living room?

Or is it that they're only allowed in the front of the house, not the back of the house where the bedrooms are?

Is the roofing contractor's employee in your bathroom a risk?
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Old September 4, 2014, 09:37 AM   #10
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDandy
At what point are you supposed to be asking questions?

I don't remember the code number to look up, but isn't it "reason to believe" or some such that you're supposed to know they're prohibited for it to work?...
The standard is "know or have reasonable cause to believe." Whether or not that standard has been met will depend on the totality of the circumstances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDandy
...Is that the defense when you have friends over for a Superbowl party in your living room?...
Beats me. I don't know how well you know your friends.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDandy
...Or is it that they're only allowed in the front of the house, not the back of the house where the bedrooms are?...
How are yo going to stop someone? If you have folks over for a party don't they get to use the bathroom?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDandy
...Is the roofing contractor's employee in your bathroom a risk?
Again, how well do you know him or what do you know about him?

Personally I never have a worry in our house. All guns are always secured against unauthorized access -- on my person, or in a lock-box with a touch pad combination, or in a safe.

You can play out infinite variations on "what if", but I see the bottom line as always: (1) what do you know about anyone you let into your home; and (2) how well are your guns and other valuables secured.
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Old September 4, 2014, 10:45 AM   #11
motorhead0922
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Ettin
a situation in which a gun owner had a cohabitant who was a prohibited person
But what I was referring to (as is JimDandy) is having a casual acquaintance or stranger in the house, not a cohabitant. I don't intend to interrogate visitors.

I will say this though, my mother-in-law and a friend of hers are visiting now for a couple of days. My pistol safe in the master bedroom closet, which is normally unlocked, is locked right now. Unless the grandkids are visiting, it is usually unlocked for faster access.

The thing about friends is, that it takes forever to really know them, unless you start asking pointed questions, in which case they would probably decide they don't need you as a friend. Catch 22.
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Old September 4, 2014, 11:25 AM   #12
Frank Ettin
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Originally Posted by motorhead0922
But what I was referring to (as is JimDandy) is having a casual acquaintance or stranger in the house, not a cohabitant. I don't intend to interrogate visitors....
That's up to you. You know what you know (I hope), and you will need to decide based on the totality of the circumstances whether a federal prosecutor might believe whether he'd be able to prove that you knew or had reasonable cause to believe that the person you allowed into your house and who could have assess to your guns is a prohibited person.

And of course anyone who sees your SUV has reason to believe that you have guns in your home.
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Old September 5, 2014, 01:28 AM   #13
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Every place seems a little different on how they approach this, some are very strict, others behave more sensibly. I suppose its a case by case things, as well.

I do have some personal experience with this, sort of. it was back in the early 90s, so things might have changed, since. (this is an anecdote, not data)

Some folks had a visit from a friend they hadn't seen in a few years. Rural area, they did some shooting in the backyard (completely legal). There was an accidental shooting, (non fatal, thankfully). Sherriff had to check it out, and found out the visiting "old friend" was a prohibited person. He went away, because it was a violation of the terms of his release to be around guns. Something he never mentioned to any of the people he was visiting.

Non of them were found at any fault for allowing or "facilitating" his access to firearms. And rightfully so.

Quote:
Makes me wonder if a prohibited person can enter a home he or she knows, or strongly suspects contains guns.
It seems there can be differing levels of "prohibited person". All are of course prohibited from buying or owning/possessing a gun, but some are also prohibited from being where guns are, while others, apparently, are not. I might be wrong (an if so, please correct me).

Someone who has a parole/probation requirement that they cannot be around guns, I would think the burden would be on them, to determine where they could, and could not legally go.
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Old September 5, 2014, 09:23 AM   #14
JimDandy
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Someone who has a parole/probation requirement that they cannot be around guns, I would think the burden would be on them, to determine where they could, and could not legally go.
I would also hope those extra burdens are spelled out precisely. It doesn't seem very fair for the police to talk one of their CCW wearing civilian employees into walking past the guy just so they can violate him.
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Old September 5, 2014, 05:49 PM   #15
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
It seems there can be differing levels of "prohibited person". All are of course prohibited from buying or owning/possessing a gun, but some are also prohibited from being where guns are, while others, apparently, are not.
IANAL, but I have never heard of any "degrees" of prohibited. Either you're good to go, or you can't even pick up an unloaded firearm to drool over it.
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Old September 6, 2014, 11:02 AM   #16
JimDandy
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The degrees of prohibited from (Whatever) being referred to are the ones tacked on to things like parole.

i.e. hackers aren't allowed to be near a computer. Some sex offenders can't go near parks. Kids at all, kids not their own, etc. etc.
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