Ask The Lawyer with Derwin Rushing


My son was convicted of a felony a few years ago.  He is now living with my husband and me and my husband has firearms in the house.  I understand that there is a federal law that says a felon who is found in possession of a firearm faces a mandatory 5 year prison term.  Should my husband give up his guns as long as my son resides with us?  In addition, does it matter that this is a Federal law and my Son’s conviction was in State court?

There is always going to be a risk if your son and the guns are in the same residence but the risk can be reduced if the guns are locked with only non-felons having the key.  The safest thing of course would be to store the weapons at another location where their possession is legal. 

Constructive possession is defined as knowledge of the item with both the power and intention to exercise dominion and control.  Locking them up reduces the likelihood of power and dominion.  As for intention, a history of not touching the guns, for example, is circumstantial evidence in support of lack of intention.   Ultimately, it becomes a practical question of evidence; does your son have the power and intention to possess the weapon?

It does not matter that your Son’s conviction was in State court.  The Federal Government oftentimes assumes jurisdiction of these cases because, in my opinion, they can obtain easy convictions. 

The Federal Government assumes jurisdiction by asserting that the weapon has traveled across state lines thereby giving the Federal Government jurisdiction under the commerce clause.

Northside Chronicle Donation