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Prohibited person - long ago felony conviction

The Wolfhound

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I have the occasion to lead a group on a shooting range trip. One prospective shooter has admitted to a long ago felony conviction. I know he cannot purchase firearms. Is he breaking the law to handle one under controlled circumstances at a range? My belief is that this would be a violation but I need a more definitive answer. I have no desire to get him in trouble nor any desire to exclude him unless necessary. Please keep your responses to memers of the legal profession or those with actual first hand experience of the law on this. Opinion will not be helpful.
 

CRF250rider1000

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A person who answers "yes" to any of the below questions may be prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm pursuant to state and/or federal law.
  1. Are you under indictment for a felony offense?
  2. Have you ever been convicted, as an adult, in any court of a felony offense?
  3. If you are 28 years old or younger, have you ever been adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile 14 years of age or older at the time of offense of a delinquent act, which would be a felony if committed by an adult?
  4. Were you adjudicated as a juvenile 14 years of age or older at the time of the offense of murder in violation of § 18.2-31 or 18.2-32, kidnapping in violation of § 18.2-47, robbery by the threat or presentation of firearms in violation of § 18.2-58, or rape in violation of § 18.2-61? (If adjudicated as a delinquent for these offenses, you must answer yes. You are ineligible regardless of you current age and prohibited for life unless allowed by restoration of rights by the Governor of Virginia and order of the circuit court in the jurisdiction in which you reside.)
  5. Have you ever been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime punishable by more than 2 years even if the maximum punishment was not received?
  6. Is there an outstanding protective or restraining order against you from any court?
  7. Is there an outstanding felony or misdemeanor warrant of arrest pending against you from any jurisdiction?
  8. Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana, or any depressant, stimulant, or narcotic drug, or any controlled substance? The Federal Gun Control Act defines an addicted person, or unlawful user, as a person who has a conviction for use or possession of a controlled substance within the past year or persons found through a drug test to use a controlled substance unlawfully, provided that the test was administered within the past year.
  9. Have you ever been acquitted by reason of insanity?
  10. Have you ever been adjudicated legally incompetent or mentally incapacitated, or adjudicated an incapacitated person?
  11. Have you ever been involuntarily admitted to a facility or involuntarily ordered to outpatient mental health treatment?
  12. Have you ever been the subject of a temporary detention order and subsequently agreed to voluntarily admission for mental health treatment?
  13. Have you been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable discharge?
  14. Are you an alien illegally in the United States?
  15. Are you a nonimmigrant alien? A nonimmigrant alien is prohibited from receiving a firearm unless he or she falls within an exception to the nonimmigrant alien prohibition (e.g., hunting license/permit; waiver).
  16. Are you a person who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced your citizenship?
  17. Have you ever been convicted for the misdemeanor crime of domestic violence? This includes all misdemeanors that involve the use, threat of, or attempted use of physical force (e.g., simple assault, assault and battery) if the offense is committed by one of the following parties: a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent or guardian, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent or guardian of the victim.
  18. Have you purchased a handgun from any source within the last 30 days? (Handgun Purchases Only) Virginia Code Section 18.2-308.2:2 (P) provides exceptions to the handgun purchase restriction.
  19. Are you a person who, within a 36 consecutive month period, has been convicted, under Virginia law, of 2 misdemeanor offenses for Possession of Controlled Substance or Possession of Marijuana? (Handgun Purchases Only)
If you are denied the right to purchase a firearm because you have been convicted of a felony as described in Section 18.2-308.2 of the Code of Virginia, you may still be eligible to purchase a firearm if your rights have been restored under both state and federal law. Information pertaining to the restoration of firearm rights is available at http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Firearms_Denied.shtm.
 

CRF250rider1000

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18.2-308.2. Possession or transportation of firearms, firearms ammunition, stun weapons, explosives or concealed weapons by convicted felons; penalties; petition for permit; when issued. A. It shall be unlawful for (i) any person who has been convicted of a felony; (ii) any person adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile 14 years of age or older at the time of the offense of murder in violation of § 18.2-31 or 18.2-32, kidnapping in violation of § 18.2-47, robbery by the threat or presentation of firearms in violation of § 18.2-58, or rape in violation of § 18.2-61; or (iii) any person under the age of 29 who was adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile 14 years of age or older at the time of the offense of a delinquent act which would be a felony if committed by an adult, other than those felonies set forth in clause (ii), whether such conviction or adjudication occurred under the laws of the Commonwealth, or any other state, the District of Columbia, the United States or any territory thereof, to knowingly and intentionally possess or transport any firearm or ammunition for a firearm, any stun weapon as defined by § 18.2-308.1, or any explosive material, or to knowingly and intentionally carry about his person, hidden from common observation, any weapon described in subsection A of § 18.2-308. However, such person may possess in his residence or the curtilage thereof a stun weapon as defined by § 18.2-308.1. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. However, any person who violates this section by knowingly and intentionally possessing or transporting any firearm and who was previously convicted of a violent felony as defined in § 17.1-805 shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years. Any person who violates this section by knowingly and intentionally possessing or transporting any firearm and who was previously convicted of any other felony within the prior 10 years shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of two years. The mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment prescribed for violations of this section shall be served consecutively with any other sentence.
B. The prohibitions of subsection A shall not apply to (i) any person who possesses a firearm, ammunition for a firearm, explosive material or other weapon while carrying out his duties as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or of the National Guard of Virginia or of any other state, (ii) any law-enforcement officer in the performance of his duties, or (iii) any person who has been pardoned or whose political disabilities have been removed pursuant to Article V, Section 12 of the Constitution of Virginia provided the Governor, in the document granting the pardon or removing the person's political disabilities, may expressly place conditions upon the reinstatement of the person's right to ship, transport, possess or receive firearms.
C. Any person prohibited from possessing, transporting or carrying a firearm or stun weapon under subsection A, may petition the circuit court of the jurisdiction in which he resides for a permit to possess or carry a firearm or stun weapon; however, no person who has been convicted of a felony shall be qualified to petition for such a permit unless his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority. The court may, in its discretion and for good cause shown, grant such petition and issue a permit. The provisions of this section relating to firearms, ammunition for a firearm, and stun weapons shall not apply to any person who has been granted a permit pursuant to this subsection.
C1. Any person who was prohibited from possessing, transporting or carrying explosive material under subsection A may possess, transport or carry such explosive material if his right to possess, transport or carry explosive material has been restored pursuant to federal law.
D. For the purpose of this section:
"Ammunition for a firearm" means the combination of a cartridge, projectile, primer, or propellant designed for use in a firearm other than an antique firearm as defined in § 18.2-308.2:2.
"Explosive material" means any chemical compound mixture, or device, the primary or common purpose of which is to function by explosion; the term includes, but is not limited to, dynamite and other high explosives, black powder, pellet powder, smokeless gun powder, detonators, blasting caps and detonating cord but shall not include fireworks or permissible fireworks as defined in § 27-95.
(1979, c. 474; 1982, c. 515; 1983, c. 233; 1986, cc. 409, 641; 1987, c. 108; 1988, c. 237; 1989, cc. 514, 531; 1993, cc. 468, 926; 1994, cc. 859, 949; 1999, cc. 829, 846; 2001, cc. 811, 854; 2002, c. 362; 2003, c. 110; 2004, cc. 429, 461, 995; 2005, cc. 600, 833; 2007, c. 519; 2008, c. 752; 2009, c. 236.)
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I would say that based on this section of code, that he can not "possess" a firearm or ammo for it. He faces a good amount of jail time for it.:shock:

Possession in my book would be him handling it let alone shooting it at the range. I am not a lawyer. This is just my opinion;) (I have to say that) Anyways I hope this helps you out.
 

user

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The Wolfhound wrote:
I have the occasion to lead a group on a shooting range trip.  One prospective shooter has admitted to a long ago felony conviction.  I know he cannot purchase firearms.  Is he breaking the law to handle one under controlled circumstances at a range?  My belief is that this would be a violation but I need a more definitive answer.  I have no desire to get him in trouble nor any desire to exclude him unless necessary.  Please keep your responses to memers of the legal profession or those with actual first hand experience of the law on this.  Opinion will not be helpful.
Well, this is just my opinion, after twenty years of litigation experience, but here it is: "possession" is different from "title". It is a felony for your friend to be in possession of a firearm - no one cares, though, whether he owns a gun, as long as the gun is somewhere other than where he is. Possession is the immediate power of dominion and control over the object. Your friend may not even be at the shooting range without being in close enough proximity to guns that a cop would have probable cause to arrest him. What I'm saying is that he'd better not even go and watch.

As a practical matter, if no one knows he's a convicted felon, he's unlikely to be arrested. But the risk is that he could find himself enjoying Christmas dinner at the State's expense.
 

kenny

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Richmond Lynchburg, Virginia, USA
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TFred wrote:
I'm just curious, does anyone have any information on how easy or hard or common or rare it is to have firearms rights restored, per http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Firearms_Restoration.shtm ?

Just wondering...

TFred
There is a two part process. Part One can be found of the Secretary of the Commonwealth's web site. The Governor can and will Restore Rights to affected individuals. The process is simple for non violent felons. For violent felons and drug crimes the process is a little more intense.

After the Governor restores your rights to vote, serve on a jury, you can then petition the circuit court in the locality which you reside for your right to possess and own a firearm. You should have an attorney for this part. You do not need an attorney for the first part.

The entire process can take 6-9 months provided all the necessary paper work is submitted properly the first time.
 

The Wolfhound

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Henrico, Virginia, USA
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Thanks all. I was pretty much straight on this but did want to be certain. I will advise him that he should not join the excursion to the range. I do not think this will surprise him and he was due to check with his attorney as well. I was pretty sure I could get a reasonably solid answer to the question here, and thatI did.
 

Pagan

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Gloucester, Virginia, USA
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Having had my rights restored in 2008,I can tell you that it is fairly straight forward. Fulfill all of your legal obligations to the state, wait 3 years past the final completion of all probations and suspended sentences and anything like that.

Then download a copy of the proper letter to the Secretary of the Commonwealth,fill it out completely, and send it certified mail. Get your Clemency from the Governorto have all but your firearm rights restored. After recieving your Clemency, you MUST hire a lawyer to evenget the form to petition the circuit court in your district to have your firearm rights restored.

It took all of 30 days for my Clemency request to go through. And about 60 days for my petition to get done; that was filling it, finding referencesof character, finding the 700 cash to pay my lawyer. Plus it took me 14 years of being a non-citizen. I was also NOT a violent offender, or drug related orvoter fraudrelated offender, if you are, then there is more paper work that must be done.
 

user

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I'm shooting myself in the foot, financially, for letting the cat out of the bag, if I may mix metaphors. But you always have a right to represent yourself in court - there is never a situation where you're required to have an attorney. Also there is no "form" in the sense of a "fill-in-the-blanks" form that you can fill out to petition the court. The "form" is more like what you might call a "template". It's available in the law library at your local courthouse in a set of books called, oddly enough, "Virginia Forms". It shows you the way to format the pleading, but you've got to write the petition yourself (or have a lawyer do it for you).

It is wise to have an attorney do it, because it's moderately technical; but you've got a perfect legal right to do it yourself if you want to.
 

darthmord

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Norfolk, Virginia, USA
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user wrote:
I'm shooting myself in the foot, financially, for letting the cat out of the bag, if I may mix metaphors. But you always have a right to represent yourself in court - there is never a situation where you're required to have an attorney. Also there is no "form" in the sense of a "fill-in-the-blanks" form that you can fill out to petition the court. The "form" is more like what you might call a "template". It's available in the law library at your local courthouse in a set of books called, oddly enough, "Virginia Forms". It shows you the way to format the pleading, but you've got to write the petition yourself (or have a lawyer do it for you).

It is wise to have an attorney do it, because it's moderately technical; but you've got a perfect legal right to do it yourself if you want to.

For some things, like rights restoration or divorce, I would think it'd be better to have a lawyer on hand to handle the heavy legal lifting. Some legal actions are so emotionally involved it's better to have a non-emotionally involved party (the lawyer) handle it.

Then again, I've also heard the saying "The person who represents himself has a fool for a client".

But yeah, I certainly agree that there are some things one can do in court for themselves w/o a lawyer. Been through a couple of minor actions myself in the past.

*edit for clarity*
 

cafemonkey

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ProShooter wrote:
I find it odd that someone with a felony conviction would even question whether or not this was a good idea. How could he not know?
I have a famliy member that is a multiple felon, and owns more guns than I do. Once he went on a violent rampage and scared the crap out of us. We called the cops, and they said there was nothing they could do based on our call/complaint... That they had to catch him doing something else wrong first.

I can't really explain it...
 

G9M&P15

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cafemonkey wrote:
ProShooter wrote:
I find it odd that someone with a felony conviction would even question whether or not this was a good idea. How could he not know?
I have a famliy member that is a multiple felon, and owns more guns than I do. Once he went on a violent rampage and scared the crap out of us. We called the cops, and they said there was nothing they could do based on our call/complaint... That they had to catch him doing something else wrong first.

I can't really explain it...
wat
 

Grapeshot

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cafemonkey wrote:
ProShooter wrote:
I find it odd that someone with a felony conviction would even question whether or not this was a good idea. How could he not know?
I have a famliy member that is a multiple felon, and owns more guns than I do. Once he went on a violent rampage and scared the crap out of us. We called the cops, and they said there was nothing they could do based on our call/complaint... That they had to catch him doing something else wrong first.

I can't really explain it...
Yep, that's right. LEO can't arrest on your say so - he/she has to witness the violation in some fashion, have RAS confirmed or have a warrant for the party's arrest. Kind of surprised they didn't investigate it further though.

You on the other hand can go to the local Magistrate, get him to issue the warrant and you become the witness for the state - then the LEO can pick him up.

I know it seems to be done the other way with informants etc. but it is not - the LEOs do have the warrants first.

Is he (family member) still under parole supervision? Could solve your problem with a phone call if he is.

Beyond that, a sitdown talk with a detective or upper level supervisor might be your next step if you wish to pursue the matter.

If someone goes on a "violent rampage" in my presence, I'm not going to wait until next time and hope that everything works out. I'm going to do whatever I have to do. Violent people do not get a free pass from me because they are relatives. The potential risk/price is too high.

Yata hey
 

AEubanks

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How does the process of a felon restoring his rights work? I'm assuming that if they have like a violent domestic type felony that they can't, but a non gun/violent felony can? or does it matter? What is the process?

My barber has a felony (I believe.... he had made a comment when we were talking about me OC'ing and said he couldn't and then he later asked me if I knew if a felon could go to a range and shoot someone else's gun.... I told him I didn't know but I remembered this question being on the forum and I would try to find out for him)

So if he does it looks like he's screwed but I saw something about restoring rights and didn't understand what the VSP website was talking about.... a little help?
 

kenny

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AEubanks wrote:
How does the process of a felon restoring his rights work? I'm assuming that if they have like a violent domestic type felony that they can't, but a non gun/violent felony can? or does it matter? What is the process?

My barber  has a felony (I believe.... he had made a comment when we were talking about me OC'ing and said he couldn't and then he later asked me if I knew if a felon could go to a range and shoot someone else's gun.... I told him I didn't know but I remembered this question being on the forum and I would try to find out for him)

So if he does it looks like he's screwed but I saw something about restoring rights and didn't understand what the VSP website was talking about.... a little help?
Go back and read this post from the beginning or better search for additional threads on this same topic in this same forum.
 
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