Can I be charged with possession of a firearm by a felon if it was not my gun?

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Can I be charged with possession of a firearm by a felon if it was not my gun?

My son came to visit me and he has a registered firearm we both left the house to go and see my friend. He did not want to carry it so he left it in his bag in my bedroom. I left to go to the store and the person I was in the car with got pulled over and due to my terms and conditions of probation the cops took me back to my house to search because they smelled alcohol. Upon entering my residence I informed them of my sons gun. They ran the gun and drove down and picked up my son to identify it and then released it to him and arrested me for a probation violation and the charge above. I was never around the gun by myself. Will this charge stick?

Asked on May 29, 2018 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Possession means that you have access to a weapon, not just that you actually handle it. Unless your son had the gun locked up to prevent you from being able to get to it, you had posession. Bottom line, your arrest was legal.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You possessed it in that you had the gun in your home, in your own bedroom, and therefore readily accessible to you and under your control. Possession does not require ownership: a gun in your bedroom is a gun in your possession. Knowing that you are on probation, you should not have let your son bring a gun to your home. Legally, you could be found guilty of possession.


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