Attorney Ben Schwartz answers a viewer question about owning guns and living with a convicted felon.
Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,
We have a viewer question today from Jenna. I don’t know the town or city, but Jenna asks if the wife was convicted of a felony and the husband is an avid hunter, can the wife still live in the house with guns after becoming a convicted felon who cannot possess firearms? The question is, if you are convicted of a felony, at least in Delaware, I can speak to this question from a Delaware law perspective. If you are convicted of a felony and you are living in Delaware and your husband has guns in the home, you are asking for trouble.
As a convicted felon you cannot own or possess a firearm. Even though the firearms may not be yours, if you are residing in the household with those firearms then arguably you are possessing them. If they are available to you, if you could go and get them, then that is, under Delaware law, considered possession. If you are convicted of a felony and you are residing in the home where there are weapons, I would encourage you to have a discussion with your husband about getting the firearms out of the home. You never know what is going to happen.
Here is my perspective from being a lawyer. People come into my office every week and usually when they come to us, it is because something happened that they never expected to happen. As a lawyer people are not coming to me because something happened that they planned out and when it did happen they said, “Oh yeah, we expected that, let’s go see Ben Schwartz”. People get a lawyer because something unexpected happened and now there are consequences and they need the lawyer to help them deal with the consequences. From my perspective, I would be concerned if I were convicted of a felony and I was residing in a household with firearms. I would be thinking what happens if someone down the street robs a bank and they run into my house and the police follow them. If the police come in and they see the firearms, I am going to get a new felony for possession of firearms.
These are the types of things that bring people into lawyer offices and these are the types of things that we see happening all the time. So I would say if you are residing in a household, and you have been convicted of a felony, you have lost the right to own or possess a firearm. You’ve got to get the firearms out of the house or you have got to get out of the house. One way or the other, you cannot be together in the same home. Even if they are locked up in a safe, you are still running the risk that if the police come in and find out about this, you are going to be charged with new felonies. I would not take that risk and I would not encourage you to take that risk.
I hope this has answered your question. If you have questions for me about any matter of Delaware law or Maryland law, I am admitted to practice law in the state of Delaware and in the state of Maryland. We have attorneys in the office that are admitted to practice in New Jersey and Pennsylvania too. If you have a question about the law in one of these states feel free to send me an email below.
Thanks for watching!