Q: Can someone with a nonviolent drug felony visit a home where the homeowner owns guns. In Virginia.
My nephew has a felony record for possession from a few years ago and was wanting to come visit me, but I am a gun owner and dont know if he is allowed to come and stay for a few days? I don't want to give up my firearm but don't want to get him in trouble.
It is unlawful for a felon to be in possession of a firearm unless they have had their right to possess a firearm restored. Possession can be actual or constructive and is very fact specific. Actual is obvious, but constructive can be tricky. In court, the questions considered for constructive possession are essentially (1) did the person have knowledge of the presence of the firearm and (2) did the person have the ability to possess the firearm. Possession can be proven by direct evidence, circumstantial evidence, or a combination of both. Charges stack up if someone possess both guns and drugs.
No one can say there is no risk to having a felon in a home with firearms; however, homeowners can take steps to safeguard any firearms in a location where a guest can access them and reduce risk. The effectiveness of the safeguards will be fact specific.
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