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Frequently Asked Legal Questions

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22965 views   |   55   |   Last updated on Oct 23, 2023    Criminal Law Guns

Both Texas and federal laws prohibit firearm possession after a felony conviction. See our Legal FAQ, Can someone with a felony conviction own a gun?

Unfortunately, “possession” is not clearly defined under these laws. If a person is charged with unlawfully possessing a firearm, the court would need to consider many factors to determine if the person was truly in "possession" of the firearm.

Constructive possession

One legal concept that may come into play is “constructive possession." Nolo, a legal dictionary, defines this term:

When someone does not have actual possession, but has the power to control an asset, that person has constructive possession. Having the key to a safe deposit box, for example, gives one constructive possession.

If your spouse knows that you keep your firearm in a safe and they know the combination to that safe, a court may find that your spouse legally has possession of that firearm. This law firm’s article explains the concept in more detail as it relates to gun possession and felony convictions.

Talk to a lawyer

If you live with someone who has a felony conviction and you are not sure if you can legally own a gun, consider talking to a lawyer. As librarians, we cannot determine if a given situation would constitutes legal or illegal possession.

We also do not have any attorneys on staff who can provide legal advice. For more information on finding an attorney, please see the library's Legal Help page.

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