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For those of you that are serving on the board of a gun club or have!

If a shooter came to your club with a gun with intentions of shooting, and was found to be or known to be a felon, what would your responsibility be. Should it be brought up and dealt with and if so, how should it be dealt with ??

Should that person be asked to leave?

Should the board members ignore it?



Is there or could there be any liability issues involved for the Directors and the club?

If you would prefer to send a PM, OK
 

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As long as he's not creating any problems with the club or persons attending the shoot, I don't think there's much you could do. Now since he's most likely prohibited from possessing a firearm, and if he's arriving with them alone, that's a matter for local law enforcement. I would consult with them and follow whatever directions they give you, I wouldn't approach this situation without that backing. Just my 2 cents!!

Jeff Graupp
 

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Any person legally barred from owning (and by extension, using) firearms has no business being at a gun club, PERIOD.

Ask them to leave immediately, and if they refuse, contact the authorities, who will remove the individual for trespassing, and likely arrest him on other charges related to firearms.

While there may or may not be any liability to the club or directors, if the felon is caught on club property, or coming to or from the club, and it makes it to the media, they'll have a field day with it, and will bring the club unnecessary and unwanted media coverage and scrutiny.

There is no upside for the club, and plenty of down sides!

BTW, any club has the right to ask ANYBODY for ANY reason to vacate the property. If that person fails to leave, they are trespassing, and will be arrested if the police are called and the club/officers agree to file charges.
 

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RE: shooter came to your club with a gun (call the cops)

And showed up with an ankle bracelet (call the cops).......

He has a gun (illegally) and what to do..............

Call the cops and be done with it, officer of the club or not, what part of illegal don't you get.

If an incident happens, it's the clubs name all over the news

and, the club officers who will be dealing with a lawsuit if found they knew a convicted person was using club grounds and not doing anything about it.
 

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If I knowingly let a felon shoot at a club would I be a law breaker? Perhaps someone versed in the law could answer that one. I actually did this very thing and I was a board member at said club. He was an acquaintance and I felt it wasn't my business to play cop. Bill
 

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Read 2014 ATA rule book:
Section XII
C. suspensions, expulsions and reinstatement
e. is convicted of any gun or firearm violations

this may pertain or not (is this guy an ATA member ?)
 

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Please do not consider what I'm about to say as legal advice, because it is not. You should only seek legal opinions from counsel of your own choosing that you know and trust. In addition, my comments are based on my understanding of Ohio law, and laws between the states vary. Having said that, you are quite correct that felony convictions can result in a firearms disqualification. However, the disqualification can also extend to certain types of misdemeanor convictions (i.e. domestic violence). In addition, even if the state does not have a disqualification for a give offense, federal statutes may. To complicate things, judges have the authority to lift the disqualification, upon a showing of good cause. So there is no easy way for you to ascertain someone's legal status with respect to firearm use/ownership. I have often suggested to the clubs I belong that they include in their membership renewal packet an affirmation of qualification to possess/use a firearm. Obviously, this is no help for a situation involving a non-member shooter.

So, my direct answer to you....just because someone has a felony conviction does NOT mean he/she cannot shoot. AND, likewise, just because someone DOESN'T have a felony conviction DOESN'T mean they CAN shoot.

Once again, please do not construe this post as legal advice. However, I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night....

Paul
 
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The club manager or board designee should have a private conversation with the subject to get the facts. Take appropriate action if the facts determine the subject is violating the law on your property (meaning ask him to leave). If the subject leaves voluntarily, at that point a call should be made to law enforcement so they have an initial record of the issue and they know your club took appropriate action. If you get the feeling during your initial private conversation that things don't quite add up, then remove yourself from the situation and contact law enforcement to find the facts for you.

If your club is like most clubs, nobody is going to want to approach the subject for that initial fact finding private conversation. In that case, I would suggest you contact law enforcement at the conclusion of the days events and provide them with the basic information: Name, Vehicle Desc, Plate #, and who he associates with while at the club. I would strongly suggest that this is handled delicately. A squad car rolling up to the club and pulling him aside is going to be very embarrassing to him and a feeling of animosity towards the club is a certainty, especially if he is doing nothing wrong. I suggest that if a call is made to law enforcement that it be done at the conclusion of the days events after the guy has left. The cops can follow up with him at his residence based on an "anonymous" complaint.
 

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A great question and one that I posed to my local club officers a couple of years ago; but it fell on deaf ears! The overarching question, however, relates to granting membership to those who are prohibited from possessing a firearm by virtue of a criminal conviction. There are reasons why certain offenses prohibit employment in specific positions and why professional licensure or CCW is restricted after a disqualifying conviction. IMHO, is it most prudent, if not lawfully required, to deny a membership and the privilege to use a facility to those who are not lawfully allowed to possess firearms? In PA, for instance, anyone can run a name with the Judicial Portal to see what if any criminal convictions exist (http://ujsportal.pacourts.us/DocketSheets/CP.aspx) without cost !!!
Failure to restrict memberships and use of shooting facilities to those who are permitted to possess firearms avoids liability for the club and protects the membership.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I do appreciate all the comments and Pm's. Keep them coming! One of these repsonders is a judge so I value that opinion highly also as well as the others.
 

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If he is a felon he is breaking the law having a firearm in his possession..ask him to leave immediately,

If you don't you may find yourself in front of the executive board of your club.

John
 

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While the use of a state database appears on its face to be a solution, there are a couple things to keep in mind. First, all the database will show is a conviction. You will still have to be well-versed in WHAT convictions carry with them the firearms disqualification. Also, be aware that most state databases are VERY incomplete, some registering less than 25% of the total convictions which SHOULD be there. Worse yet, there is very limited "sharing" between states, and we live in the age of mobility. So if you are going to do a database search, you better also know the state of residence for the past 20+ years.

Finally, I'm not suggesting herein that you have an affirmative obligation to determine qualification. BUT, if you choose to undertake that responsibility, you better do it well. Your attorney can explain this VERY important warning.

Paul
 

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Listen to plux001! He's approached the subject from a well versed position. Laws vary and it's also possible for an individual on probation be denied the right to possess a firearm until his term is dismissed. Beware DWI's!!
 

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I was an officer at our club for 20 years. I guess we were lucky because that question never came up.

We did have on our membership application the question of - "have you ever been convicted of a felony?"

I guess if that question ever came up - we could have referred back to the application.

Personally - I guess it would have came up to the nature of the felony. Tax evasion? I would let him slide. LOL
 

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<i>18 USC (g)(1): It shall be unlawful for any person - (1) who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; - to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.</i>


State laws vary greatly on the restriction of firearms and felony convictions. Some states require the felony to be a violent felony as defined by that particular state law to restrict firearms possession. However, under federal law, all felony convictions, misdemeanor domestic battery, etc., makes possession illegal under federal law regardless of what state law says.

Now is an AFTE agent going to get a federal prosecution for the arrest of a "prohibited person" in possession of a firearm at a gun range when otherwise the person is allowed by state law to possess, i.e., a drunk driver with one misdemeanor OVWI conviction and then a second arrest which becomes a felony for example because the arrest was within 4 years of the first OVWI? Short answer, probably not, the U.S. Attorney's office is probably not going to accept a case for federal prosecution where the overall facts of the case include: the person is employed, no violent record, etc., and just one, non-violent felony conviction.

They can though!

So bottom line, it really depends on the background of the person in question.

What is the overall criminal history?

Exactly what was the felony charge under your state law that the person is convicted of?

Too many variables at this point for anyone to give you an absolute answer on the state level.

The federal level is pretty cut and dry as stated above.

Part of it depends on where your club is at, what are the politics of your state at the local level? How likely is it that there could really be a news feeding frenzy if someone found out that a convicted felon with a shotgun goes and shoots 100 clay targets on a Saturday night?

Are you at a gun club outside of Sandy Hook, NJ, or are you at a gun club in the middle of Montana?

You didn't tell us the felony conviction or how reliable the information is..., but for me, whether or not there is an actual legal obligation to report the alleged offense, I would report based on ethical and moral obligations and then let the authorities sort it out. The club is then insulated from blatantly letting a felon break federal law on club property should a nasty reporter decide to try and make a nasty news story.
 

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At our range in Illinois, we are required to ask for FOID. If someone does not have a FOID who is an IL adult resident, that is the first block. If someone is a non-resident, they are asked the general FOID questions - as they cannot otherwise be prohibited from possessing a FOID.

Even folks who participate in our public programs, are asked to sign a form which asks the FOID questions, so we do not inadvertently put a firearm in the hands of a student who is not eligible.

Folks who appear intoxicated, who, from our basic understanding, cannot otherwise be legally in possession of a firearm or ammunition are not allowed to register. Our range officers have been advised to contact the police if they are made aware of an individual who appears to be in possession of a firearm illegally.

Jay
 
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