If I am a convicted felon from 35 years ago and I look at a gun in a store is that possession?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I am a convicted felon from 35 years ago and I look at a gun in a store is that possession?

I went to a store and looked at a
shotgun. I did the background check and
failed because of a felony conviction
35 years ago. The state police showed
up and gave me a court date for being a
felon in possession of a firearm. Even
tho I only looked at it and handed it

Asked on July 11, 2016 under Criminal Law, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You did not just "look at" the gun--if you "handed it back," that means you were holding it. Holding it is possession: possession is having it in your control or in your hands; it is not necessarily ownership. (e.g. if you borrow a gun, it is in your possession.) So if you held the gun, it was in your possession, even though you never bought it, and even though you gave it back. 

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