There are no state laws prohibiting a minor from possessing firearms, including handguns and semiautomatic assault weapons. Minors do not even need parental permission to be in possession of a firearm.
No selling or giving firearms to minors under 18, unless for supervised loans of firearms or for limited lawful activities, such as hunting.
Can a Parent Be Held Criminally Liable for a Minor's Possession of a Gun?
Some states will hold a gun owner criminally liable for a minor's possession of a gun, and the penalties for the offense vary depending on state law:
It is an offense to store or leave a loaded firearm within easy access of a minor (under the age of 18), where the minor obtains unauthorized access to the firearm and the minor threatens someone, injures someone, or carries the firearm off the premises. The law does not apply if the firearm was stored in a locked or secure container or had a child-safety lock.
Penalty - misdemeanor or felony, depending on circumstances
It is a crime to store or leave a loaded firearm within the easy access of a minor (under 16) if the minor gains access to the gun. The law doesn't apply if the firearm is kept in a locked box, secured with a child-safety lock
Penalty - misdemeanor or felony if the minor injures someone
It is an offense to store or leave a loaded firearm in a way that allows a minor child (under 14) to gain unauthorized access to the firearm and use it to injure or kill. The law does not apply if the firearm is secured by a child- safety lock and is placed in a locked box or some other location that a reasonable person would believe to be secured from a minor.
Penalty - misdemeanor
Gun owners are not accountable for leaving a loaded firearm within easy access of a minor, even if the firearm is then used to injure or kill.
It is an offense to fail to secure a readily dischargeable firearm or to leave the firearm in a place which one knew or should have known that a minor would gain access and a minor (under 17) gains access to the firearm.
Penalty - misdemeanor
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Possession of a Gun Problem?
If you are accused of a criminal offense, you should speak to a criminal defense lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights, your defenses, and the complicated legal system.
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present
your case online in minutes.
LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case.
Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys
respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee
structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the
right lawyer for you.