Wednesday, 23 March 2016 00:00

MINORS & GUNS

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Laws are put into place to ensure safety for the overall population as well as guarantee rights for individuals. The “right of the people to keep and bear Arms…” is detailed in the 2nd Amendment of the United States Constitution and is a constant topic of discussion all over the media today. The Federal and State governments have the power to enforce rules and regulations pertaining to firearms and who is able to legally own one. 

LAW

In Arizona, people under the age of eighteen who have not been emancipated, are not with their legal guardian, or are not with a licensed firearms/hunting instructor acting under the consent of the minor’s legal guardian may not knowingly possess or transport firearms (A.R.S. 13-3111).

The above restrictions do not apply to a person who is between the ages of fourteen and seventeen and are any of the following:

  • Participating in legal hunting or shootings events or practicing in an area or areas where firing a gun is legal.
  • Transporting an unloaded firearm for the purpose of legally hunting.
  • Transporting an unloaded firearm (between 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.) in order to engage in shooting events or practice in an area where firing a gun is legal. 

Participating in activities requiring the use of a firearm that are related to the production of crops, livestock, poultry, livestock products, poultry products, or ratites or in the production or storage of agricultural commodities.

PENALTIES:

A minor carrying a gun for reasons other than what is listed above will result in a peace officer taking the gun away at the site of the crime/violation. The minor committing the offense is subject to penalties. If the gun is unloaded, the minor could be fined up to $250 and the courts may choose to not issue a driver’s license (to a minor who does not already have one) or to suspend the already valid driver’s license until the minor is eighteen years of age. If the gun is loaded, the punishments are harsher. The violating minor could be fined up to $500 and have the same punishments with regards to the driver’s license. If the minor is found in possession of an unloaded OR loaded firearm while in a car, either as a driver or passenger, the same punishments apply with one added restriction; the minor is subject to a fine of up to $500, the courts may choose to not issue a driver’s license until the minor reaches eighteen years of age and if the minor has a valid driver’s license, the courts may choose to suspend it until eighteen years of age is reached. The added restriction is that if the courts find the minor has no other means of transportation, their privileges could be limited to driving between home, school, and their job during specific hours based on the minor’s educational and employment schedule.

First and foremost, A.R.S. 13-3111 is put into place to keep people safe. Minors are able to carry and use a gun if they’re under the supervision of their guardian or somebody who has permission from the child’s guardian. This statute affects everybody, giving them a safer environment where accidents and tragedies involving guns are less likely to occur. 

Laws may have changed since the last time this article was updated.  The current and most up-to-date laws can be accessed here.