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Legal Disclaimer



(1) The misuse of handguns is a leading contributor to juvenile violence and fatalities.

(2) Safely storing and securing firearms away from children will help prevent the unlawful possession of handguns by juveniles, stop, accidents, and save lives.

(3) Federal law prohibits, except in certain limited circumstances, anyone under 18 years of age from knowingly possessing a handgun, or any person from selling, delivering, or otherwise transferring a handgun to a person under 18.

(4) A knowing violation of the prohibition against selling, delivering, or otherwise transferring a handgun to a person under the age of 18 is, under certain circumstances, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Federal Law

The Gun Control Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C.,
Chapter 44, provides in pertinent part as follows:

18 U.S.C. 922(x)

(x)(1) It shall be unlawful for a person to sell, deliver, or otherwise transfer to a person who transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe is a juvenile--
(A) a handgun; or
(B) ammunition that is suitable for use only in a handgun.
(2) It shall be unlawful for any person who is a juvenile to knowingl possess--
(A) a handgun; or
(B) ammunition that is suitable for use only in a handgun.
(3) This subsection does not apply to--
(A) A temporary transfer of a handgun or ammunition to a juvenile or to the possession oru se of a handgun or ammunition by a juvenile if the handgun and ammunition are possessed and used by the juvenile-
(i) in the course of employment, in the course of ranching or farming related to activities at the residence of the juvenile (or on property used for ranching or farming at which the juvenile, with the permission of the property owner or leasee, is performing activities related to the operation of the farm or ranch), target practice, hunting, or a course of instruction in the safe and lawful use of a handgun;
(ii) with the prior written consent of the juvenile's parent or guardian who is not prhobited by Federal, State, or local law from possessing a firearm, except--
(I) during transportation by the juvenile of an unloaded handgun in a locked container directly from the palce of transfer to a place at which an activity described in clause (i) is to take place and transportation by the juvenile of that handgun, unloaded and in a locked container directly from the place at which such an activity took place to the transferor; or
(II) with respect to ranching or farming activities as described in clause (i), a juvenile may possess and use a handgun or ammunition with the prior written approval of the juvenile's parent or legal guardian and at the direction of an adult who is not prohibited by Federal, State or local law from possessing a firearm;
(iii) the juvenile has the prior written consent in the juvenile's possession of the juvenile; and
(iv) in accordance with State and local law;
(B) a juvenile who is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard who possesses or is armed with a handgun in the line of duty;
(C) a transfer by inheritance of title (but not possession) of a handgun or ammunition to a juvenile; or
(D) the possession of a handgun or ammunition by a juvenile taken in defense of the juvenile or other persons against an intruder into the residence of the juvenile or a residence in which the juvenile is an invited guest.
(4) A handgun or ammunition, the possession of which is transferred to a juvenile in circumstances in which the transferor is not in violation of this subsection shall not be subject to permanent confiscation by the Government if its possession by the juvenile subsequently becomes unlawful because of the conduct of the juvenile, but shall be returned to the lawful owner when such handgun or ammunition is no longer required by the Government for the purposes of investigation or prosecution.
(5) For purposes of this subsection, the term "juvenile" means a person who is less than 18 years of age.
(6) (A) In a prosecution of a violation of this subsection, the court shall require the presence of a juvenile defendant's parent or legal guardian at all proceedings.
(B) the court may use the contempt power to enforce subparagraph (A).
(C) The court may excuse attendance of a parent or legal guardian of a juvenile defendant at a proceeding in a porsecution of a violation of this subsection for good cause shown.

18 US.C. 924(a)(6)

(6) (A) (i) A juvenile who violates section 922(x) shall be fined under this title, improsed not more than 1 year, or both, except that a juvenile described in clause (ii) shall be sentenced to probationon a ppropriate conditions and shall not be incarcerated unless the juvenile fails to comply with a condition of probation.
(ii) A juvenile is described in this clause if--
(I) The offense of which the juvenile is charged is possession of a handgun or ammunition in violation of section 922(x)(2);and
(II) the juvenile has not been convicted in any court of an offense (including an offense under section 922(x) or a similar State law, but not including any other offense consisting of conduct that if egaged in by an adult would not constitute an offense or adjudicated as a juvenile delinquent for conduct that if engaged in by an adult would constitute an offense.
(B) A person other than a juvenile who knowingly violates section 922(x)--
(i) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both; and
(ii) if the person sold, delivered, or otherwise transferred a handgun or ammunition to a juvenile knowing or having reasonable cause to know that the juvenile intended to carry or otherwise possess or discharge or otherwise use the handgun or ammunition in the commission of a crime of violence, shall be fined under this title, imposed not more than 10 years, or both.

If you have any questions, you may contact:

Bureau of Alcohol, tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
99 New york Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20226
Phone: (202) 648-7090
OR
Visit the website at www.atf.gov