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Can a minor own a gun?

There are plenty of minors who enjoy shooting. They have learned to hunt with their parents or taken time to refine their sharp-shooting skills at the gun range. How young is too young to own a gun, though? How young is too young to use a gun?

The law has a number of answers to those questions. In fact, depending on what you want to do with a gun and the kind of gun you would like to buy, you have a right to possess at least some type of firearm at nearly any time in your life.

There is a distinction between different kinds of guns, which is how minors can have access to these weapons. Federal laws states that licensed firearm dealers cannot sell handguns to those under 21. Unlicensed individuals can't sell, transfer or deliver a gun to someone under 18, either. This helps reduce conflicts between young gang members and those who are untrained in using these weapons. It makes it harder for those under 18 to get handguns except for in specific circumstances.

Interestingly, there is no minimum age for selling, transferring or delivering shotguns or rifles for those who are not licensed as firearm dealers. There is also no minimum age requirement for possessing a long gun according to federal law. Those under 18 are not able to possess handgun ammunition or handguns unless they need the weapon in the course of their employment. For example, an 18-year-old security officer may need a gun for his or her duties. Those under 18 may also possess a handgun if they are using it for target practice, for farming activities or are using it while being instructed in its safe and lawful use.

For minors accused of possessing guns illegally, an attorney can help. With so many exceptions to the law, it's important that you're protected against those who may accuse you when no crime has taken place.

Source: FindLaw, "When Can Kids Legally Own, Shoot Guns?," Daniel Taylor, Esq., accessed Aug. 01, 2017

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