Illegal for a supervised minor child to handle a firearm?


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cpileri
November 29, 2008, 05:16 PM
At a gunshow in Belton, TX last weekend, I brought my son and some of his friends with the express purpose of indoctrinatin them to the wonderful world of firearms. :)

Anyway, so these adolescent boys of course want to touch ever single thing on the tables. So i make sure the are careful, dont have finger on trigger, point in safe direction, etc.

At one point a vendor says that he can't let the kids handle the guns at all.

Is this some new law I don't know about?

How in the world could you teach a kid to shoot if you can't supervise the kid without yourself letting go of the rifle?

Thanks,
C-

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nalioth
November 29, 2008, 05:20 PM
No, it's a vendor and his 'table rules'.

Old Fuff
November 29, 2008, 06:22 PM
It probably was the vendor's policy, as letting youngsters handle his (not your) guns could lead to problems. However it might be that it was a show rule, or a condition imposed by they're liability insurance carrier.

There is no reason you can't explain about certain guns without handling them, and I presume the vendor would probably let you handle a gun.

As for training. Gun shows are not supposed to be show & tell. Excluding collections that are on display only, the vendors are there to sell or trade guns.

Do remember to take the youngsters, but be sure they understand the rules. And there is no reason they can't handle your guns so long as you are there to supervise.

NavyLCDR
December 1, 2008, 08:10 AM
No, it's a vendor and his 'table rules'.

I beg to differ. It's the federal law in 18 USC 922 (x). A juvenile under the age of 18 may only temporarily possess a handgun for specific purposes at specific locations. The temporary possession must be in the course of employement, farming, ranching, target practice, hunting, or a course of instruction in firearm safety...the possession must be on the site of the specific activity (or being transported unloaded and cased to the site)...and with WRITTEN consent of the parent or guardian. Fondling firearms at a gun show do not fall within these guidelines. Notice subsections (i), (ii), (iii), and (iv) are all connected by AND.

However, the law does only apply to handguns.

18 USC 922:
(x)(1) It shall be unlawful for a person to sell, deliver, or
otherwise transfer to a person who the 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
knowingly 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 or use 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
lessee, 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 prohibited 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 place 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 at all times when a handgun is in the
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.

Old Fuff
December 1, 2008, 10:41 AM
The first post didn't mention handguns, but he did say...

How in the world could you teach a kid to shoot if you can't supervise the kid without yourself letting go of the rifle?

I am also sure that no one at the gunshow was aware of 18 USC 922, and highly doubt that even under a president Obama a U.S. Attorney would try to enforce the statute within a context of a minor, with a parent, handling an unloaded handgun, at a gun show. If a sale to the minor was contemplated that might be a different matter.

I also doubt that there is any human activity that isn't illegal under some obscure statute, law, ordinance, or regulation.

everallm
December 1, 2008, 11:24 AM
Pick up and look is NOT possession in the eyes of the law and as such 18 USC 922 is not relevant in this case. Possession requires ownership or explicit or implicit exclusive control.

No sale, transfer, change of ownership or constructive use is involved in this situation so the point is moot.

If the owner/possesor does not want a minor to handle his firearm or there are site specific rules and restrictions in place, that is not the law but his prerogative.

nalioth
December 1, 2008, 12:10 PM
NavyLT, "possession" means "out of sight of the parent" and "solely in control of themselves" . For example: Little 14 year old Johnny is working the combine out on the south 40 all by himself and has .44 magnum revolver loaded with snake shot for their snake problem. He would be in possession of the revolver for the time he was out there.

Yes, if the kid was at the gun show by himself, you're danged skippy he wouldn't be handling anything from my table, but in this case, Pop was right there with him.

When a minor child is under the supervision of their parents, they can do anything legal. This includes drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, etc.

TexasRifleman
December 1, 2008, 12:15 PM
I beg to differ. It's the federal law in 18 USC 922 (x). A juvenile under the age of 18 may only temporarily possess a handgun for specific purposes at specific locations. The temporary possession must be in the course of employement, farming, ranching, target practice, hunting, or a course of instruction in firearm safety...the possession must be on the site of the specific activity (or being transported unloaded and cased to the site)...and with WRITTEN consent of the parent or guardian. Fondling firearms at a gun show do not fall within these guidelines. Notice subsections (i), (ii), (iii), and (iv) are all connected by AND.


Sorry, that only applies when the parent is not present. Doesn't have anything to do with this or with a child shooting a firearm with parental supervision.

You need to brush up on the definition of "possess".

ETA: Nalioth beat me to it while I was typing :)

nalioth
December 1, 2008, 12:27 PM
Even if his parents weren't present, the kid'd still not be in possession at a vendors table - the vendor would be.


Vendor rule ( these are just like gun shop laws that only exist in that particular gun shop ), nothing more.

Art Eatman
December 1, 2008, 12:34 PM
I know of no Texas law against a parentally-supervised kid handling a firearm. I can imagine a vendor being nervous; he doesn't know the kid nor the parent, insofar as their knowledge or sense of responsibility. I know I was always twitchy when kids came to my table.

State law speaks to possession away from home property, or to purchase. Farm and ranch kids are pretty much out of the equation.

NavyLCDR
December 2, 2008, 07:39 AM
So, to all who are pointing out my misinterpretation of the law, let me ask you this:

What are the parental permission requirements for a juvenile <18 years of age to work at a gun store and handle handguns for sale?

In this case, accourding to those who posted, the juvenile would not be in "possession" of the handguns, the FFL would be, so the <18 year old would be free and clear to "handle" the handguns for the purpose of displaying them to customers?

So there isn't a long drawn out argument, I shall answer that question according to the ATF:

page 181 of the 2005 Federal Firearms Regulation Guide:
(F4) May an employee of a licensed dealer, such as a manager or clerk, who is under 21 years of age, sell handguns and ammunition suitable for use in handguns for the licensee?

Yes, if the employee is not a prohibited person (e.g., a felon). However, to sell handguns, a person less than 18 years of age must have the prior written consent of a parent or guardian and the written consent must be in the personís possession at all times. Also, the parent or guardian giving the written consent may not be prohibited by law from possessing a firearm. Moreover, State law must not
prohibit the juvenile from possessing the handguns or ammunition.
[18 U.S.C. 922(x)]

So according to the ATF, those requirements exist for a juvenile to merely "handle" the handguns in order to sell them to customers and therefore, I stand by my statement that those requirements also apply to juveniles merely "handling" handguns at gun shows. Also notice, the law makes no exception for the presence of the parent or guaridian - it requires written permission whether or not the parent or guardian is present.

The ATF considers ownership and possession to be two entirely different things. Possession is the physical act of having control of the handgun. This is further shown to be true in 18 USC 922:
(C) a transfer by inheritance of title (but not possession) of a
handgun or ammunition to a juvenile;

and on page 178 of the 2005 FFRG:
(B14) May a parent or guardian purchase firearms or ammunition
as a gift for a juvenile (less than 18 years of age)?

Yes. However, possession of handguns by juveniles (less than 18 years of age) is generally unlawful. Juveniles generally may only receive and possess handguns with the written permission of a parent or guardian for limited purposes, e.g., employment, ranching, farming, target practice or hunting.

With all of the above, if I am selling a handgun, I'm not letting any juvenile <18 years of age touch it.

I know it's a stupid law. I know probably 1,000's of gun owners (I will neither confirm nor deny myself included) have let <18 year olds shoot our pistols at the gun range without the written permission requirement, but it is the requirement.

everallm
December 2, 2008, 08:23 AM
NavytLT

Your still confusing the requirements of possession, as I already posted

Possession requires ownership or explicit or implicit exclusive control.

A sales clerk in a gun shop, by the nature of the scope of the work, has both explicit and implicit exclusive control.

The written consent applies ONLY where this situation occurs AND the "child" is not under the immediate supervision or control of their parent.

So, for example, a "mom and pop" firearms store where "junior" helps out on the weekends does not require written permission as he remains under the control or direct supervision of his parents.

If "junior" also helps out at "Joe's Guns 'N Tackle" down the road, unless his parents also own it and are present, the manager/owner would need written authorization.

For

Juveniles generally may only receive and possess handguns with the written permission of a parent or guardian for limited purposes, e.g., employment, ranching, farming, target practice or hunting.

"Junior" by the nature of the activity is NOT under the direct supervision or control of his parents but another, the employer/guide/range officer etc, ergo written permission.

If the ranch he/she is working on belongs to and is managed by his parents then there is no requirement for written permission, who do they send it to, themselves?

Now, you are NOT obliged to let a juvenile handle a firearm even with a note from mummy, that remains a personal choice and not the law.

NavyLCDR
December 2, 2008, 08:45 AM
And we are entitled to disagree because neither one of us are lawyers, I would assume, and therefore both ours advice is worth exactly what people pay for it.

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