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Comments About "Illegal to Own Handguns Under Age 21"

Discussion in 'Legal' started by 1911Today, Nov 17, 2008.

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  1. 1911Today

    1911Today Member

    Nov 7, 2008
    I've read a few threads in the past few days where THRs claim that to own a handgun under the age of 21 is completely illegal, and in some cases even claim that it's a felony.

    Though laws vary state-to-state, that blanket statement just ISN'T true. In many cases it is completely legal to own a handgun if you are 18 or older and don't fall into the other blacklisted categories (felon, alcoholic, etc.)

    I'm 20, live in Florida, and purchased my first firearm, a DSC 1911 in August, when I was 19. Florida laws state that public sales of handguns to those under 21 are expressly prohibited, so if you pick up a handgun at a shop or gun show, you certainly cannot buy it. HOWEVER, legal age of sale under "Private" conditions (person-person sale) is only 18. And in Florida, this requires no paperwork of any kind. While you cannot CCW under 21, all other laws regarding gun ownership pertain, such as keeping a loaded weapon in your home or in your vehicle (understanding that it MUST be kept out of direct reach from the driver) are still legal.

    I understand that while sale of handgun ammo to those under 21 is illegal, many websites, including MidwayUSA, CheaperThanDirt, and even Natchez will ship without checking identification, and while it shames me to admit this, I have taken advantage of their lax attitude.

    It just kind of irks me when people jump on the younger gun owners about it being a "felony" to do what we love. I completely agree that some of my peers shouldn't go anywhere NEAR a firearm, but there are some of us that are more responsible than some older owners. Please review the laws before you make blanket statements and accuse people of being criminals.
  2. Samgotit

    Samgotit Member

    Nov 22, 2007
    Good post. And the absolute most important part:
    State laws are the most crucial item that any gun owner be familiar with.

    Midway's ammo policy is 18 and up:

    Once again the most relevant part of their policy is in bold, as far as I'm concerned. Like anything else in life, it's an individual's responsibility.
    If a person ends up breaking their state laws, and looses their rights because of it, so be it.
  3. ristmo

    ristmo Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    I live in Dallas. I've bought a fair amount of 9mm handgun ammo at multiple Walmart's and Academy's (both in north and south Dallas) the last couple months and never once been carded, even when I've heard the register beep and seen the must be 21 message display on the teller's side. I'm 21 and nearly always get carded for other things, but when it comes to ammo, I have yet to be asked for ID. I'm not condoning buying ammo illegally but just wanted to point out that it's not just these online sites that fail to prevent you from breaking the law.

    I feel strongly for you, though. For the record, I'm a young computer professional, have been living on my own and supporting myself for over 3 years, met every other requirement with flying colors and had my application to RENT AN APARTMENT denied by THREE different apartment complexes this summer because I wasn't 21. Had no idea that was legal till I thoroughly investigated it. Oh -- and you want a laugh? When I asked if a larger deposit or a parent co-signing would allow me to rent (3 weeks from my 21st birthday, mind you), the managers told me that it was the "The Fair Housing Act" that prevented them from renting to me! (Making an exception for me would have been a violation of the law.) Being as it's legal to own and possess (although not carry) a handgun here at under 21, the fact that you can't buy ammo, to me, is absurd.

    I got back in June from 3 months of volunteer teaching English in Iraq, and I couldn't rent my own apartment (I could buy a house, mind you), purchase a handgun from most places, or purchase ammo till my birthday. Oh -- and a year ago, when I was in Memphis with my girlfriend, we were turned away from so much as entering a blocked off, outdoor area of town because apparently, after 10pm, the streets that our tax dollars also go to build are restricted to those over age 21.

    I hope this post doesn't get flagged as "not very High Road". I say all this just because I often hear a lot of older people who make very similarly degrading comments that classify all young people as irresponsible. Many of us, in fact, are truly discriminated against.
  4. razorback2003

    razorback2003 Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    You can generally own a handgun at 18 and also buy one from a private individual at 18 in MOST states. Some states allow open carry, some conceal with a license at 18 too. You might be able to keep one loaded in your car at 18.....but check your state laws. The ammo part can be a hassle. Get a friend who is 21 to buy it for you.
  5. offroaddiver

    offroaddiver Member

    Oct 29, 2007
    Mountains of East TN
    Throughout life people encounter the magic numbers as far as age is concerned.
    At 14 in some states you can get a motorcycle liscense, 16 a drivers lisense 18 you are considered an adult of sound mind to buy tobacco, 21 buy booze, 25 to rent cars, and so on and so forth.
    These are numbers. Now mind you it is an age that can be reason for an against.
    When I was younger i thought that the magic number of 21 to buy booze might be magical and all sorts of goodies would happen.... spent $100 on booze and barely got buzzed. However.... It's usually towards the end of a 4year college degree when the classes get easier.

    Getting back to the OP
    As far as the legalities go...
    Check your own state. Don't worry about what is said on THR. Just because you saw it on THR doesn't mean diddle squat. Some areas it is a felony for "an adult under 18" (yes that's tongue in cheek there) to possess a firearm. I have seen times change, I don't see the ages change.

    When I was growing up it was perfectly legal for someone who wasn't 18 to buy rated R tickets. Some of the movie theaters will not sell to under 18. Saw a kid get put in handcuffs for creating a scene when he wanted to see a movie and was denied.
  6. turnyourback

    turnyourback Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    yeah, in Vermont you can legally own and carry a handgun if you're over 18. you can obtain one through a face to face transaction (or if it's a gift, etc)... you just can't buy one from an FFL. nor can you buy bullets for your gun from an FFL until you're 21.
  7. husbandofaromanian

    husbandofaromanian Member

    Feb 3, 2008
    Nashville, Tn
    I disagree, I believe you can buy bullets when you 6 years old. Just not loaded ammunition.:neener:
  8. myhandle87

    myhandle87 Member

    Aug 31, 2008
    Actually, I'm in VT and I'm pretty sure you can conceal carry if you're 16, so long as you have permission of the person who owns the gun. Yeah, Vermont is pretty awesome like that.
  9. turnyourback

    turnyourback Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    you may certainly be right. <3 vermont.
  10. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    Dec 14, 2005
    Stanwood, WA
    Unless you meet one of the specific exceptions in 18 USC 922(x) which are employment, ranching, farming, target practice, hunting, or gun safety course, you would be committing a federal felony by carrying a handgun, regardless of parent's/gun owners permission at less than 18 years of age. Notice that subsections (i), (ii), (iii), and (iv) are all connected with the word AND highlighted below.

    (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
    (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.
  11. IncredibleGord

    IncredibleGord Member

    Oct 22, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    juvenile- ?

    18=ADULT to the US Government. The average age in the US ARMY is 22 btw.
    Just because you have to be 21 to do something, doesn't make it right. Ageism is alive and well in America. People need to recognize the rights of "young" adults. I also personally believe that less teens would do drugs, and would respect alcohol usage if the laws changed to a younger age. It is a lot easier to get pot and cocaine at 15 and 16 than a bud lite. There are so many issues to bark about, I just hate how I am called an adult, but am denied my constitutional right to keep and bear arms until I'm 21. The constitution doesn't talk about age, just citizenship, and duty for each man to RKBA.

    Laws can be a real bummer sometimes...
  12. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    Dec 14, 2005
    Stanwood, WA
    You do understand, the word juvenile in the Federal Law means a person who is under the age of 18. My quote of the Federal Law was in response to the feller in Vermont who said Vermont allowed concealed carry at 16.

  13. Holloman

    Holloman Member

    Jun 16, 2008
    This is a point of discussion that really gets me going as well. I am 19, and in my state of Georgia, I can legally own the 5 handguns I have.

    I am also a full-time employee of the Sheriff's Office, and while I am not mandated, I do EXACTLY the same thing that mandated peace officers do on a daily basis. (At least the ones who work in the detention center)

    I strongly agree with the OP's opinion that most of our peers- I would venture 90%- are nowhere near responsible enough or mature enough to own a handgun. I am not one of those people.

    Every time I see a good deal, or a good trade that involves me trading/selling/buying a handgun, I have to wonder if the person on the other end is going to call the police on me! I have even had some of my fellow deputies tell me that what I do is illegal, when nothing prohibits it. Truthfully, I am running scared, and I have backed out of several profitable deals because of these concerns. I do nothing wrong- my parents order my ammo, and I have never carried outside of the range or my house.

    It is frustrating to say the least.
  14. kurtmax

    kurtmax Member

    Jul 21, 2007
    Ammo is not a problem. It's only illegal for the merchant to sell you ammo if they reasonably believe it will be used in a handgun. Simply asking if it's for a handgun is good enough. The Wal-Marts around here (Alabama) do just that. If you say no the cash registers asks if you are 18 and yes it asks if you are 21.

    There is no such thing as 'handgun ammunition'. AK Pistols and 9mm carbines do exist yaknow...


    Also, I'm pretty sure all this stuff only applies to FFL holders. You can sell ammunition without a permit last time I checked.
  15. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Federal law prohibits licensed DEALERS from selling a handgun to anyone under 21. Anything else is either state/local law or a misunderstanding.

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