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Illegal for a supervised minor child to handle a firearm?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by cpileri, Nov 29, 2008.

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  1. cpileri

    cpileri Member

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    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-
     
  2. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    No, it's a vendor and his 'table rules'.
     
  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    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.
     
  4. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    Yes, it is illegal...

    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:
     
  5. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    The first post didn't mention handguns, but he did say...

    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.
     
  6. everallm

    everallm Member

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    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.
     
  7. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    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.
     
  8. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    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 :)
     
  9. nalioth

    nalioth Member

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    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.
     
  10. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  11. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    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:
    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:
    and on page 178 of the 2005 FFRG:
    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  12. everallm

    everallm Member

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    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.
     
  13. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    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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