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Minors and firearms possession

| Sep 2, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

Minors do not have the same rights as adults when it comes to ownership and possession of firearms. The rights from the U.S. Constitution apply only to adults, but each state has the ability to make laws to give juveniles gun rights.

The New York Post explains that in New York, minors have very limited gun rights that generally start at age 16.

Sales and possession

A minor under 18 cannot buy a firearm from a licensed gun dealer. In addition, anyone under the age of 16 cannot possess a rifle. Those under 18 can buy a rifle through a private sale, but the buyer must undergo a federal background check through a licensed dealer.

A person age 16 or 17 can possess a rifle only for hunting. He or she must have a valid hunting license to legally have a firearm in his or her care.

The Giffords Law Center explains that nobody under the age of 21 can own or carry a handgun. There is no exception for use when hunting. In addition, the laws for rifles do not extend to anyone under the age of 16 either, even if they are hunting.

Younger minors

It is possible for someone under the age of 16 to possess and use a firearm legally. The law allows individuals who are between 12 and 15 years old to use a firearm in a shooting range. These minors must have direct supervision and be under the control of a parent, guardian, certified instructor, military officer or other person qualified under the law.

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