Wrapping a Gift

Gifting A Firearm To A Person Under 21 Years Old

By Christine Vazquez

With the holidays just around the corner, you may be wondering how you can gift a firearm to a minor (child). Gifting a firearm in Florida is a relatively simple process. However, when the beneficiary of your gift is a minor, certain nuances apply. In Florida, the legal age to purchase a firearm is 21. But this restriction does not apply when gifting a firearm. In the Sunshine State, it is legal to gift a firearm to an individual under 21 years of age. It is important to note, however, that the younger the beneficiary is, the more stringent the regulations become. For instance, when gifting a firearm to a minor under the age of 18, permission from the minor’s parent or guardian is required.  A violation of this requirement could result in a third degree felony, which is punishable by up to 5 years in prison, 5 years of probation, and a $5,000 fine.

As previously stated, you can gift a firearm to someone under the age of 21, but until he/she turns 21, the general rule is that the firearm cannot be carried on his/her person.  The firearm can be loaded and transported in a vehicle if the gift receiver is at least 18 years old.  Further, a minor under the age of 18 may only possess an unloaded firearm at home, unless the minor is: (1) engaged in lawful hunting and is at least 16 years of age, or under the age of 16 and supervised by an adult; (2) engaged in recreational shooting and is at least 16 years of age or under 16 years of age and supervised by an adult who is acting with the consent of the minor’s parent or guardian; or (3) transporting the unloaded firearm directly to or from lawful hunting, marksmanship practice, or other lawful recreational shooting activity.

Also, keep in mind that it is unlawful for anyone under the age of 16 to use, for any purpose whatsoever, a BB gun, air or gas-operated gun, or electric weapon, unless the minor is under the supervision of an adult with the consent of a parent or guardian, and the supervising adult is present with the child.   A violation of this law is a second-degree misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, 6 months of probation, and a $500 fine.  Therefore, unlike Ralphie in the popular film “A Christmas Story,” a child under the age of 16 may not receive a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, or any other occasion for that matter, without first following the law as it pertains to minors.

Once you determine that the recipient of your gift may possess a firearm, the transfer process becomes quite simple.  Florida does not require you to register the firearm or record the transfer.  You can simply give the firearm to the intended beneficiary, as long as both you and the beneficiary are residents of the state of Florida. No additional steps are required.

The information provided in this article is intended to provide general information to individuals and does not create a client-attorney relationship.

Want to learn more about gifting a firearm to a resident of another state?  Click here


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