When may children legally possess firearms?
Under Florida law children may legally possess firearms under specific exceptions included in the law. As used in this blog, child means “a minor child under 18 years of age.” These exceptions or “affirmative defenses” include the following:
Unloaded firearm at his or her home
A child may legally possess a firearm unloaded at his or her home. This exception is found in Florida Statute §790.22(3).
Exception for hunting activity
A child may legally possess a firearm if they are lawfully hunting and at least 16 years of age. However, if the child is under 16 years of age, then the child must be supervised by an adult. Florida Statute §790.22(3)(a).
Lawful sporting activities
A child may legally possess a firearm while engaged in a lawful marksmanship competition or practice. Additionally, they may also legally possess a firearm while participating in other lawful recreational shooting activities if they are at least 16 years of age. As a result, if the child is under 16 years of age, then the child must be supervised by an adult who is acting with the consent of the minor’s parent or guardian. Florida Statute §790.22(3)(b).
If a child’s access to the firearm consisted of lawful defense by the child of themselves or other people, the child’s possession of the gun is lawful. For obvious reasons, if a child uses a firearm in self-defense, or in defense of another person, there is a general public policy interest in not prosecuting the child who acted in self-defense. Therefore, this is another exception.
Learn more about the proper storage of firearms under Florida law.
About the Firearm Firm
The Firearm Firm is a statewide Second Amendment and Self-Defense law firm. We proudly serve the people of the State of Florida. We strongly believe that all gun owners need to be armed and educated. Come see us speak at Active Shooter and Gun Law Seminars. For a complete schedule visit www.gunlawseminar.com. Further, if you have any questions about Florida Gun Law, or any other firearm related questions, visit our website, search our knowledge base, or leave a question for us to answer.
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