There are a fair amount of laws surrounding minors and their use of dangerous weapons, including guns, in Utah.
Minors under 18 years old may not possess a dangerous weapon unless the following conditions are met:
• the juvenile must have permission from a parent or guardian to possess such a weapon, and
• he must be accompanied by a parent or guardian while in possession of a weapon.
If a minor under 14 years old is in possession of a dangerous weapon, he shall be accompanied by a responsible adult.
Violation of these laws is a class B misdemeanor the first time, but a class A misdemeanor any subsequent times.
One weapon that juveniles under the age of 18 may not possess under any circumstances is a handgun. With the exception of where permissible by federal law, minors under 18 may not have the following weapons:
• sawed-off rifle
• sawed-off shotgun
• a fully automatic weapon
Violation of the handgun law is a class B misdemeanor for the first offense and a class A misdemeanor for any further offenses. It is a third-degree felony for a minor to have a sawed-off rifle, sawed-off shotgun or fully automatic weapon.
Providing Guns to Violent Minors
Parents are not to give a weapon to a violent minor, regardless of the situation, or the parent will be guilty of a class A misdemeanor or third-degree felony. A violent minor is generally someone who has been convicted of a violent felony or who has been in juvenile court under circumstances which would be considered a violent felony if the juvenile was an adult.
Additionally, any parent who knows his minor has a dangerous weapon in her possession but doesn’t make reasonable efforts to take the weapon away is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.
Utah is usually considered to be a gun-friendly state, but there are times when juveniles shouldn’t have access to guns or other weapons for any reason. If your child is involved in legal problems over a gun-related issue, don’t hesitate to contact a Utah juvenile defense attorney. Let an attorney guide you through complex juvenile law and be your child’s advocate when she most needs assistance.