Guns and Juveniles in Utah

There are a fair amount of laws surrounding minors and their use of dangerous weapons, including guns, in Utah.

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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.

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