Youth Hunters in Utah

There are many youth hunters in Utah who join their families for traditional hunting trips. These kids may have grown up surrounded by older family members who have been hunting for years, but they and their parents may not know what is required for them to participate.

Hunting in Utah

Youth Hunters in Utah
Photo by: Bob ‘n’ Renee

Hunting is a big sport in Utah with many kids becoming involved fairly young. Fishing is common for beginners while many kids gradually move on to hunt small game and even larger game, cougar or bear as they get older. Although the State of Utah “encourage[es] Utah’s youth to hunt, fish, watch wildlife and participate in shooting sports” there are some guidelines that must be obeyed as well as education required before they can hunt in Utah.

Age requirements

According to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, “In 2008, the Utah Legislature removed the minimum age requirement for hunting small game”. With adult supervision, all kids under the age of 15 are allowed to hunt duck, partridge, pheasant, turkey and waterfowl while those 12 or older may participate in big game, cougar and bear hunts.

Education and parental supervision

Not every child can pick up a rifle and head out hunting with their family. The child must be old enough to understand and complete a hunter education course first. One educated and registered, licensed youth hunters under the age of 15 must be supervised by an adult while hunting, no matter how experienced they are. Utah Code also states in 76-10-509 that older teens hunting alone must have permission from their parent or guardian to be in possession of a weapon and that firearm may not be a “handgun, ( . . . ) short barreled rifle, short barreled shotgun, or a fully automatic weapon” as described in section 76-10-509.4.

Move over Tang- Energized Chocolate Snuff Is the New Thing Now

Taking a chocolate high to a whole new level, a company out of Florida called Legal Lean has developed an energized chocolate snuff that is meant to snorted, not eaten.

Energized chocolate snuff

Photo by: Andrea

Flavored vape juice, alcohol enemas…what new, risky fad will the kids be trying next? Well, the newest product on the market is called Coco Loko, a chocolate powder mixed with energy supplements that when snorted, is developed to give users an energized buzz mixed with a euphoric high. Although Coco Loko is only available to purchase by adults 18 years of age or older, it won’t be long before it becomes a frequently used item among the youth, much like e-cigs have in recent years.

Safety concerns

Photo by Yale Rosen

The nose is not meant to transport anything into the body except clean filtered air. This is why we have nasal hairs to trap debris along with antihistamines to trigger expelling actions such as sneezing and a runny nose when microscopic particles such as pollen enter the nasal cavity. This natural filtering and removal system is meant to protect the lungs further down the respiratory tract from being permeated by foreign elements which can pose a severe health threat. By purposefully and powerfully snorting a substance such as energized chocolate snuff into the nasal cavity, the chance of small particles making their way to the lungs is greater. This can result in painful inflammation or aspiration pneumonia, which could be fatal.

Legal for now

Photo by: Randen Pederson

Much like the childish sniffing of Tang over the years, there really is no law criminalizing the snorting of chocolate. Unfortunately, the delivery method of the energized chocolate snuff could desensitize kids to the act of sniffing substances up their noses. Normalizing that act in itself could remove a future stigma of illegal drug use delivered in the same manner. Before energized chocolate snuff hits store shelves, parents should take this opportunity to speak to their children regarding this new dangerous trend and the dangers about sniffing foreign substances.

Utah Gun Laws for Kids

Most parents in Utah do not let their kids have continual access to any gun yet others may be more comfortable with their older, experienced children handling certain firearms with or without parental supervision.

Possession of a dangerous weapon by minor

Gun Cabinet
Photo by: Mitch Barrie

According to Utah Code 76-10-509, kids under 14 must have a responsible adult with them to possess a weapon. In regards to older teens, ”a minor under 18 years of age may not possess a dangerous weapon unless he has the permission of his parent” or “is accompanied by a parent.” This states that a teen 14 to 18 years old may be in possession of a firearm even if the parents are not around.

Small print, different section

When reading the above section of the Utah Code, parents may fall under the false assumption that this section applies toward all weapons including any type of firearm, therefore letting their kids over 14 access whatever they want to in the family gun cabinet. Unknown to the parents however is there is another section to the Utah Code that states they may in fact be breaking the law.

Sorry not THOSE weapons

Kid with Handgun
Photo by: OakleyOriginals

The very next section of the Utah Code is 76-10-509.4 which specifies certain prohibitions on the types of guns a minor can possess. In Subsection 1 it states “A minor under 18 years of age may not possess a handgun”. Subsection 2 adds, they are also not permitted to possess a shortened rifle, shotgun, or fully automatic weapon. Violation of subsection 1 is a class B misdemeanor or a class A misdemeanor for repeat offenses. Violation of subsection 2 is a 3rd degree felony. A parent allowing their child to be in possession of a handgun is likely to face charges as well.

Study gun laws thoroughly

Although Utah gun laws may be more lenient than other states, it is important to fully understand ALL laws regarding guns and other weapons before allowing minors near them. Failure to read all laws regarding guns and weapons may end in criminal charges for both parent and child. It is also important to know your child and whether or not they are mature and stable enough to possess a weapon.

Gang Activity Alive and Well in Utah; Gang Recruitment Age Continues to Drop

Photo: zhouxuan12345678

Speakers at the recent 2014 Utah Gang Conference had a variety of issues to discuss, but one of the most troubling concerns is that gangs don’t seem to have a minimum age requirement. In fact, one speaker reported that a five-year-old kindergartener was responsible for gang-related graffiti at a West Valley City elementary school.

Does the Law Make Any Difference?

There is a law that’s specifically designed to deter adult gang members from recruiting minors to join any criminal street gang, but it’s clear that law doesn’t completely work.

It’s a class B misdemeanor to:

* solicit, recruit, entice or intimidate a minor to join a criminal street gang–even if the minor doesn’t actually join the gang

* conspire to commit an act that is intended to cause a minor to join a criminal street gang

* use intimidation to prevent or attempt to prevent a minor from leaving a gang or otherwise end the minor’s affiliation with such a group

A person who’s found guilty of a class B misdemeanor may find himself serving a jail sentence of up to six months.

It’s a class A misdemeanor for any person who is a member of or otherwise actively involved with a criminal street gang to:

* intimidate or otherwise cause a minor to commit or attempt to commit any misdemeanor criminal offense;

* commit one (or more) of certain specified crimes

* more than once, by the same minor, within a period of 180 days

If you’re found guilty of committing a class A misdemeanor, you might end up stuck in jail for up to one year.

Contact a Utah Juvenile Defense Attorney

If your child is in legal trouble, don’t wait to talk to a Utah juvenile defense attorney. Even though it’s illegal for gang members to recruit minors, they still manage to get some kids on their side.

Regardless of your child’s particular situation, get him or her the legal help they deserve. Make that important call now.

Vinyl Fence Vandals on East Side of Salt Lake City Believed to be Juveniles

Photo: r. nial bradshaw

Residents and police on the east side of Salt Lake City are concerned about some vandals that seem to have targeted vinyl fences.

Vandals Thought to be Juveniles

It’s also believed that the vandals are juveniles. One resident who’s had her fence broken on multiple occasions seems to think that it sounds like kids come and throw themselves into the fence until it breaks.

It’s hard to imagine who would find throwing their body into any structure, vinyl fence or otherwise, fun–but there you have it. Someone’s doing it and residents have the broken fences to prove it.

While it may not seem like the worst crime in history, vandalism is a crime–regardless of the type of vandalism that takes place. Also, there’s more to it than just the repair of a broken fence. Kids (or adults for that matter) who are found to be vandals may find themselves spending some quality time incarcerated in addition to the financial costs of choosing vandalism as a past-time.

Level of Charge Can Depend on Monetary Damages

Another term for vandalism is criminal mischief; this may be charged if a person intentionally destroys or damages someone else’s property. It would likely be charged as a class A misdemeanor if the person does more than $500 but less than $1500 in damage.

Having the right defense attorney on your child’s side in any juvenile matter may make all the difference in the outcome of his or her case. It’s important to contact a Utah juvenile defense attorney as soon as possible to get your child’s case on the right track. More that phone call today.