Child Access Prevention in Arizona

Arizona law makes a parent or guardian of a person under age 18 jointly and severally liable for the fine imposed or any civil damages resulting from a minor’s use of a firearm in certain situations.1 This rule only applies if the minor knowingly and without the company of a proper adult, carried or possessed a firearm on his or her person, within his or her immediate control, or in or on a means of transportation:

  • In any place that is open to the public;
  • On any street or highway; or
  • On any private property except private property owned or leased by the minor or the minor’s parent,
    grandparent or guardian.

The parent or guardian is only liable if he or she knew or reasonably should have known that the minor was carrying or possessing the firearm as described above, and he or she made no effort to prevent it.2

See our Child Access Prevention Policy Summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3111(A), (F). Exceptions exist under certain circumstances if the minor was between the ages of 14 and 17. See Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 13-3111(B). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Arkansas

A parent must prevent illegal firearm possession or report the possession to an appropriate authority if he or she knows that his or her minor child is in illegal possession of a firearm in or upon:

  • The premises of a public or private school;
  • A public or private school’s athletic stadium or other facility or building in which school-sponsored events are conducted; or
  • A public park, playground, or civic center.1

For purposes of this provision, “parent” is defined as a parent, stepparent, legal guardian, or person in loco parentis or who has legal custody of a student pursuant to a court order and with whom the student resides.2

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-27-210(b). Minor is defined as a person under 18 years of age. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-25-101(4). ⤴︎
  2. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-27-210(a)(2). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in California

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

California makes someone criminally liable for keeping a loaded firearm where he or she knows or reasonably should know that a child (a person under age 18)1 is likely to gain access to the firearm without the permission of the child’s parent or guardian, where the child actually does gain access to the firearm and either carries it to a public place, brandishes it in a threatening manner, or if someone is injured as a result of the child gaining access to the firearm.2 The penalty imposed is significantly greater if someone dies or suffers great bodily injury as a result of the child gaining access to the firearm.3

A person is also criminally liable for keeping a loaded or unloaded handgun on his or her premises, where he or she knows or reasonably should know a child is likely to gain access to it without the permission of the child’s parent or legal guardian, if the child does gain access and carries the handgun off the premises.4

Moreover, a person is criminally liable for keeping any firearm, loaded or unloaded, on his or her premises where he or she knows or reasonably should know a child is likely to gain access to the firearm without the permission of the child’s parent or legal guardian, if the child does gain access to it and carries the firearm to any preschool or school grades K-12 or to any school-sponsored event, activity, or performance.5

In addition, under a California law enacted in 2013, a person is criminally liable in any of the circumstances described above, where the person obtaining access to the firearm is an individual prohibited from possessing a firearm pursuant to state or federal law.

Lastly, criminal liability is also imposed if a person negligently stores or leaves, on premises within the person’s custody or control, a loaded firearm in a location where the person knows, or reasonably should know, that the child is likely to gain access to the firearm without the permission of the child’s parent or legal guardian (it is not necessary that the firearm actually be carried away or otherwise used by the child). No liability is imposed in this situation if reasonable action is taken to secure the firearm against access by a child.6

These laws do not apply if any of the following is true:

  • The firearm was kept in a locked container or in a location that a reasonable person would believe to be secure;
  • The firearm was locked with a locking device that rendered the firearm inoperable;
  • The person had no reasonable expectation, based on objective facts and circumstances, that a child was likely to be present on the premises;
  • The child obtained the firearm as a result of an illegal entry into any premises by any person;
  • The firearm was carried on the person or within such a close proximity to the person that he or she could readily retrieve and use the firearm as if carried on the person;
  • The person was a peace officer or a member of the armed forces or national guard and the child obtained the firearm during, or incidental to, the performance of the person’s duties; or
  • The child obtained the firearm in a lawful act of self-defense or defense of another person.7

A parent or guardian is generally civilly liable for damages resulting from the discharge of a firearm by that person’s child or ward where the parent or guardian either permitted the minor to have the firearm, or left the firearm in a place accessible to the minor. These damages are capped at $30,000 per victim, and $60,000 total.8

For the warnings that firearms dealers must post regarding preventing children from gaining access to firearms, see our Dealer Regulations in California section.

For more information about firearm locking devices required in California, see our Locking Devices in California section.

Notes
  1. Cal. Penal Code § 25000. ⤴︎
  2. Cal. Penal Code § 25100(b). This section references Cal. Penal Code § 417, which prohibits the drawing or exhibiting of a firearm in a rude, angry, or threatening manner, or unlawfully using a firearm in a fight or quarrel. ⤴︎
  3. Cal. Penal Code §§ 25100(a), 25110. ⤴︎
  4. Cal. Penal Code § 25200(a). ⤴︎
  5. Cal. Penal Code § 25200(b). ⤴︎
  6. Cal. Penal Code § 25100(c). ⤴︎
  7. Cal. Penal Code §§ 25105, 25205. California law also includes the statement that “[i]t is the Legislature’s intent that a parent or guardian of a child who is injured or who dies as the result of an accidental shooting must be prosecuted only in those instances in which the parent or guardian behaved in a grossly negligent manner or where similarly egregious circumstances exist.” Cal. Penal Code §§ 25115 and 25210. In such cases, no arrest may occur until at least seven days after the accidental shooting, and law enforcement officials are encouraged “to delay the arrest of a parent or guardian of a seriously injured child while the child remains on life-support equipment or is in a similarly critical medical condition.” Cal. Penal Code §§ 25120, 25215. ⤴︎
  8. Cal. Civil Code § 1714.3. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Colorado

In Colorado, a person is criminally liable for a felony who:

  • Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly provides a handgun to any person under age 18;
  • Knows of a juvenile’s unlawful possession of a handgun and fails to make reasonable efforts to prevent the juvenile’s conduct;
  • Is aware of a substantial risk that a juvenile will use a handgun to commit a felony and permits the juvenile to possess a handgun; or
  • Is aware of a substantial risk that a juvenile will use a handgun to commit a felony and fails to make reasonable efforts to prevent the commission of the offense.1

Any person who sells, rents, or transfers ownership of a long gun to a juvenile without the consent of his or her parent or guardian is criminally liable for a misdemeanor.2 This provision also prohibits a person from allowing unsupervised possession of a long gun by a juvenile without the consent of his or her parent or guardian.3

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-108.7(1), (2). ⤴︎
  2. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-12-108.7(3). ⤴︎
  3. Id. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Connecticut

Connecticut prohibits any person from storing or keeping a loaded firearm on his or her premises or under his or her control if he or she knows or reasonably should know that a minor (person under age 16) is likely to gain access to the firearm without the permission of the minor’s parent or guardian.1 A person is not criminally liable for this prohibition if his or her firearm is securely locked in a box or other container in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure, or the person carries the firearm on his or her person or within such close proximity that he or she can readily retrieve and use it as if it were on his or her body.2 A person who violates this safe storage requirement shall be held strictly liable for damages when a minor obtains the unlawfully stored firearm and causes injury to or the death of any person.3

A person is liable for “criminally negligent storage of a firearm” when he or she does not comply with the aforementioned safe storage requirements and a minor (person under age 16) obtains the firearm and causes injury or death to himself, herself or any other person.4

Connecticut specifically penalizes any parent or guardian of a minor child who, knowing that the child possesses a firearm and is ineligible to possess such firearm, fails to make reasonable efforts to halt the possession.5

As of October 1, 2013, the above safe storage requirements and related liability rules also apply if a person knows or should know that a resident of the premises:

1) Is ineligible to possess firearms under state or federal law; or

2) Poses a risk of imminent personal injury to himself, herself or others.6

For other measures related to child access prevention, see the Connecticut Locking Devices section.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-37i. ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-571g. ⤴︎
  4. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-217a(a). This prohibition does not apply if the minor gains access to the firearm via illegal entry of any premises where the gun is located by any person. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-217a(b). ⤴︎
  5. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-206f. ⤴︎
  6. Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 29-37i, 52-571g, and 53a-217a. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Delaware

Delaware prohibits a parent, guardian or other person legally charged with the care or custody of a child less than 18 years old from knowingly, intentionally or with criminal negligence contributing to or failing to prevent the unlawful possession or purchase of a firearm by a juvenile.1 A defendant may raise as an “absolute” defense to charges for violation of this provision that he or she: 1) had a lock on the trigger of the firearm and did not tell or show the juvenile where the key to the trigger lock was kept; or 2) locked the firearm in a key or combination locked container and did not tell or show the juvenile where the key was kept or what the combination was.2

In addition, Delaware prohibits any person from allowing a minor access to a firearm when the person intentionally or recklessly stores or leaves a loaded firearm within the reach or easy access of a minor, and where the minor obtains the firearm and uses it to inflict serious physical injury or death upon the minor or any other person.3 If an adult is prosecuted under this section, he or she may raise the following affirmative defenses:

  • The firearm was stored in a locked box or container or in a location which a reasonable person would have believed to be secure from access to a minor;
  • The minor obtained the firearm as the result of an unlawful entry by any person; or
  • The serious physical injuries or death to the minor or any other person resulted from a target accident, sport shooting accident or hunting accident.4

A parent is criminally liable for “unlawfully dealing with a dangerous weapon” when he or she permits his or her child under age 16 to possess a firearm unless under the direct supervision of an adult.5

State administrative regulations may also govern the storage of firearms in specific locations in Delaware.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 603. A juvenile is a person less than 18 years of age. Del. Code Ann. Del. Code Ann. tit. 1, § 701. ⤴︎
  2. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 603. ⤴︎
  3. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1456(a). ⤴︎
  4. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1456(b). ⤴︎
  5. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1445(3). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Florida

Florida law states that any person who stores or leaves a loaded firearm on premises under his or her control, and who knows or reasonably should know that a person under age 16 is likely to gain access to the firearm without the lawful permission of the minor’s parent or person having charge of the minor, or without supervision required by law, must do one of the following:

  • Keep the firearm in a securely locked box or container;
  • Keep the firearm in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure; or
  • Secure the firearm with a trigger lock.1

This requirement does not apply when the adult is carrying the firearm on his or her body or within such close proximity that he or she can retrieve and use the firearm as easily and quickly as if he or she carried it on his or her body.2

However, Florida law only makes the person who fails to store a firearm in this manner criminally liable if a minor gains access to the firearm without the lawful permission of his or her parent or legal guardian and possesses or exhibits it either: 1) in a public place; or 2) in a rude, careless, angry or threatening manner.3

For information regarding the warnings that retail establishments that sell or transfer firearms must post and provide to firearms purchasers regarding the safe storage of firearms, see the Florida Dealer Regulations section.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Fla. Stat. § 790.174(1). Minor is defined as a person under age 16. Fla. Stat. § 790.174(3). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Fla. Stat. § 790.174(2). See also Fla. Stat. § 784.05 (holding an adult culpably negligent for storing or leaving a loaded firearm within the reach or easy access of a minor, if the minor obtained the firearm and used it to inflict injury or death upon himself or herself or any other person, unless: 1) the firearm was stored or left in a securely locked box or container or in a location which a reasonable person would have believed to be secure, or was securely locked with a trigger lock; 2) the minor obtained the firearm as a result of an unlawful entry by any person; or 3) the injuries resulted from target or sport shooting accidents or hunting accidents). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Georgia

Georgia prohibits parents and legal guardians from allowing persons under age 18 to possess a handgun.1 A parent or legal guardian of a minor is criminally liable if he or she knows of the minor’s unlawful possession of a handgun and fails to make reasonable efforts to prevent it.2

A separate provision of Georgia law prohibits any parent or legal guardian from intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly furnishing, or permitting a minor to possess, a handgun, if the parent or legal guardian is aware of a substantial risk that the minor will use the handgun to commit a felony.3 This criminal liability also attaches if the parent or legal guardian, who is aware of a substantial risk that the minor will use the handgun to commit a felony, fails to make reasonable efforts to prevent commission of the offense by the minor.4

A parent or legal guardian is also criminally liable if he or she furnishes a handgun to, or permits possession of a handgun by, any minor who has been convicted of a forcible felony or forcible misdemeanor, or who has been adjudicated delinquent for an offense which would constitute a forcible felony or forcible misdemeanor if such minor were an adult.5

Georgia law does not penalize a person who negligently stores a firearm, even if a minor gains access to it.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ga. Code Ann. §§ 16-11-101.1(c)(1), 16-11-132. ⤴︎
  2. Ga. Code Ann. §§ 16-11-101.1(c)(1). These provisions do not apply to a minor: 1) Attending a hunter education course or a firearms safety course; 2) Engaging in practice in the use of a firearm or target shooting at an established range authorized by the governing body of the jurisdiction where such range is located; 3) Engaging in an organized competition involving the use of a firearm or participating in or practicing for a performance by an organized group under 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3) which uses firearms as a part of such performance; 4) Hunting or fishing pursuant to a valid license if such person has in his or her possession a valid hunting or fishing license if required; is engaged in legal hunting or fishing; has permission of the owner of the land on which the activities are being conducted; and the pistol or revolver, whenever loaded, is carried only in an open and fully exposed manner; 5) Traveling to or from any of the aforementioned activities, if the pistol or revolver is not loaded; 6) Who is on his or her parent’s, legal guardian’s, or grandparent’s real property and who has the permission of his or her parent, legal guardian, or grandparent to possess the handgun; or 7) At his or her residence and possesses a handgun while exercising rights authorized in Ga. Code Ann. §§ 16-3-21 or 16-3-23 (provisions regarding the justified use of force against another) with the permission of his or her parent or legal guardian. Ga. Code Ann. § 16-11-132(c). ⤴︎
  3. Ga. Code Ann. § 16-11-101.1(c)(2). ⤴︎
  4. Id. ⤴︎
  5. Ga. Code Ann. § 16-11-101.1(c)(3). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Hawaii

Hawaii prohibits persons from storing firearms on property they control when they know or reasonably should know that a minor (a person under the age of 16) is likely to gain access to the firearm without the permission of the parent or guardian of the minor, unless:

  • The firearm is kept in a securely locked box or container or in a location that a reasonable person would believe to be secure; or
  • The firearm is carried on the person or within such close proximity thereto that the person readily can retrieve and use it as if it were carried on the person.1

Under state law, a person commits the offense of “criminally negligent storage of a firearm” when a minor obtains a firearm as a result of the person’s violation of state law.2 Criminally negligent storage of a firearm is a misdemeanor.3 If the minor obtains the firearm as a result of unlawful entry to any premises by any person, the owner of the firearm is not criminally liable.4

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-10.5 ⤴︎
  2. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 707-714.5; see also, Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-10.5. ⤴︎
  3. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 707-714.5(3). ⤴︎
  4. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 707-714.5(2). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Idaho

A state administrative regulation requires firearms at a foster home to be stored:

  • Unloaded and equipped with a trigger lock;
  • Unassembled and inoperable;
  • Locked in a cabinet or storage container inaccessible to children; or
  • Locked in a gun safe inaccessible to children.1

Parents at a children’s residential care facility must keep their firearms unloaded and equipped with trigger locks and stored under lock and key and inaccessible to children.2 Ammunition must be stored under lock and key separate from firearms and inaccessible to children.3

For age requirements for the purchase or possession of firearms in Idaho, see the Idaho Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess section.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Idaho Admin. Code r. 16.06.02.435. ⤴︎
  2. Idaho Admin. Code r. 16.06.02.734. ⤴︎
  3. Id. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Illinois

Illinois prohibits any person from storing or leaving his or her firearm unlocked and accessible to a minor under the age of 14 if that person knows or has reason to believe that the minor under the age of 14 who does not have a Firearm Owner’s Identification (“FOID”) card is likely to gain access to the firearm and the minor causes death or great bodily harm with that firearm.1 This provision does not apply if the firearm is: 1) secured by a device, other than the firearm safety, designed to render the firearm temporarily inoperable; 2) placed in a securely locked box or container; or 3) placed in some other location that a reasonable person would believe to be secured from a minor under the age of 14.2 The prohibition also is inapplicable to any firearm obtained by a minor because of an unlawful entry of the premises by the minor or another person, or if the minor gains access to a firearm and uses it in a lawful act of self-defense or defense of another.3

When a minor under the age of 21 legally acquires a FOID card by obtaining the permission of a parent or guardian, that parent or guardian becomes liable for civil claims for damages resulting from the minor’s use of firearms or ammunition.4

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-9(a). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24-9(c). ⤴︎
  4. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/4(c). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Indiana

Indiana provides that a child’s parent or legal guardian commits the crime of “dangerous control of a child” if he or she knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly permits the child (defined as a person under age 18;1 ) to possess a firearm, either:

  • While aware of a substantial risk that the child will use the firearm to commit a felony; and
  • While failing to make reasonable efforts to prevent the use of a firearm by the child to commit a felony; or
  • When the child has been convicted of a crime of violence or has been adjudicated as a juvenile for an offense that would constitute a crime of violence if the child were an adult;2

In addition, an adult who knowingly or intentionally provides a firearm to a child for any purpose other than those specified3 commits “dangerous control of a firearm,” a Class C felony.4

A child who knowingly or intentionally provides a firearm to another child with or without remuneration for any purpose other than those described in section 35-47-10-1, with or without remuneration, commits “dangerous possession of a firearm,” a Class A misdemeanor.5

Firearms in youth camps must be locked in cabinets or buildings.6 Caregivers in child care homes must keep all ammunition and firearms in a locked area inaccessible to children whenever children are present.7 Providers at certain child care facilities must ensure that firearms and ammunition are secured in a locked area, by key or combination, where children cannot gain access.8

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. See Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-10-3. ⤴︎
  2. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-10-7. ⤴︎
  3. See the exceptions to the child possession and transfer restrictions at Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-10-1. ⤴︎
  4. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-10-6. ⤴︎
  5. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-10-5(b). ⤴︎
  6. 410 Ind. Admin. Code 6-7.2-21(g). ⤴︎
  7. 470 Ind. Admin. Code 3-1.1-48(e). ⤴︎
  8. 470 Ind. Admin. Code 3-18-10(a). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Iowa

Iowa prohibits any person from storing or leaving a loaded firearm that is “not secured by a trigger lock mechanism, placed in a securely locked box or container, or placed in some other location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure from a minor under the age of fourteen years, if the person knows or has reason to believe that a minor under the age of fourteen years is likely to gain access to the firearm without the lawful permission of the minor’s parent, guardian, or person having charge of the minor.”1 If the minor lawfully gains access to the firearm without the consent of his or her parent, guardian, or person having charge of the minor, and the minor exhibits the firearm in a public place in an unlawful manner, or uses the firearm unlawfully to cause injury or death to any person, the parent, guardian, or person having charge of the minor is criminally liable for a serious misdemeanor.2

If the minor obtains the firearm as a result of an unlawful entry by any person, this criminal liability will not attach.3

Any person who sells, loans, gives, or makes available a rifle or shotgun or ammunition for a rifle or shotgun to a minor is criminally liable for a serious misdemeanor for a first offense and a class “D” felony for second and subsequent offenses.4 However, a parent, guardian, spouse age 18 or older, or another person with the express consent of the minor’s parent or guardian or spouse who is at least age 18 may allow a minor to possess a rifle or shotgun or ammunition for lawful use.5

Any person who sells, loans, gives or makes available a handgun or ammunition for a handgun to a person under age 21 is criminally liable for a serious misdemeanor for a first offense and a class “D” felony for second and subsequent offenses.6 This prohibition does not apply to:

  • A person age 18, 19 or 20 while on military duty or while a peace officer, security guard or correctional officer, when such duty requires the possession of such a weapon or while the person receives instruction in the proper use of such firearms from an instructor age 21 or older; or
  • A minor of any age if the minor’s parent, guardian or spouse age 21 or older allows the minor to possess a handgun or handgun ammunition for any lawful purpose while under the “direct supervision” of the parent, guardian or spouse, or while the person receives instruction in the proper use of a handgun from an instructor age 21 or older (with the consent of the parent, guardian or spouse).7 “Direct supervision” is defined to mean “physical presence near the supervised person” by a parent, guardian, spouse or a firearms instructor over age 21, when the supervising individual “maintains visual and verbal contact at all times with the supervised person” and is not intoxicated or under the influence of an illegal drug.8

For other measures related to child access prevention, see the Iowa Locking Devices section.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Iowa Code § 724.22(7). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Id. ⤴︎
  4. Iowa Code § 724.22(1). ⤴︎
  5. Iowa Code § 724.22(3). ⤴︎
  6. Iowa Code § 724.22(2). ⤴︎
  7. Iowa Code § 724.22(5). ⤴︎
  8. Id. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Kansas

Kansas has no state statute specifically relating to firearms access by children, but state law prohibits any person from creating a hazard, which includes “[e]xposing, abandoning or otherwise leaving any explosive or dangerous substance in a place accessible to children.”1  Kansas’ child endangerment statute also makes it a misdemeanor to knowingly and unreasonably cause or permit a child under the age of 18 years to be placed in a situation in which the child’s life, body or health may be endangered.2 This crime is aggravated and treated as a “person” felony when an individual recklessly causes or permits a child under the age of 18 years to be placed in a situation in which the child’s life, body or health is endangered.3

State administrative regulations govern storage of firearms in certain locations.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-4212(a)(3). ⤴︎
  2. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-5601(a). ⤴︎
  3. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-5601(b)(1). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Kentucky

Kentucky does not impose criminal liability for negligent storage of a firearm, even if a child gains access to the firearm and causes an injury or death. Kentucky prohibits any person from intentionally, knowingly or recklessly providing a handgun to a person under age 18 or permitting a person under age 18 to possess a handgun, except in the limited situations where it is legal for the person under 18 to possess a handgun.1

In addition, the state prohibits any parent or guardian of a juvenile from intentionally, knowingly or recklessly providing to the juvenile a handgun or permitting a juvenile to possess a handgun if the parent or guardian:

  • Knows that there is a substantial risk that the juvenile will use a handgun to commit a felony offense;
  • Knows that the juvenile has been convicted of a crime of violence; or
  • Knows the juvenile has been adjudicated a public offender of an offense which would constitute a crime of violence.2

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 527.110(1)(a). See also Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 237.060(5) (defining “juvenile” as person under age 18). A person “unlawfully” provides a juvenile with a handgun or permits a juvenile to possess a handgun under Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 527.110(1) when he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly provides a handgun to any person he or she knows or has reason to believe is under age 18, and for whom possession of the handgun would be a violation of Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 527.100 (generally criminalizing possession of a handgun by a minor, with certain exceptions—see Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess in Kentucky for details), Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 527.040 (criminalizing possession of a firearm by a convicted felon or a “youthful offender” convicted of a felony), or Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 600.020 (defining abused or neglected children). Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 527.110(1)(a). ⤴︎
  2. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 527.110(1)(b). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Maryland

Maryland law provides that a person “may not store or leave a loaded firearm in a location where the person knew or should have known that an unsupervised child would gain access to the firearm.”1 This section does not apply if:

  • The child’s access is supervised by an individual age 18 or older;
  • The child’s access was obtained as a result of unlawful entry;
  • The firearm is in the possession or control of a law enforcement officer while the officer is engaged in official duties; or
  • The child has a certificate of firearm and hunter safety.2

State administrative regulations may impose storage requirements in certain locations.

For other measures related to child access prevention, see the Maryland Locking Devices section.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-104(c). “Child” is defined as a person under age 16, per Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-104(a)(3). ⤴︎
  2. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 4-104(b). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Massachusetts

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Massachusetts law prohibits the storage or keeping of any firearm in any place unless the gun is secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device and properly engaged so as to render such weapon inoperable by any person other than the owner or other lawfully authorized user.1 Massachusetts law also penalizes a lawful owner or user who keeps or stores non-large capacity rifles or shotguns in a place where a person under age 18 who does not possess a valid firearm identification card may gain access to the firearm.2 Furthermore, a lawful owner or user may not keep or store a rifle or shotgun that is a large capacity weapon, a handgun, or a machine gun in a place where any person under age 18 may gain access to the firearm.3

For additional laws related to safely securing and storing firearms, please see the Locking Devices section.

 

Notes
  1. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 131L(a). ⤴︎
  2. Ch. 140, § 131L(c). ⤴︎
  3. Ch. 140, § 131L(d). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Michigan

Michigan penalizes any person who, because of carelessness, recklessness or negligence, but not willful or wanton conduct, causes or allows any firearm under his or her immediate control to be discharged and kill or injure another person.1

In addition, Michigan provides criminal liability for a parent of any child under age 18 whose child violates a state firearm-related law while on school property or in a school vehicle, if the parent had custody of the child and: 1) knew the child would commit the violation; or 2) acted to further the violation.2

See the Michigan Dealer Regulations section for requirements that dealers post child safety notices.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 752.861. Michigan also prohibits any person who, because of carelessness, recklessness or negligence, but not willful or wanton conduct, causes or allows any firearm under his or her immediate control to be discharged and destroy or injure another person’s real or personal property. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 752.862. ⤴︎
  2. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 750.235a. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Minnesota

Minnesota prohibits any person from negligently storing or leaving a loaded firearm in a location where the person knows, or reasonably should know, that a child under age 18 is likely to gain access to the firearm, unless reasonable action is taken to secure the firearm against access by the child.1 This prohibition does not apply if the child obtained access as a result of any unlawful entry.2

A person who intentionally or recklessly causes a child under 14 years of age to be placed in a situation likely to substantially harm the child’s physical health or cause the child’s death as a result of the child’s access to a loaded firearm is criminally liable for child endangerment.3

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Minn. Stat. § 609.666, subd. 1(b), subd. 2. ⤴︎
  2. Minn. Stat. § 609.666, subd. 3. ⤴︎
  3. Minn. Stat. § 609.378, subd. 1(c). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Mississippi

Except when a minor is defending himself or herself from imminent danger as permitted by Mississippi law, any parent, guardian or child custodian who knowingly permits any child under age 18 to own or carry concealed a concealable firearm shall be criminally liable for a misdemeanor, carrying a maximum fine of $1,000, and may be imprisoned in a county jail for not more than six months.1

Mississippi also prohibits any person from causing, encouraging or aiding a minor (person under age 18) to carry, whether openly or concealed, any firearm on educational property.2 Any person violating this provision shall be criminally liable for a felony, subject to a fine of not more than $5,000 or commitment to the custody of the State Department of Corrections for not more than three years, or both.3

State administrative regulations may govern storage of firearms in certain locations.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Miss. Code Ann. § 97-37-15; see also Miss. Code Ann. § 97-37-14. ⤴︎
  2. Miss. Code Ann. § 97-37-17(3). ⤴︎
  3. Id. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Missouri

Missouri prohibits any person from recklessly selling, leasing, loaning, giving away or delivering a firearm to a person under age 18 without the consent of the child’s custodial parent or guardian.1 Missouri does not otherwise have any laws that penalize individuals for negligently storing or leaving a firearm in a location where a child is likely to gain access to it.

State administrative regulations may govern the safe storage of firearms in other locations.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 571.060.1(2). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Montana

Montana prohibits a parent, guardian, or other person having charge or custody of a minor child under the age of 14 from allowing the child to carry or use in public any firearms, except when the child is accompanied by a person having charge or custody of the child or under the supervision of a qualified firearms safety instructor or an adult who has been authorized by the parent or guardian.1 A violation of this statute constitutes a misdemeanor.2 The county attorney is required to prosecute reported violations of the law.3

State administrative regulations address storage of firearms in youth foster homes and licensed child care facilities.4

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Mont. Code Ann. § 45-8-344. ⤴︎
  2. Mont. Code Ann. § 45-8-345(1). ⤴︎
  3. Mont. Code Ann. § 45-8-345. ⤴︎
  4. Mont. Admin. R. 37.51.901(13) and 37.95.121(4). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Nebraska

Nebraska prohibits any person from knowingly and intentionally transferring or attempting to transfer the possession of a firearm to a juvenile (a person under age 18).1

However, this section does not apply to the transfer of a rifle or shotgun:

  • From a person related to the juvenile within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity if express permission has been obtained from the juvenile’s parent or guardian prior to transfer;
  • For a legitimate and lawful sporting purpose; or
  • To a juvenile who is under direct adult supervision in an appropriate educational program.2

This section also does not apply to the temporary loan of handguns for instruction under the immediate supervision of a parent or guardian or adult instructor.3

Firearms dealers are required to distribute to all firearms purchasers information developed by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services regarding “the dangers of leaving loaded firearms unattended around children.”4

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1204.01(1). Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1201(3) defines “juvenile” as a person under age 18. ⤴︎
  2. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-1204.01(2). ⤴︎
  3. Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 28-1204(2), 28-1204.01(3). ⤴︎
  4. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 69-2426(1). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Nevada

Nevada prohibits any person from aiding or knowingly permitting a “child” (person under age 18) to handle or possess any firearm, except while accompanied by or under the immediate charge of a parent, guardian, or adult authorized to have control or custody of the child.1 The penalty rises to a felony if an individual violates this prohibition and knows or has reason to know that there is a substantial risk that the child will use the firearm to commit a violent act.2

A person does not aid or knowingly permit a child to violate this prohibition if:

  • The firearm was stored in a securely locked container or at a location which a reasonable person would have believed to be secure;
  • The child obtained the firearm as a result of an unlawful entry by any person in or upon the premises where the firearm was stored;
  • The injury or death resulted from an accident which was incident to target shooting, sport shooting or hunting; or
  • The child gained possession of the firearm from a member of the military or a law enforcement officer, while the member or officer was performing his or her official duties.3

Nevada also provides that if a parent, guardian or other person legally responsible for a minor under age 18:

  • Knowing that the minor has previously been adjudicated delinquent or has been convicted of a criminal offense;
  • Knowing that the minor has a propensity to commit violent acts; or
  • Knowing or having reason to know that the minor intends to use the firearm for unlawful purposes,

permits the minor to use or possess a firearm, any negligence or willful misconduct of the minor in connection with such use or possession is imputed to the person who permits such gun use or possession for all purposes of civil damages, and is jointly and severally liable with the minor for any and all civil damages caused by such negligence or willful misconduct.4

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 202.300(1), (2). ⤴︎
  2. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 202.300(2)(b), (c). ⤴︎
  3. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 202.300(3). ⤴︎
  4. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 41.472(1). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in New Hampshire

New Hampshire has established the offense of “negligent storage of firearms.” However, a person may be guilty of this offense only if the firearm was used in a reckless or threatening manner, used during the commission of any misdemeanor or felony, or negligently or recklessly discharged.1 In addition, ALL of the following statements must be true for a person to be guilty of this offense:

  • The person stored or left a loaded firearm on premises under that person’s control;
  • A person under the age of 16 gained access to the firearm; and
  • The adult knew or should have known that a person under the age of 16 was likely to gain access to the firearm without the permission of that child’s parent or guardian.2

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 650-C:1. Moreover, a person is not guilty of the offense of negligent storage of a firearm if the: 1) child has completed a firearm safety or hunter safety course; 2) firearm is kept in a secure locked space or is secured with a trigger lock or similar device that prevents the firearm from discharging; 3) firearm is carried on the person or close enough that the person can readily retrieve the firearm; 4) child obtains the firearm in lawful self-defense or defense of another; 5) person has no reasonable expectation that a child is likely to be on the premises; or 6) child obtains the firearm due to illegal entry of the premises or illegal taking of the firearm from the premises. Id. ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in New Jersey

New Jersey provides that “[a] person who knows or reasonably should know that a minor [under 16 years of age]1 is likely to gain access to a loaded firearm at a premises under the person’s control” is criminally liable for a misdemeanor if a minor gains access to a firearm, unless the person:

  • Stores the firearm in a securely locked box or container;
  • Stores the firearm in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure; or
  • Secures the firearm with a trigger lock.2

This section does not apply to activities concerning the lawful use of a firearm by a minor (see the section entitled Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess in New Jersey), or where a minor obtained a firearm as a result of an unlawful entry by any person.3

New Jersey requires firearm dealers to give all firearm transferees the following written warning, printed in block letters not less than one-fourth of an inch in height: “IT IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE, PUNISHABLE BY A FINE AND IMPRISONMENT, FOR AN ADULT TO LEAVE A LOADED FIREARM WITHIN EASY ACCESS OF A MINOR.”4 Dealers also must post a truncated version of this warning “conspicuously” at each purchase counter, printed in block letters not less than one inch in height.5

New Jersey imposes harsh penalties, including a mandatory minimum prison term of three years without parole, on any person who knowingly sells, gives, transfers, assigns or otherwise disposes of a firearm to a person under age 18.6

For other measures related to child access prevention, see the section entitled Locking Devices in New Jersey.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-15c. ⤴︎
  2. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-15a. ⤴︎
  3. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-15b. ⤴︎
  4. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-16a. ⤴︎
  5. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:58-16b. ⤴︎
  6. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-10e. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in New York

New York has no law specifically penalizing a person who enables a child to access a firearm.1

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. New York penalizes transferring a firearm to a person who is or reasonably appears to be less than nineteen years of age only if the seller is not legally authorized to possess a firearm. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.16. See  Minimum Age to Purchase or Possess Firearms in New York for further information. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in North Carolina

School Property

Pursuant to North Carolina law, a parent or legal guardian who has care, custody and control of an unemancipated minor may be held civilly liable to an educational entity for negligent supervision of the minor if the minor commits certain enumerated crimes or any felony involving injury to persons or property through use of a firearm on educational property.1 The parent or legal guardian will only be liable if he or she:

  • Knew or should have known of the minor’s likelihood to commit the act;
  • Had the opportunity and ability to control the minor; and
  • Made no reasonable effort to correct, restrain or properly supervise the minor.2

Storage

Pursuant to state law, any person who resides with a minor and owns or possesses a firearm stored or left: 1) in a condition in which it can be discharged; and 2) in a manner that the person knew or should have known that an unsupervised minor would be able to gain access to the firearm, is criminally liable for a misdemeanor if the minor gains access to the firearm and:

  • Possesses the firearm on educational property;
  • Exhibits the firearm in a public place in a careless, angry or threatening manner;
  • Causes personal injury or death with the firearm, except in self-defense; or
  • Uses the firearm in the commission of a crime.3

Under state law, a retail seller or transferor must deliver a written copy of state law relating to storage of firearms to protect minors to the purchaser or transferee with every firearm transfer.4 A retail or wholesale store or outlet that sells firearms must conspicuously post at each purchase counter the following warning:

“IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STORE OR LEAVE A FIREARM THAT CAN BE DISCHARGED IN A MANNER THAT A REASONABLE PERSON SHOULD KNOW IS ACCESSIBLE TO A MINOR.”5

Use of Firearm/Furnishing Firearm

It is a misdemeanor in North Carolina for any person to knowingly permit a child under age 12 to have access to, or possession, custody or use in any manner of any firearm, whether loaded or unloaded, unless the person has the permission of the child’s parent or guardian, and the child is under the supervision of an adult.6

For age requirements for the purchase or possession of firearms in North Carolina, see the North Carolina Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess section.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 1-538.3. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 48A-2 defines a “minor” as a person under the age of 18. ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-315.1. ⤴︎
  4. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-315.2; see also N.C. Gen. Stat.14-315.1. ⤴︎
  5. Id. ⤴︎
  6. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-316(a). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in North Dakota

A parent or guardian of, or person having charge or custody of, a child under 15 years of age who permits the child to carry or use a loaded firearm in public commits a class B misdemeanor unless the child is under the direct supervision of the parent, guardian or person authorized by the parent or guardian.1 North Dakota has no other law penalizing allowing a child access to firearms.

For age requirements for the purchase or possession of firearms in North Dakota, see the North Dakota Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess section.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-02-07. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma:

It shall be unlawful for any parent or guardian to intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly permit his or her child to possess any [firearm]…if such parent is aware of a substantial risk that the child will use the weapon to commit a criminal offense or if the child has either been adjudicated a delinquent or has been convicted as an adult for any criminal offense that contains as an element the threat or use of physical force against the person of another.1

A “child” is defined as a person under 18 years of age.2

Oklahoma law also specifically penalizes any parent or guardian of a child under age 18 whose child commits the crime of possession of a firearm on school property.3

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1273(B). ⤴︎
  2. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 1273(E). ⤴︎
  3. Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, § 858. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Oregon

Oregon has no statutes requiring firearm owners to prevent children from gaining access to firearms.

State administrative regulations govern the storage of firearms in certain locations, however.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Child Access Prevention in Rhode Island

Rhode Island law provides that:

A person who stores or leaves on premises under his or her control a loaded firearm and who knows or reasonably should know that a child is likely to gain access to the firearm without the permission of the child’s parent or guardian, and the child obtains access to the firearm and causes injury to himself or herself or any other person with the firearm, is guilty of the crime of criminal storage of a firearm….1

“Child” is defined as a person under age 16.2

This prohibition does not apply if:

  • Access to the firearm is gained through illegal entry of any premises or an illegal taking of the firearm from the premises without the owner’s permission;
  • The firearm is kept in a locked container or other location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure;
  • The firearm is carried on the person or in such close proximity that the individual can readily retrieve and use it;
  • The firearm is locked with a locking device;
  • The child acts in self-defense or defense of another person; or
  • The person keeping the firearm on his or her premises has no reasonable expectation that a child is likely to be on the premises.3

If a child allegedly violating Rhode Island’s safe storage provisions is a parent or guardian of a child who is injured or dies due to an unintentional shooting, the Attorney General’s office, in deciding whether to prosecute the violation, must consider the impact of the injury or death on the alleged violator.4 A parent or guardian of a child who is injured or dies from an unintentional shooting will be prosecuted only in those instances in which the parent or guardian behaved in a grossly negligent manner.5

State regulations may also impose safe storage requirements under certain circumstances.

For related laws, see the Rhode Island Locking Devices section.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-60.1(b). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎
  3. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-60.1(c). ⤴︎
  4. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-60.1(d)(1). ⤴︎
  5. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-60.1(d)(2). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in South Dakota

South Dakota prohibits any person from selling, transferring, giving, loaning, furnishing, or delivering a firearm or firearm ammunition to any person under age 18 if that person knows or reasonably believes the minor intended, at the time of transfer, to use the firearm or ammunition in a crime of violence.1 South Dakota has no other law penalizing those who provide children access to firearms.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. S.D. Codified Laws § 23-7-46. The person transferring the firearm is criminally liable for a felony. Id. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Tennessee

Tennessee prohibits a parent or guardian from intentionally, knowingly or recklessly providing a handgun to a juvenile1 or permitting a juvenile to possess a handgun, if such parent or guardian knows of a substantial risk that such juvenile will use the handgun to commit a felony.2

Tennessee also prohibits any person age 18 or older, including a parent or legal guardian, who knows that a minor or student is in illegal possession of a firearm in or upon the premises of a public or private school, in or on such school’s athletic stadium or other facility or building where school sponsored athletic events are conducted, or a public park, playground or civic center, from failing to prevent the possession or failing to report the possession to the appropriate school or law enforcement officials.3

Tennessee does not otherwise impose criminal liability on adults who allow children access to firearms.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. “Juvenile” is defined as any person under age 18. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1319(a)(2). ⤴︎
  2. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1320(b). ⤴︎
  3. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-1312(a). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Texas

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Under Texas law, if a child under 17 years of age gains access to a readily dischargeable firearm (i.e., loaded with ammunition, whether or not a round is in the chamber), a person is criminally liable if he or she, “with criminal negligence:”

  • Failed to secure the firearm (i.e., to take steps a reasonable person would take to prevent the access to a readily dischargeable firearm by a child, including but not limited to placing a firearm in a locked container or temporarily rendering the firearm inoperable by a trigger lock or other means); or
  • Left the firearm in a place to which the person knew or should have known the child would gain access.1

However, a person is not guilty under this law if the child’s access to the firearm:

  • Was supervised by a person older than age 18 and was for hunting, sporting, or other lawful purposes;
  • Consisted of lawful defense by the child of people or property;
  • Was gained by entering property in violation of this code; or
  • Occurred during a time when the actor was engaged in an agricultural enterprise.2)

The penalty for a violation is significantly harsher if the child discharges the firearm and causes death or serious bodily injury to himself, herself or another person.3

If the negligent person is a member of the family of the child who discharged the firearm, and the child was killed or seriously injured, an arrest cannot be made until seven days after the offense was committed.4

Finally, a firearms dealer must post in a “conspicuous position” on the premises where he or she conducts business a sign that contains the following warning in block letters not less than one inch in height:

IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STORE, TRANSPORT, OR ABANDON AN UNSECURED FIREARM IN A PLACE WHERE CHILDREN ARE LIKELY TO BE AND CAN OBTAIN ACCESS TO THE FIREARM.5

Please note that state administrative regulations govern the storage of firearms in certain locations.

Notes
  1. Tex. Penal Code § 46.13. ⤴︎
  2. Tex. Penal Code § 46.13(c ⤴︎
  3. Tex. Penal Code § 46.13(d), (e). ⤴︎
  4. Tex. Penal Code § 46.13(f). ⤴︎
  5. Tex. Penal Code § 46.13(g). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in the District of Columbia

The District of Columbia requires that no person store or keep a firearm on any premises under his or her control if he or she knows or reasonably should know that a minor (person under age 18)1 is likely to gain access to the firearm without the permission of the parent or guardian of the minor, unless such person: 1) keeps the firearm in a securely locked box, secured container, or in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure; or 2) carries the firearm on the person or within such close proximity that he or she can readily retrieve and use it as if he or she carried it on the person.2 A person who violates this requirement is liable for criminally negligent storage of a firearm and subject to a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment for up to 180 days, or both punishments.3 If a person violates this requirement and the minor causes injury or death to himself, herself or another person, the criminally negligent registrant shall be subject to a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment for up to five years, or both punishments.4

These prohibitions will not apply if the minor obtains the firearm as a result of an unlawful entry or burglary to any premises by any person.5

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2507.02(d). ⤴︎
  2. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2507.02(b). ⤴︎
  3. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2507.02(c)(1). ⤴︎
  4. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2507.02(c)(2). ⤴︎
  5. D.C. Code Ann. § 7-2507.02(c)(3). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Utah

Utah does not penalize an adult who recklessly or negligently allows a minor access to a firearm.

In Utah, a parent or guardian may not intentionally or knowingly provide a firearm to, or permit the possession of a firearm by, any minor, defined as under age 18, who has been convicted of a violent felony or adjudicated in juvenile court for an offense which would constitute a violent felony if the minor were an adult.1

The state also prohibits any parent or guardian of a minor, where the parent or guardian knows that the minor is in possession of a firearm, from failing to make reasonable efforts to remove the firearm from the minor’s possession.2

For age requirements for the purchase or possession of firearms in Utah, see the Utah Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess section

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-509.6(1). ⤴︎
  2. Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-509.7. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Virginia

Virginia law prohibits anyone from recklessly leaving a loaded, unsecured firearm in such a manner as to endanger the life or limb of any child under the age of 14.1 It is also unlawful for any person knowingly to authorize a child under the age of 12 to use a firearm except when the child is under the supervision of an adult.2 For purposes of this rule, “adult” means a parent, guardian, or similar person or a person 21 years or over who has the permission of the parent, guardian, or similar person to supervise the child in the use of a firearm.3

State administrative regulations govern storage of firearms in certain locations.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-56.2. ⤴︎
  2. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-56.2(B). ⤴︎
  3. Id. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in West Virginia

West Virginia has no statute that directly penalizes someone for allowing a child to access a firearm. However, West Virginia obligates any parent, guardian or custodian of a child less than 18 years of age, who knows that the child is in possession of a firearm or any other deadly weapon in or on any property of a public or private primary or secondary education institution in violation of state law, or who has reasonable cause to believe that such a violation is imminent, to immediately report knowledge or belief of the possession violation to the appropriate school or law-enforcement officials.1

For age requirements for the purchase or possession of firearms in West Virginia, see the West Virginia Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess section.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. W. Va. Code § 61-7-11a(f)(1); see also W. Va. Code § 61-7-11a(b)(1). ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Wisconsin

Wisconsin provides that anyone who recklessly stores or leaves a loaded firearm within the reach or easy access of a child under age 14 is criminally liable for a misdemeanor if:

  • The child obtains the firearm without the lawful permission of his or her parent or guardian or the person having charge of the child; and
  • The child either discharges the firearm causing bodily harm to anyone, or possesses the firearm in a public place or in violation of Wisconsin Statutes § 941.20 (regarding the illegal use and discharge of firearms).1

These criminal penalties do not apply when:

  • The firearm is stored or left in a securely locked box or container or in a location that a reasonable person would believe to be secure;
  • The firearm is securely locked with a trigger lock;
  • The firearm is left on the person’s body or in such proximity to the person’s body that he or she could retrieve it as easily and quickly as if carried on his or her body;
  • The child obtains the firearm as a result of an illegal entry by any person;
  • The child gains access to a loaded firearm and uses it in the lawful exercise of a privilege under section 939.48 (regarding self-defense and defense of others);
  • The person who stores or leaves the loaded firearm reasonably believes that a child is not likely to be present where the firearm is stored or left; or
  • The firearm is rendered inoperable by the removal of an essential component of the firing mechanism such as the bolt in a breech-loading firearm.2

One additional exception to the child access prevention penalties is available where the bodily harm or death results from an accident that occurs while the child is using the firearm for hunting, target practice, or other lawful purposes.3

Wisconsin also provides that no parent or guardian of a child under age 16 may authorize or knowingly permit the child to violate any of the statutory restrictions on hunting and the use of firearms by persons under age 16.4

Wisconsin requires retail firearms dealers to provide all gun purchasers a written warning in block letters not less than one-fourth inch in height, stating: “IF YOU LEAVE A LOADED FIREARM WITHIN THE REACH OR EASY ACCESS OF A CHILD YOU MAY BE FINED OR IMPRISONED OR BOTH IF THE CHILD IMPROPERLY DISCHARGES, POSSESSES OR EXHIBITS THE FIREARM.”5

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Wis. Stat. § 948.55(1), (2), (3). ⤴︎
  2. Wis. Stat. § 948.55(4). ⤴︎
  3. Wis. Stat. § 948.55(5). ⤴︎
  4. Wis. Stat. § 29.304(4). ⤴︎
  5. Wis. Stat. § 175.37(1). ⤴︎