U.S. Department of Justice

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

YOUTH HANDGUN

SAFETY ACT NOTICE

(1) The misuse of handguns is a

leading contributor to juvenile

violence and fatalities.

(2) Safely storing and securing

firearms away from children

will help prevent the unlawful

possession of handguns by

juveniles, stop accidents, and save

lives.

(3) Federal law prohibits, except in

certain limited circumstances,

anyone under 18 years of age from

knowingly possessing a handgun,

or any person from selling,

delivering, or otherwise

transferring a handgun to a

person under 18.

(4) A knowing violation of the

prohibition against selling,

delivering, or otherwise

transferring a handgun to a

person under the age of 18 is,

under certain circumstances,

punishable by up to 10 years in

prison.

FEDERAL LAW

The Gun Control Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C.

Chapter 44, provides in pertinent part as

follows:

18 U.S.C. 922(x)

(x) (1) It shall be unlawful for a person to sell,

deliver, or otherwise transfer to a person who the

transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe is

a juvenile—

(A) a handgun; or

(B) ammunition that is suitable for use only in

a handgun.

(2) It shall be unlawful for any person who is a

juvenile to knowingly possess–

(A) a handgun; or

(B) ammunition that is suitable for use only in

a handgun.

(3) This subsection does not apply to–

(A) a temporary transfer of a handgun or

ammunition to a juvenile or to the possession or use

of a handgun or ammunition by a juvenile if the

handgun and ammunition are possessed and used by

the juvenile-

(i) in the course of employment, in the

course of ranching or farming related to

activities at the residence of the juvenile (or on

property used for ranching or farming at which

the juvenile, with the permission of the property

owner or lessee, is performing activities related

to the operation of the farm or ranch), target

practice, hunting, or a course of instruction in

the safe and lawful use of a handgun;

(ii) with the prior written consent of the

juvenile’s parent or guardian who is not

prohibited by Federal, State, or local law from

possessing a firearm, except–

(I) during transportation by the juvenile

of an unloaded handgun in a locked

container directly from the place of transfer

to a place at which an activity described in

clause (i) is to take place and transportation

by the juvenile of that handgun,

unloaded and in a locked container

directly from the place at which such an

activity took place to the transferor; or

(II) with respect to ranching or farming

activities as described in clause (i), a

juvenile may possess and use a handgun

or ammunition with the prior written

approval of the juvenile’s parent or legal

guardian and at the direction of an adult

who is not prohibited by Federal, State or

local law from possessing a firearm;

(iii) the juvenile has the prior written

consent in the juvenile’s possession at all

times when a handgun is in the possession of

the juvenile; and

(iv) in accordance with State and local

law;

(B) a juvenile who is a member of the

Armed Forces of the United States or the

National Guard who possesses or is armed with

a handgun in the line of duty;

(C) a transfer by inheritance of title (but not

possession) of a handgun or ammunition to a

juvenile; or

(D) the possession of a handgun or

ammunition by a juvenile taken in defense of

the juvenile or other persons against an intruder

into the residence of the juvenile or a residence

in which the juvenile is an invited guest.

(4) A handgun or ammunition, the possession

of which is transferred to a juvenile in

circumstances in which the transferor is not in

violation of this subsection shall not be subject

to permanent confiscation by the Government if

its possession by the juvenile subsequently

becomes unlawful because of the conduct of the

juvenile, but shall be returned to the lawful

owner when such handgun or ammunition is no

longer required by the Government for the

purposes of investigation or prosecution.

(5) For purposes of this subsection, the term

“juvenile” means a person who is less than 18

years of age.

(6) (A) In a prosecution of a violation of this

subsection, the court shall require the presence of

a juvenile defendant’s parent or legal guardian at

all proceedings.

(B) The court may use the contempt power

to enforce subparagraph (A).

(C) The court may excuse attendance of a

parent or legal guardian of a juvenile defendant at a

proceeding in a prosecution of a violation of this

subsection for good cause shown.

18 U.S.C. 924(a)(6)

(6) (A) (i) A juvenile who violates section

922(x) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not

more than 1 year, or both, except that a juvenile

described in clause (ii) shall be sentenced to

probation on appropriate conditions and shall not be

incarcerated unless the juvenile fails to comply with a

condition of probation.

(ii) A juvenile is described in this clause

if–

(I) the offense of which the juvenile is

charged is possession of a handgun or

ammunition in violation of section

922(x)(2);and

(II) the juvenile has not been convicted

in any court of an offense (including an

offense under section 922(x) or a similar

State law, but not including any other

offense consisting of conduct that if

engaged in by an adult would not

constitute an offense) or adjudicated as a

juvenile delinquent for conduct that if

engaged in by an adult would constitute

an offense.

(B) A person other than a juvenile who

knowingly violates section 922(x)–

(i) shall be fined under this title,

imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both;

and

(ii) if the person sold, delivered, or

otherwise transferred a handgun or

ammunition to a juvenile knowing or having

reasonable cause to know that the juvenile

intended to carry or otherwise possess or

discharge or otherwise use the handgun or

ammunition in the commission of a crime of

violence, shall be fined under this title,

imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.

YOUTH

HANDGUN

SAFETY ACT

NOTICE

If you have any questions, contact:

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms

and Explosives

650 Massachusetts Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20226

Phone: (202) 927-7770

OR

Visit our web site at www.atf.gov

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