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 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 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 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 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 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 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).