State Minimum Age to Purchase or Possess Guns

Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess in Alaska

Posted on Friday, August 28th, 2015

Alaska prohibits any unemancipated minor under age 16 from possessing a firearm without the consent of his or her parent or guardian.1

Alaska also prohibits any person from knowingly selling a firearm to anyone under age 18.2

Federal age restrictions impose stricter limits.

See our Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

  1. Alaska Stat. § 11.61.220(a)(3). []
  2. Alaska Stat. § 11.61.210(a)(6). []

Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess in Oregon

Posted on Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Oregon prohibits any person under age 18 from knowingly possessing a firearm.1 A minor is not prohibited from possessing a firearm:

  • Other than a handgun, if the firearm was transferred to the minor by the minor’s parent or guardian or by another person with the consent of the minor’s parent or guardian; or
  • Temporarily for hunting, target practice or any other lawful purpose.2

In addition, Oregon prohibits any person from selling, delivering or otherwise transferring a firearm to anyone under age 18.3 Exceptions to this prohibition allow a minor’s parent or guardian to consent to the transfer of a long gun to the minor and allow the temporary transfer of a firearm to a minor for hunting, target practice or any other lawful purpose.4 Federal age restrictions impose stricter limits regarding handguns.

See our Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.250(1)(c)(A). []
  2. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.250(2)(a). []
  3. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.470(1)(a). []
  4. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.470(3). []

Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess in Rhode Island

Posted on Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

To possess and use any firearms and ammunition, Rhode Island citizens must be at least 18 years of age, unless:

  • The minor holds a permit to be engaged in training at a camp or rifle range under the written consent of a parent or guardian and in the presence of a parent, guardian or other supervising adult;1
  • The minor is engaged in hunting under the supervision of a parent, guardian or qualified adult; or
  • The minor is in reserve officer training, target shooting or parade activities.2

A person must also be at least 21 years of age to purchase a handgun in Rhode Island.3 The state also prohibits any person from selling a handgun to any individual under age 21.4

Rhode Island also generally prohibits any person from selling, transferring, giving, conveying or causing to be sold, transferred, given or conveyed, any firearm or ammunition to any person under age 18, when the person knows or has reason to know that the recipient is under age 18.5

See our Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

  1. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-33, 11-47-34. []
  2. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-32, 11-47-33. []
  3. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-35(a)(1). []
  4. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-37. []
  5. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-30, 11-47-31. []

Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess in Indiana

Posted on Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Indiana prohibits issuance of a license to carry a handgun to any person who is under age 18, or is under age 23 if the person has been adjudicated a delinquent child for an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult.1

With some exceptions, Indiana prohibits a person under 18 from knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly possessing a firearm except when supervised and at his or her residence or on property owned by a parent or guardian, or, for purposes of hunting, target shooting or safety training.2 Persons under 18 are also prohibited from selling or providing a firearm to another person under 18 except for the purposes described above.3

Indiana provides no minimum age for the sale of firearms to minors by adults, although federal age restrictions still apply.

See our Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

  1. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-2-3(g)(3), (4). []
  2. Ind. Code Ann. § 35-47-10-5. []
  3. Id. []

Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess in Minnesota

Posted on Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

Minnesota generally prohibits the possession of ammunition, handguns, and semiautomatic military-style assault weapons by persons who are under age 18. However, under state law, such persons may carry or possess ammunition, or a semiautomatic military-style assault weapon or handgun in the actual presence or under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian.1

The state prohibits a federally licensed firearms dealer from transferring a handgun or semiautomatic military-style assault weapon to a person under age 18 without complying with certain background check requirements.2

Minnesota prohibits a person under age 16 from possessing a firearm without being accompanied by a parent or guardian,3 and provides that a parent or guardian may not knowingly direct, allow or permit a person under age 16 to possess a firearm, unless this person is:

• Accompanied by a parent or guardian;

• On land owned by, or occupied as the principal residence of, the person or the person’s parent or guardian;

• Participating in an organized target shooting program with adult supervision;

• Participating in a firearms safety program or traveling to and from class; or

• Age 14 or 15 and has a firearms safety certificate.4

Minnesota prohibits:

• Outside a municipality, furnishing a child under 14 years of age with a firearm, airgun or ammunition without the consent of the child’s parent or guardian;5

• Outside a municipality, for a parent or guardian to allow a child under 14 years of age to handle or use a firearm, airgun or ammunition outside the presence of the parent or guardian;6 or

• In a municipality, furnishing a minor under age 18 with a firearm, airgun or ammunition without the consent of the minor’s parent or guardian, or the municipal police department.7

Federal age restrictions impose stricter limits.

See our Minimum Age to Purchase or Possess Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1(1). Other exceptions exist for: 1) purposes of a military drill while under competent supervision, under the auspices of a legally recognized military organization; 2) for instruction, competition or target practice under direct supervision on a law enforcement-approved firing range; or 3) upon successful completion of a course designed to teach marksmanship and safety with a handgun or semiautomatic military-style assault weapon and approved by the state commissioner of natural resources. []
  2. Minn. Stat. § 624.7132, subd. 15(b)(1). []
  3. Minn. Stat. § 97B.021, subd. 1(a). []
  4. Minn. Stat. § 97B.021, subd. 1(b), subd. 1a. []
  5. Minn. Stat. § 609.66, subd. 1(a)(6). []
  6. Id. []
  7. Minn. Stat. § 609.66, subd. 1b. []

Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess in Hawaii

Posted on Monday, August 24th, 2015

Permits to acquire firearms will only be issued to persons 21 years of age or older.1 Subject to certain requirements, however, permits are not necessary for persons under age 21 when carrying and using any rifle or shotgun while “actually engaged” in hunting or target shooting.2

State law allows any person 16 years of age or older, or any person under 16 years of age if accompanied by an adult, to carry and use any lawfully acquired rifle or shotgun, and suitable ammunition, while actually engaged in hunting or target shooting, or while going to and from the place of hunting or target shooting.3 Those engaged in hunting must have procured a hunting license.4

A permit is not required for the loan of any lawfully acquired firearm to a minor (a person under age 18) at a target range or similar facility for target shooting purposes, provided that the period of the loan does not exceed the time in which the person actually engages in target shooting upon the premises.5

Under state law, any child who, while attending school, is found to be in possession of a firearm will be “excluded” from attending school for not less than one year.6 For additional information, see the Hawaii Guns in Schools section.

See our Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-2(d). []
  2. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-5(a). []
  3. Id. []
  4. Id; see also Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 183D-21. []
  5. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-5(b). []
  6. Haw. Rev. Ann. § 302A-1134(b). []

Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess in Alabama

Posted on Monday, August 24th, 2015

Alabama law generally prohibits selling, giving or lending a handgun to any person under age 18.1 Alabama also generally prohibits a person from delivering a handgun if he or she has reasonable cause to believe the transferee is under the age of 18.2

However, these prohibitions do not apply if the minor has permission to possess a pistol from a parent or legal guardian who is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law, when any of the following are also satisfied:3

  • The minor is attending a hunter education course or a firearms safety course under the supervision of an adult who is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law;
  • The minor is engaging in practice in the use of a firearm or target shooting at an established range under the supervision of an adult who is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law;
  • The minor is 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 part of the performance;
  • The minor is hunting or fishing pursuant to a valid license, if required, and the person has the license in his or her possession; has written permission of the owner or legal possessor of the land on which the activities are being conducted; and the pistol, when loaded, is carried only in a manner discernible by ordinary observation;
  • The minor is on real property under the control of the minor’s parent, legal guardian, or grandparent;
  • The minor is a member of the armed services or National Guard and the minor is acting in the line of duty; or
  • The minor is traveling by motor vehicle to any of the locations or activities listed above, has written permission to possess the pistol by his or her parent or legal guardian, and the pistol is unloaded, locked in a compartment or container that is in or affixed securely to the motor vehicle and is out of reach of the driver and any passenger in the motor vehicle.

A minor is also not prohibited from using a pistol while acting in self-defense of himself or herself or other persons against an intruder into the residence of the minor or a residence in which the minor is an invited guest.4

Federal age restrictions impose stricter limits.

See our Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

 

  1. Ala. Code § 13A-11-57. This section does not apply to a transfer by inheritance of title to, but not possession of, a handgun to a minor. See also Ala. Code § 13A-11-76 (defining minor as a person under age 18). []
  2. Ala. Code § 13A-11-76. However, Ala. Code § 13A-11-76 does not apply to the sale of handguns as curiosities or ornaments. Ala. Code § 13A-11-83. []
  3. Ala. Code § 13A-11-72(f). []
  4. Ala. Code § 13A-11-72(g). []

Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess in Virginia

Posted on Monday, August 24th, 2015

Virginia prohibits any person under age 18 from knowingly and intentionally possessing or transporting a handgun or assault firearm, or a shotgun “which will hold more than seven rounds of the longest ammunition for which it is chambered,” anywhere in Virginia.1 This section does not apply to any person:

  • While in his or her home or on his or her property or in the home or on the property of his or her parent, grandparent, or legal guardian;
  • On another person’s property if he or she has the landowner’s written permission on his or her person while on such property, and his or her parent or legal guardian has granted permission;
  • Who, while accompanied by an adult, is at, or going to and from, a lawful shooting range or firearms educational class, provided that the weapons are unloaded while being transported; or
  • Actually engaged in lawful hunting or going to and from a hunting area or preserve, provided that the weapons are unloaded while being transported.

Virginia law also prohibits anyone from furnishing a handgun to a person under age 18, having good cause to believe that he or she is a minor. This rule does not apply to a transfer made between family members or for the purpose of engaging in a sporting event or activity.2

There is no minimum age to purchase or possess rifles in Virginia.

Federal age restrictions impose stricter limits.

See our Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308.7. In addition to other criminal penalties, a court that has found a child at least 13 years of age guilty of the unlawful use or possession of a handgun or a “Striker 12, commonly called a ‘streetsweeper'” must order that the child be denied a driver’s license. Va. Code Ann. § 16.1-278.9. The denial of driving privileges shall be for at least 30 days, except when the offense involves possession of a concealed handgun or a striker 12 or any semi-automatic folding stock shotgun with a spring tension drum magazine capable of holding 12 shotgun shells, in which case the denial of driving privileges shall be for two years unless the offense is committed by a child under the age of 16 years and three months, in which event the child’s ability to apply for a driver’s license shall be delayed for a period of two years following the date he reaches the age of 16 and three months. Id. []
  2. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-309. See also Va. Code Ann. § 1-207 (defining “minor”). []

Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess in Missouri

Posted on Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Missouri prohibits “recklessly” selling, leasing, loaning, giving away or delivering any firearm to a person under age 18 without the consent of the child’s custodial parent or guardian.1

Missouri prohibits anyone from violating the federal law prohibiting a person under age 18 from possessing a handgun or handgun ammunition and prohibiting anyone from selling or transferring a handgun or handgun ammunition to a person under age 18.2

Federal law imposes stricter age restrictions in certain situations.

See our Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 571.060.1(2). A person “acts recklessly” or is reckless under Missouri law when he or she consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that circumstances exist or that a result will follow, and such disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care which a reasonable person would exercise in the situation. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 562.016.4 []
  2. See Mo. Rev. Stat. § 571.080, which refers to 18 U.S.C. § 922(x). []

Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess in Kentucky

Posted on Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Kentucky provides no minimum age for the possession of rifles or shotguns, although federal age restrictions still apply.

Kentucky prohibits any person under age 18 from possessing, manufacturing or transporting a handgun, unless he or she is:

  • In attendance at a hunter’s safety course or a firearms safety course;
  • Practicing in the use of a firearm or target shooting at an established firing range, or any other place where the discharge of firearms is not prohibited;
  • Engaging in an organized competition involving the use of a firearm, or participating in or practicing for a performance by a non-profit group that uses firearms as a part of the performance;
  • Hunting or trapping pursuant to a valid license issued pursuant to Kentucky statutes or administrative regulations;
  • Traveling to or from any activity described above with an unloaded handgun;
  • On real property which is under the control of an adult and has the permission of that adult and his or her parent or legal guardian to possess a handgun; or
  • At his or her residence and in the possession of a handgun with the permission of his or her parent or legal guardian and justified in using physical force or deadly physical force.1

Kentucky also prohibits any person from intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly providing 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:

  • Kentucky Revised Statutes Ann. § 527.100 (generally criminalizing possession of a handgun by a minor; see above);
  • Kentucky Revised Statutes Ann. § 527.040 (criminalizing possession of a firearm by a convicted felon or “youthful offender” convicted of a felony); or
  • Kentucky Revised Statutes Ann. § 600.020 (defining abused or neglected children).2

See the Kentucky Child Access Prevention section for further information about this prohibition. Note that federal age restrictions generally prohibit licensed firearms dealers from transferring a handgun to any person under age 21.

See our Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess Firearms policy summary  for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 527.100. []
  2. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 527.110(1)(a). []