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Handgun Ownership at Age 18 with Complications…

August 22, 2008 Kids and Guns, Legal Issues No Comments

I recently received a question from a young man who was 18 years old and interested in getting a handgun.  He wanted to know if it was OK to carry openly.  He also wanted to know if the fact that he had been charged with two misdemeanors would affect his right to own a firearm. 

Finally, there is a convicted felon living in his household, making it illegal for him to have a firearm in the home, if that firearm was accessible to the felon.  He was curious about his ability to keep the firearm locked in his car since he could not keep it at home.

Since there are three distinct questions, let’s take them one by one. 

With respect to his firearms ownership, in Arizona it is perfectly legal to possess a handgun if you are 18 years old or older.  Since a person under 21 years old cannot purchase a gun from a federally licensed firearms dealer, the firearm would have to be acquired using a private party sale or would have to be a gift from someone legally permitted to own a firearm.

Arizona is an open carry state, so it would be perfectly legal for anyone that can legally possess a firearm to carry openly in any place where it is legal to have a firearm.

The fact that he had been charged with two misdemeanors really doesn’t apply here since neither of them had anything to do with domestic violence.

The fact that he is living in the same home as a convicted felon does have some implications.  Since it is illegal for a person to provide a felon with a firearm or make a firearm accessible to them, it would be very difficult to adequately secure a firearm in the home, making it completely inaccessible to the prohibited possessor.  Storing the firearm in the vehicle presents exactly the same problem as it would be necessary to make sure that the firearm was completely inaccessible to the prohibited possessor.

I wrote a pretty detailed post on dealing with this type of situation a few weeks back.  You can refer to the discussion of how to deal with firearms when living with a prohibited possessor here:

http://www.arizonaccwguide.com/2008/07/08/households-with-convicted-felons-and-firearms/

As I said in my earlier post, it is a tough situation to deal with, but one that can be managed under the correct circumstances.

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