What Happens if My Child Finds My Gun?
According to an article in WPTV News, a 5-year-old has been suspended from pre-kindergarten after authorities report he brought a loaded gun into a north Florida classroom.
The investigation is regarding exactly how the pre-kindergarten student obtained the loaded weapon. According to the article, a teacher at Moseley Elementary School was giving a music lesson when the 22-caliber pistol fell out of the child’s pocket.
The child told authorities he found the gun in a vehicle belonging to his stepfather. No injuries were reported, according to WTPV News.
Children, Guns, and the Law
Florida statute 790.71 section 2 states:
A person who stores or leaves a loaded firearm within the reach or easy access of a minor who obtains the firearm, commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by a maximum of 60 days in prison and a $500 fine.
However, this doesn’t apply if the firearm was locked away securely and the minor obtained the firearm by way of unlawful entry. In this case, a minor is considered a person under the age of 16.
Weapons Possession Defense
If you are permitted to carry or possess a firearm, it is required by law to keep it securely locked away and out of the reach of any minors or persons who do not have lawful permission to possess that firearm.
It is so important to make sure your weapons are cleared by the law, you have a permit to possess the weapon, and it is out of reach of anyone who has access to your household. Even though the offense is a misdemeanor, this is a case where no injuries were reported and the firearm was not used. If in the event that the child fired the weapon, or caused any damage because of the weapon, this misdemeanor charge could quickly turn into a felony resulting in a serious criminal record, a long time in prison, and hefty fines.
If you have ever been charged with contributing to a minor in possession of a firearm, you need to immediately contact a criminal defense lawyer. Especially if any harm was done by the minor in possession of the weapon.