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What Does the Law Say About Juvenile Weapons Possession?

Every state in the nation has its own set of limitations with regard to the right to purchase, own and possess weapons. There are particularly strong limitations with regard to juvenile weapons possession. In some cases, juvenile who illegally possesses weapons may be charged and tried as an adult.

Below are some issues to consider related to juvenile weapons cases:

  • Age limitations: Juveniles usually may not possess weapons that adults would legally be allowed to possess. People under the age of 18 are not allowed to own a firearm or, in most cases, possess one. With other types of weapons, such as BB guns and air rifles, the age restrictions can be lower.
  • Weapon limitations: There are some types of weapons that are illegal for anyone to possess, no matter what. This includes exploding ammunition, explosives, switchblades and gas guns.
  • Possession: It’s important to know what “possession” means with regard to weapons possession. It does not necessarily mean the weapon is physically on your person — it could simply mean that the weapon is in an area under your control. For a juvenile, this could be in a school locker, for example.
  • Exceptions: There are some exceptions in the law that do allow juveniles to possess weapons. For example, laws often allow juveniles to use firearms for hunting or marksmanship training. There may also be exceptions if there’s an adult supervising the child who is either a parent or guardian or has permission from the child’s parent or guardian.

For further information on juvenile weapons possession and state-specific laws here in Pennsylvania, work with knowledgeable Berks County criminal defense attorney David R. Eshelman.


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