Can Minors Have Firearms in Arizona?

can minors have weapons

Can Minors Have Firearms in Arizona?

In Arizona, minors are not permitted to own, carry, shoot, or transport firearms of any kind, except under very specific circumstances. Minors in possession of a deadly weapon can be charged with a felony and could be sentenced to time in a correctional facility. Plus, their legal guardians could have to pay large fees and fines. Here’s what you need to know about how Arizona’s gun laws apply to minors.

Are Minors Legally Allowed to Have Firearms? 

Technically, the answer is no. According to Arizona penal code (13-3111), minors (those under the age of 18) who are unaccompanied by a qualified adult are not allowed to knowingly carry, possess, have with immediate control of, or transport a firearm. This rule applies to any place that is open to the public, including streets and highways, or on any private property that is not directly owned by or leased to the minor’s legal guardians. 

However, there are exceptions to this law. Minors are allowed to handle guns when they are accompanied by:

  • Their legal guardian (parent) or grandparent 
  • A certified hunter safety instructor or certified firearm safety instructor who is acting with the consent of the minor’s legal guardians 

Additionally, minors who are 14 to 17 years old may handle and be in possession of a firearm when they are:

  • Participating in shooting events or marksmanship practice at established ranges
  • Lawfully hunting or using a firearm for agricultural purposes 

Penalties for Minors with Illegal Firearms

Even though Arizona is a stand-your-ground state, using a weapon you are not legally allowed to possess can have serious consequences. For minors, a violation of Arizona’s firearms laws is a class 6 felony. If convicted, they could spend anywhere from four months to over five years in a juvenile detention center. Their family may also be charged with fines and fees.  

Other charges can be added on to firearms possession as well. For example, if a minor uses a firearm to assault another person, they will be facing two felony charges. First, there is a class 3 felony charge for assault with a deadly weapon, and then there is a class 6 felony charge for having a firearm in the first place. 

While Arizona judges typically try to focus on rehabilitation for minors, by assigning probation or community services, there are instances when they may sentence the minor to time in a correctional facility. For example, penalties may be higher when a minor is in possession of a gun on school property, or when the weapon is used in a drive-by shooting.

Penalties May Even Extend to Legal Guardians

Parents who have knowingly (or reasonably should have known) that their child was in possession of a weapon can be held liable for the damages caused by their child. Gifting or selling a firearm to a minor is also prohibited by Arizona law, and violators can be charged with a class 6 felony. 

If Your Child Is Facing Criminal Charges, You Need a Strong Attorney 

Did you know some class 6 felonies can be reduced to misdemeanors under Arizona law?A good lawyer can help secure the best possible outcome for your child’s case. Todd Coolidge has been working in the Arizona justice system for over 25 years, fighting for fair resolutions to felony charges. Respect and dedication are the hallmarks of the Coolidge Law Firm, and we ensure that every case is thoroughly represented. 

If you or your child are facing criminal charges, contact us today to schedule a free consultation




Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (6/20/24). Photo by Tom Def on Unsplash.