Bringing a Gun to School Can Earn You a Felony

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Bringing a Gun to School Can Earn You a Felony

In the last few months, there have been at least two instances in Arizona where someone brought a weapon onto school grounds. The first involved a 9-year-old child and the other an adult. Arizona has strict laws about firearms on school campuses, and bringing a weapon onto school grounds could result in a felony charge.


Arizona Restricts Minors from Handling Firearms 

Firearms, deadly weapons, or guns—no matter how you describe them, can be deadly in the hands of minors with no training and poor judgment. In fact, according to recent CDC data, firearms are outpacing motor vehicles as the number one killer of children in the United States. 

This is why Arizona charges minors with a Class 6 felony if they are caught illegally with a firearm, especially on school property.


A Class 6 Felony Will Alter Your Life

Aside from the stress of a trial, there are many consequences to a class 6 felony charge. Penalties include:

  • Fines or restitutions 
  • Probation time
  • Jail time for up to 5 years
  • Loss of certain civil liberties, like voting or owning a firearm
  • Inability to get a juvenile criminal record expunged
  • Restriction from performing certain jobs


Parents Can Also Be Held Responsible

Minors who get caught in possession of a firearm on school property are not the only ones at risk of being charged with a felony. Parents who knowingly (or should have known) that their child was in possession of a firearm and did nothing to prevent it may be held liable. 


Recreational Exceptions for Minors Aged 15-17 

Minors are not allowed to possess firearms at all in Arizona, with a few exceptions. Minors aged 15 and up may use firearms for certain recreational purposes and may transport unloaded firearms to and from these events.

  • Lawful Hunting
  • Agricultural Use
  • Marksmanship and shooting competitions held on established ranges


Arizona’s Open Carry Laws and Schools 

Arizona has some of the country’s broadest laws when it comes to open carry. However, possessing a firearm on school property is severely restricted. Any firearms brought onto school campuses by adults with the proper permits must be unloaded (law enforcement excluded). 

The unloaded firearms must also be kept in a registered vehicle, locked away out of plain sight. School boards in Arizona have the right to enact their own regulations about firearms and other weapons. Checking with a specific school district will give you their exact regulations.


Hire an Attorney If You Are Charged 

If you are being charged with a felony, hiring an attorney is the best decision you can make. In order to have the best outcome for your future, hire the best lawyer. Todd Coolidge has over 25 years of experience in criminal defense. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (11/28/22).Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.