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Leaving a Firearm Within Reach of a Child

The crime of leaving a firearm within reach of a minor child is a form of culpable negligence under Florida Statute Section 784.05(3). The crime requires proof of the following elements:

  1. a person exposes another person to personal injury through culpable negligence;
  2. by storing or leaving a loaded firearm within the reach or easy access of a minor child;
  3. the minor child is less than 16 years of age; and
  4. the minor uses that firearm to inflict injury or death upon himself or herself or another person.

The crime of leaving a firearm easily accessible to a minor child can be charged as a third-degree felony which is punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000 and maximum imprisonment of five years.


Exceptions to Crimes under Florida Statute Section 784.05(3)

Exceptions to this criminal offense of leaving a firearm within easy reach of a minor child include: 

  • incidents in which the firearm was stored or left in a secure or locked place;
  • the firearm was obtained through unlawful entry; 
  • the injuries resulted from a target, sporting or hunting accident; or 
  • the possession by the minor occurred incidental to an armed forces personnel’s performance of official duties.

Finding an Attorney for Firearm Crimes in Tampa, FL

If you were charged with the third-degree felony offense of leaving a firearm within reach of a minor child, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Tampa, FL, at the Sammis Law Firm. 

With offices conveniently located in downtown Tampa, the four attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm represent clients charged with serious firearm and weapon crimes throughout Hillsborough County and the surrounding counties in the Tampa Bay area including Hernando County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Manatee County and Polk County, FL.

Call us to discuss any criminal charge involving culpable negligence.


This article was last updated on Tuesday, February 14, 2017.