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Juvenile Offenses for Possession of a Firearm

Under Florida law, a minor child who is under the age of 18 years old is not allowed, with certain exceptions, to possess a firearm other an an unloaded firearm in the juvenile's home.

One exception to this general rule is that a juvenile can generally possess a firearm under one of the following conditions:

  1. The firearm is unloaded and is being transported by the minor directly to or from an event authorized in section 790.22(3)(a) or (b) under § 790.22(3)(c), Fla. Stat.
  2. The minor is engaged in a lawful hunting activity and is either at least 16 years of age or under 16 years of age and supervised by an adult under § 790.22(3)(a), Fla. Stat.
  3. The minor is engaged in a lawful marksmanship competition or practice or other lawful recreational shooting activity and is at least 16 years of age or under 16 years of age and supervised by an adult who is acting with the consent of the minor's parent or guardian under § 790.22(3)(b), Fla. Stat.

Possessing a firearm by a juvenile is a violation of section 790.22(3) which is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor. Harsher penalties apply to a second or subsequent violation of section 790.22(3) which is classified as a third-degree felony.

For a first offense, the juvenile can be ordered to serve a period of detention of up to three days in a secure detention facility. Additionally, the child must perform 100 hours of community service.

Attorneys for Juvenile Firearm Crimes in Tampa, FL

The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm often represent juveniles detained for offenses involving a firearm or another type of weapon. Special rules apply in these cases.

Call an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your child's case. We can represent the child at the first appearance so that the child has the best chance of not being ordered to remain in secure detention.

If you need a juvenile defense lawyer in Tampa, then give us a call to discuss any firearm or weapon charge.

Our juvenile defense attorneys can represent your child at every stage of the case from the detention hearing through the final resolution of the case in juvenile court.

Call 813-250-0500 today.


Driver's License Consequences for Possession of a Firearm

If the juvenile is eligible for a driver's license or driving privilege, the court is required to direct the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to revoke or to withhold issuance of the minor's driver license or driving privilege for up to one year. 

If the minor's driving privilege is under suspension or revocation for any other reason, the court is required to direct DHSMV to extend the period of suspension or revocation by an additional period of up to one year.

If the minor is ineligible by reason of age for a driver's license, the court is required to direct DHSMV to withhold issuance of the juvenile’s driving privilege for up to one year after the date on which the minor would otherwise have become eligible.

In other words, this suspension will run consecutive to any other suspension or revocation and doesn’t begin until the child is old enough to obtain a driver’s license.


Federal Firearm Crimes that Apply to Juveniles

Chapter 44 of Title 18, United States Code, was changed by the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 which added several provisions that apply to juveniles.

For example, Section 922(x) of Title 18 prohibits a juvenile to possess a handgun or handgun ammunition. That provision also makes it a crime for anyone to transfer a handgun or handgun ammunition to a juvenile. 18 U.S.C.A. § 922(x)(2).

A violation of Section 922(x) by a juvenile is a misdemeanor which is probated for first offenders. 18 U.S.C.A. § 924(a)(5)(A)(i).

If an adult is charged with violating Section 922(x), the crime is classified as a misdemeanor unless it is proven the adult transferred a handgun or ammunition to a juvenile knowing or having reasonable cause to believe the juvenile intended to use it in the commission of a crime of violence.

If the transfer occurred with this knowledge, then the crime is a felony that is punishable by up to ten years imprisonment as provided in 18 U.S.C.A. § 924(a)(5)(A)(ii).


Additional Resources

Federal Firearm Crimes that Apply to Juveniles - The Criminal Resource Manual of the U.S. Attorneys Office provides information on juvenile firearm crimes prosecuted in federal court.


Finding a Lawyer for Juvenile Firearm Crimes in Florida

The juvenile defense lawyers in Hillsborough County, represent young people charged with delinquent acts in juvenile courts throughout the greater Tampa Bay area.

Contact us to find out more about charges for misdemeanor possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed firearm and improper exhibition. We also represent young people charged with more serious offenses for armed robbery, armed burglary, and aggravated assault with a firearm.

Call 813-250-0500 today.


This article was last updated on Friday, August 31, 2018.