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If you live in Nevada and want to let your minor (under 18) child hold or use a gun, rifle, or another firearm, you could face criminal charges.
NRS 202.300 makes it illegal for anyone in Nevada under the age of 18 to handle or possess any firearm of any kind for hunting, target practice, or other purposes, unless they are accompanied by or under the immediate charge of his or her parent or guardian or an adult person authorized by his or her parent or guardian to have control or custody of the child.
However, the law does allow for certain exceptions to the adult supervision requirement for minors 14 years of age or older if they have their parents’ permission and only for certain non-automatic weapons. These exceptions include hunting with a valid license to hunt, training courses, practicing at a firing range, competitions, and on private property where an adult has given permission. NRS 200.300, subsections 5-8.
“Aiding or Knowingly Permitting” a Child to Handle a Gun Outside of Adult Supervision
Outside of those specified exceptions for children 14 and older, it is a crime for any adult, including a parent, to “aid or knowingly permit” a child to handle or possess a firearm in Nevada without adult supervision.
A person does not “aid or knowingly permit a child” in violation of NRS 202.300 if:
The firearm was stored in a securely locked container or at a location which a reasonable person would have believed to be secure;
The child obtained the firearm as a result of an unlawful entry by any person in or upon the premises where the firearm was stored;
The injury or death resulted from an accident which was incident to target shooting, sport shooting or hunting; or
The child gained possession of the firearm from a member of the military or a law enforcement officer, while the member or officer was performing his or her official duties.
Penalties for Violating NRS 202.300
If any adult, including a parent, “aids or knowingly permits” a child to handle or possess a firearm without adult supervision and the child’s use or possession does not fall within one of the statute’s specified exceptions, they are committing a Nevada misdemeanor.
However, if the person knows or has reason to know that there is a substantial risk that the child will use the firearm to commit a violent act, they can be found guilty of a Nevada category C felony. NRS 202.300(b).
A second or subsequent offense will be prosecuted as a category B felony that can lead to a term in Nevada State Prison of between 1 and 6 years and a fine of up to $5,000. NRS 202.300(a) and (c).
A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.