Gun rights can be a controversial issue. And, it seems that the issue of what age a person can obtain a gun can be in dispute. Because it is unlawful for any person below age 18 to possess a handgun, it can be common for a young person to be charged with Possession of a Handgun by a Juvenile. If you or a loved one has been charged with Possession of a Handgun by a Juvenile in Jefferson or Arapahoe County, it is important to have the best criminal defense attorneys involved in your case early on. The lawyers at O'Malley and Sawyer are skilled in juvenile criminal defense, and fight on your side to win.
Juvenile Handgun Possession Sentence in Denver, Colorado
1st Offense of Possession of a Handgun by a Juvenile
- Class 2 Misdemeanor, 3-12 months in the Adams County Detention Center
2nd or Subsequent Offense of Possession of a Handgun by a Juvenile
- 1-3 years in the Colorado Department of Youth Corrections
In addition to these charges, if convicted of a felony, a child will be prohibited from ever exercising their firearm rights later on in his or her life. If a juvenile is arrested for possession of a handgun, he or she will be taken into temporary custody. From there, additional detention will be determined, while the detention facility will contact the child's parents or guardians to notify them of the situation. Within 48 hours, a detention hearing will take place, unless a detainment occurred during a holiday or a weekend day.
Are There Denver Exceptions to Possession of a Handgun by a Juvenile in Douglas County?
A juvenile can possess a handgun under the conditions that:
1.The juvenile is practicing at a shooting range or another location where the discharge of firearms is not prohibited;
2.The juvenile is on the property of his or her parents and the parents are aware of the handgun;
3.The juvenile is hunting legally;
4.The juvenile is attending a firearm or hunter safety course (the juvenile's handgun has to be unloaded if traveling between places such as the home and firearm safety course, where ammunition is not easily accessed);
5.The juvenile is defending himself or herself with a handgun against an intruder (self-defense).
At this point, you may be wondering what is considered a handgun. According to C.R.S 18-12-101, the definition of a handgun is:
“A pistol, revolver, or other firearm of any description, loaded or unloaded, from which any shot, bullet, or other missile can be discharged, the length of the barrel of which, not including any revolving, detachable, or magazine breech, does not exceed twelve inches.”
Charged with Juvenile Possession of a Handgun? Contact an Experienced Criminal Lawyer in Denver
Possession of a handgun by a juvenile is a “status” offense, meaning that it is only charged against minors. This means that it would not be considered a crime if committed by an adult over eighteen years of age. A juvenile's future can be tainted by a Possession of a Handgun by a Juvenile charge in El Paso County. This is why it is important that you are paired with the best criminal defense attorneys in Denver. The lawyers at O'Malley and Sawyer have practiced in many counties across Colorado for over 25 years, and are ready to defend you in your case.
Colorado Possession of Handguns by Juveniles – Prohibited – Exceptions – Penalty: C.R.S. 18-12-108.5
“ (1) (a) Except as provided in this section, it is unlawful for any person who has not attained the age of eighteen years knowingly to have any handgun in such person's possession.
(b) Any person possessing any handgun in violation of paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) commits the offense of illegal possession of a handgun by a juvenile.
(c) (I) Illegal possession of a handgun by a juvenile is a class 2 misdemeanor.
(II) For any second or subsequent offense, illegal possession of a handgun by a juvenile is a class 5 felony.
(d) Any person under the age of eighteen years who is taken into custody by a law enforcement officer for an offense pursuant to this section shall be taken into temporary custody in the manner described in section 19-2-508, C.R.S.
(2) This section shall not apply to:
(a) Any person under the age of eighteen years who is:
(I) In attendance at a hunter's safety course or a firearms safety course; or
(II) Engaging in practice in the use of a firearm or target shooting at an established range authorized by the governing body of the jurisdiction in which such range is located or any other area where the discharge of a firearm is not prohibited; or
(III) Engaging in an organized competition involving the use of a firearm or participating in or practicing for a performance by an organized group under 501 (c) (3) as determined by the federal internal revenue service which uses firearms as a part of such performance; or
(IV) Hunting or trapping pursuant to a valid license issued to such person pursuant to article 4 of title 33, C.R.S.; or
(V) Traveling with any handgun in such person's possession being unloaded to or from any activity described in subparagraph (I), (II), (III), or (IV) of this paragraph (a);
(b) Any person under the age of eighteen years who is on real property under the control of such person's parent, legal guardian, or grandparent and who has the permission of such person's parent or legal guardian to possess a handgun;
(c) Any person under the age of eighteen years who is at such person's residence and who, with the permission of such person's parent or legal guardian, possesses a handgun for the purpose of exercising the rights contained in section 18-1-704 or section 18-1-704.5.
(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) of this section, a handgun is “loaded” if:
(a) There is a cartridge in the chamber of the handgun; or
(b) There is a cartridge in the cylinder of the handgun, if the handgun is a revolver; or
(c) The handgun, and the ammunition for such handgun, is carried on the person of a person under the age of eighteen years or is in such close proximity to such person that such person could readily gain access to the handgun and the ammunition and load the handgun.