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Thread: Minor possession of firearms while supervised?

  1. #1
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    Minor possession of firearms while supervised?

    First off, thanks for your time. I'm moving to Foley (so the plan is) and I want to clarify a few things before I move - and I really have tried to find the answers but there is an overwhelming amount of info to sift though.

    My son, age 12, is an avid shooter but it seems i can get into trouble letting him fire pistols (while supervised). I'm hoping I misread that information because that sounds absurd... Are there any laws specific to supervised use of firearms of a minor?

    Now, specially to Foley, If anyone might know; the place I am planning on buying is rural on almost 5 acres. There is no-one behind the house but raccoons, trees and almost as many bugs as are here in Louisiana. Is there any local law prohibiting me from shooting in my backyard?

    I do appreciate the help. I've been moving so much since 05 that I am getting dizzy from trying to keep up on all the laws per state.

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    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    It sounds like you already found this, but I'm posting it again for the benefit of other readers:
    Quote Originally Posted by 13A-11-57
    Selling, etc., pistol or bowie knife to minor.

    Any person who sells, gives or lends to any minor any pistol or bowie knife, or other knife of like kind or description, shall, on conviction, be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $500.00.

    (Code 1852, 2045); Code 1867, 3751; Code 1876, 4230; Code 1886, 4096; Code 1896, 5355; Code 1907, 6896; Code 1923, 4046; Code 1940, T. 14, 170; Code 1975, 13-6-128.)
    Taken on its face, this would prohibit taking your child to the range to teach them to shoot. I can't tell you to ignore the law as long as you're supervising them, but I'm telling you I would.

    As for moving to Foley and wanting to shoot in your backyard: I don't know if Foley has an ordinance against discharging firearms, but they're allowed to make on under state law. If you live in unincorporated Baldwin County there's a slim chance they have a rule against discharging firearms, but it would have to have been passed before 2000. If it turns out you are allowed to, just be very sure of what property lies beyond yours.
    There was a time that the pieces fit, but I watched them fall away, mildewed and smoldering, strangled by our coveting. I've done the math enough to know the dangers of our second guessing. Doomed to crumble, unless we grow and strengthen our communication. -Tool, "Schism"

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    On google scholar, I cannot find any cases that would prohibit one from teaching a kid how to shoot.

    I would recommend that the OP examine the legislative transcripts regarding the passage of this law ... I'm certain that this subject was discussed.

    Also check with local courthouse for additional possible court cases as google scholar only gives reviewing court opinions online.


    It certainly looks like the statue would not apply to pistol training. IMO

    Call up a local range and ask ... they may know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brimstone Baritone View Post
    It sounds like you already found this, but I'm posting it again for the benefit of other readers:

    Taken on its face, this would prohibit taking your child to the range to teach them to shoot. I can't tell you to ignore the law as long as you're supervising them, but I'm telling you I would.

    As for moving to Foley and wanting to shoot in your backyard: I don't know if Foley has an ordinance against discharging firearms, but they're allowed to make on under state law. If you live in unincorporated Baldwin County there's a slim chance they have a rule against discharging firearms, but it would have to have been passed before 2000. If it turns out you are allowed to, just be very sure of what property lies beyond yours.
    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    On google scholar, I cannot find any cases that would prohibit one from teaching a kid how to shoot.

    I would recommend that the OP examine the legislative transcripts regarding the passage of this law ... I'm certain that this subject was discussed.

    Also check with local courthouse for additional possible court cases as google scholar only gives reviewing court opinions online.


    It certainly looks like the statue would not apply to pistol training. IMO

    Call up a local range and ask ... they may know.
    thanks to both of you for the help.
    I can imagine not allowing kids to shoot but that that "lend" part of the statute IS what made me scratch my head. I can't get any other answer then the common thought answers not based on fact. Here in Louisiana every kids gets a rifle and usually a handgun for his 4th or 5th birthday.

    Thanks to both of you, again, for your time. I think the courthouse is a great idea - and never entered my mind. Either way, I think I would ignore a law like that so long as I can shoot in my backyard. The realtor just said - Sure ya-can..... I'm sure the judge would take her word on it :-)

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    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    I did a little digging, and I think (one of) the case(s) you need is Coleman v. State, 32 Ala. 581 (1858). It deals with the definition of lending a pistol to a minor in Alabama. I tried Google Scholar and Guncite but I couldn't find the text of the decision. Hopefully that starts you down the right path, at least.
    There was a time that the pieces fit, but I watched them fall away, mildewed and smoldering, strangled by our coveting. I've done the math enough to know the dangers of our second guessing. Doomed to crumble, unless we grow and strengthen our communication. -Tool, "Schism"

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    I can't remember what it is for the life of me right now but somebody had posted on ALOC the state statute or either a court case where it stated that as long as an adult was there supervising, it would be legal for a minor to posess a pistol for "training purposes" or something very similar to that.

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    Today, the ban on possession in section 922(x)(2)(A) is subject to several exceptions.   See 18 U.S.C.  922(x)(3).   These exceptions permit juveniles to possess handguns for legitimate purposes, including hunting ...

    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-1st-circuit/1593627.html


    So clearly, if one can hunt with a handgun, one has the right to practice and become proficient with it.

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    Regular Member Brimstone Baritone's Avatar
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    ^That's a good one, too. It would be better if it were 11th Circuit or SCOTUS, though.
    There was a time that the pieces fit, but I watched them fall away, mildewed and smoldering, strangled by our coveting. I've done the math enough to know the dangers of our second guessing. Doomed to crumble, unless we grow and strengthen our communication. -Tool, "Schism"

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