NRS 202.300: Nevada Laws for “Aiding a Child to Possess a Gun”—A Comprehensive Overview
Under Nevada gun laws, minors (under the age of 18) are generally prohibited from handling or possessing a gun.
Due to recent news stories, the number of children bringing firearms to school has increased. Last February, Clark County School District confiscated 5 guns in just one week, according to a report.
Plus, with all the school shootings happening across the country, with the most recent one in a Las Vegas middle school, it is imperative for parents to be aware of the state’s laws concerning minors and guns.
The article will have different sections covering aspects of NRS 202.300, including an overview of the law, common defenses, penalties for violations, related crimes, and frequently asked questions. After reading the article, you will have a better understanding of how the law affects both adults and children.
Overview of NRS 202.300
Nevada firearms law prohibits a person from knowingly permitting a child under 18 years old to possess a gun, with a few exceptions. Depending on the circumstances of each case, children who illegally possess firearms may face juvenile or adult criminal charges.
The statute reads:
Except as otherwise provided in this section, a child under the age of 18 years shall not handle or have in his or her possession or under his or her control, except while 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, any firearm of any kind for hunting or target practice or for other purposes. A child who violates this subsection commits a delinquent act and the court may order the detention of the child in the same manner as if the child had committed an act that would have been a felony if committed by an adult.
The statute has subsections which clarify what actions would qualify as aiding a child in possessing a gun and which ones would not. It also outlines the exemptions and the penalties for such actions.
What Constitutes Aiding a Child to Possess a Gun?
It’s not illegal to own a firearm in Nevada. Under Nevada gun laws, a child can handle, possess, or control a gun provided that a guardian (like a parent) accompanies them directly.
The statute reads:
A person does not aid or knowingly permit a child to violate subsection 1 if:
(a) The firearm was stored in a securely locked container or at a location which a reasonable person would have believed to be secure;
(b) 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;
(c) The injury or death resulted from an accident which was incident to target shooting, sport shooting or hunting; or
(d) 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.
According to subsection 3, if a child obtained access to or possession of a gun and meet the conditions above, then the guardian may not be charged with aiding or knowingly permitting a child to possess a gun.
Depending on the circumstances though, they may be charged with other crimes, such as reckless endangerment.
Penalties for Violations of NRS 202.300
Nevada law imposes varying penalties for individuals who violate NRS 202.300. Depending on whether you knowingly aided or permitted a child to possess the firearm, the penalties may vary.
For example, if you knowingly aided or permitted a minor to possess a gun, a first offense will be a category C felony, which carries 1 to 5 years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000.
A second or subsequent offense will be charged with a category B felony which carries 1 to 6 years in prison and/or fines of up to $5,000.
All other charges, meaning you did not know the minor had access to the gun, will be charged as a misdemeanor. The penalty for misdemeanors is up to 6 months in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000.
Common Defenses to NRS 202.300 Violations
If an individual did not “knowingly” permit a child to possess a gun, they should not be held criminally liable. There are four circumstances where people are not guilty of aiding a child in possessing a firearm:
- Unlawful entry: if someone unlawfully enters your home and steals your firearm, leaving it accessible to a child, you cannot be held responsible.
- Accident: If the firearm was used for a legitimate sport or hunting activity and an accident occurred, the guardian may not be held criminally responsible.
- Military/Law Enforcement: If a member of the military or law enforcement gives a firearm to a child while acting in their official capacity, the guardian cannot be charged with aiding or permitting a minor to possess a gun.
- Securely locked container: If the firearm was securely stored in a way that prevented unauthorized access by the child but was still obtained, the guardian may have a defense.
Anyone accused of this offense should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. With the help of counsel, defendants can build a strong case that could result in reduced charges or an outright dismissal. No matter the circumstances, everyone is entitled to a vigorous defense and should not hesitate to exercise this right.
Charged with Aiding a Child to Possess a Gun?
If you have been charged with aiding a child to possess a gun, it is important that you seek help from an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can review your case and determine the best course of action for your specific situation.
The Defenders is a criminal defense law firm based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our team has decades of combined experience defending clients facing criminal charges. We understand the gravity of these charges and will fight for your rights every step of the way.
If you, or your loved one, is facing criminal charges, reach out to us today for a free case consultation.
We are here to help you protect your future. Contact The Defenders now.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Nevada’s law pertaining to aiding a child in the possession of a firearm?
A: NRS 202.300 makes it illegal for an adult to knowingly aid or permit a minor who is under 18 years old to possess a firearm.
Q: What are the penalties for aiding a child to possess a gun?
A: The penalty for aiding or permitting a minor to possess a gun depends on whether you knowingly aided or permitted them. First-time offenses are charged as category C felonies which carries 1 to 5 years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000. Subsequent offenses are charged as category B felonies which carries 1 to 6 years in prison and/or fines of up to $5,000. Other charges will be charged as a misdemeanor with possible penalties of up to 6 months in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000.
Q: What are the common defenses for aiding a child in possession of a firearm?
A: Common defenses include unlawful entry, sport or hunting accident, military or law enforcement, and the firearm was in a secure container. Be sure to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your specific situation and potential defenses.
Q: Are there any exceptions to NRS 202.300?
A: Yes, there are exceptions to this law. For instance, a child under 18 may possess or control a firearm if they are under the direct supervision of an adult while engaged in a lawful activity, such as target practice or hunting.
Q: What are some examples of situations where someone may be charged with aiding a child to possess a gun?
A: Examples include if a gun was left within reach of a child, given to them by an adult, or found in a home owned by the adult and not secured. It is important to understand that even if there is no intention of the minor using the firearm when they are provided with it, an adult can still be charged with aiding.