Have You Been Charged with Possession of a Handgun by a Person Under the Age of 18 in Georgia?
People under 18 years of age have numerous crimes that they could be charged with. Possession of a handgun is just one of those offenses. If you or a loved one has been charged with possessing a handgun while under 18 years of age in Georgia, contact us now for a free no-obligation consultation. Our Georgia Weapons Lawyers have over 50 combined years of criminal defense experience and will fervently protect your rights, future, and freedom.
Georgia Laws on Possession of a Handgun by a Person Under 18
O.C.G.A. § 16-11-132(b) states: It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of 18 years to possess or have under such person's control a handgun.
Penalty for Possession of a Handgun by a Person Under 18 in Georgia
A conviction for possession of a handgun by someone under 18 years of age will be treated as a misdemeanor. In Georgia, misdemeanors are punished by up to a $1,000 fine, up to one year in prison, or both. However, conviction of a second or subsequent violation will be guilty of a felony. The punishment can include a fine up to $5,000 or a prison term up to three years, or both.
When Can a Person Under 18 Possess a Handgun in Georgia?
There are some situations where people under 18 are permitted to possess a handgun, and this code section does not apply. They include any person under 18 who is:
- Attending a hunter education course or a firearms safety course;
- Engaging in practice in the use of a firearm or target shooting at an established range authorized by the governing body of the jurisdiction where such range is located;
- Engaging in an organized competition involving the use of a firearm or participating in or practicing for a performance by an organized group under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) which uses firearms as a part of such performance;
- Hunting or fishing pursuant to a valid license if such person has in his or her possession such a valid hunting or fishing license if required; is engaged in legal hunting or fishing; has permission of the owner of the land on which the activities are being conducted; and the handgun, whenever loaded, is carried only in an open and fully exposed manner; or
- Traveling to or from any activity described in subparagraphs (A) through (D) of this paragraph if the handgun in such person's possession is not loaded.
In addition, this offense does not apply in two specific circumstances:
- Any person under the age of 18 years who is on real property under the control of person's parent, legal guardian, or grandparent and who has the permission of such person's parent or legal guardian to possess a handgun;
- Any person under the age of 18 years who is at such person's residence and who, with the permission of such person's parent or legal guardian, possesses a handgun.
These exceptions do not apply if the person under 18 has ever been convicted of a forcible felony or a forcible misdemeanor and has been adjudicated for committing a delinquent act for an offense which would constitute a forcible felony or forcible misdemeanor, if such person were an adult.
Georgia Defenses to Possession of a Handgun by Someone Under 18 Years of Age
Mistake of age: If a mistake was made as to the age of the accused at the time of the incident and there were above 18, then no crime has occurred.
It was for a lawful purpose: If the accused was under 18 but was in possession of a handgun for one of the excepted purposes, then no crime has occurred.
Insufficient evidence: We frequently represent clients where after combing through their case, realize there was insufficient evidence demonstrating that the accused had possession of the handgun. We are experienced in bringing forth motions and getting cases dismissed based on a lack of evidence.
Innocence: We understand that you may have been at the wrong place at the wrong time. If you have an alibi for the time the crime occurred, call us now.
No matter what the particulars of your case may be, there are always Georgia Criminal Defenses at your disposal. Our possession of a handgun by someone under 18 lawyers in Georgia have more than 20 years of experience in exclusively criminal law. We are proficient in reaching resolutions outside of trial but are also extremely capable of taking your case to trial. However, we will discuss all your options with you before you choose how to proceed with your situation.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one has been charged with a weapon crime, you are facing severe penalties that will put your future and freedom at risk. We are experienced in handling weapons possession cases and want to help you achieve the best possible result for your case. We have built relationships with prosecutors throughout Georgia that will help you get the best result. Call now for a free no-obligation consultation.