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Old January 16, 2010, 06:36 PM   #1
Dirigo
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How old to hold a handgun at gun shop?

Can someone show me the law regarding who can touch handguns at a gun shop? I'm a 19 year old second-class citizen who is currently working to get a CCL. I was at a dealer today who said I'm not even allowed to touch a handgun in a gun shop, even though I can legally own and carry one. I have also seen a friend of mine who is also a second-class citizen handle a handgun in a different gun shop.

So, was the dealer feeding me a line?
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Old January 16, 2010, 07:11 PM   #2
vranasaurus
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The dealer can not sell a handgun to someone under 21 so they may have a policy that you have ot be 21 to look at them.

While some states do allow those under 21 to own and or carry a handgun federal law prevents an FFL from selling a handgun to someone under 21.
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Old January 16, 2010, 07:16 PM   #3
a7mmnut
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Yep, it depends on the state for ownership in the U.S. 21 years old for new purchases all around, 18 for private ownership in NC.

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Old January 16, 2010, 07:19 PM   #4
Dirigo
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I understand, but he told me it was illegal for me to even touch the gun in the store without parental supervision. I wasn't trying to purchase it, I was simply looking. I'm fairly well versed in Maine and Federal gun laws, more so than most gun owners.

I live in Maine. According to state law, at 18 you can sell, purchase, possess, carry openly, and, with a permit, carry concealed a handgun. I know that minors cannot handle long guns without an adult present. I know that I can't purchase a handgun from a FFL.

Last edited by Dirigo; January 16, 2010 at 07:47 PM.
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Old January 16, 2010, 07:24 PM   #5
a7mmnut
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Then that's what he meant. It is a misdemeanor in most states for any adult to allow a "minor" to handle firearms he or she cannot legally own without parental or legal guardianship supervision.

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Old January 16, 2010, 07:41 PM   #6
NavyLT
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The rule is 18, not 21. FFL's are not allowed to allow <18 year old persons to fondle handguns because of 18 USC 922 (x). The mere possession of the handgun by the <18 year old in that case would not meet the exceptions of 18 USC 922 (x). They cannot, obviously, transfer ownership of the handgun to a person <21 years old.

Now, there are some states that mere possession by <21 years old is prohibited by state law.

Now - FFL's MAY have <18 year old persons handling the handguns if they are employed by the FFL and the <18 year old person has written parental permission with them because that IS an exception allowed in 18 USC 922 (x).
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Old January 16, 2010, 07:50 PM   #7
Dirigo
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Thanks Navy LT, that is exactly what I was looking for.
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Old January 16, 2010, 07:52 PM   #8
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The ruling is in either a letter by BATFE, or it is in the Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide, or it is in an FFL newsletter.
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Old January 16, 2010, 08:10 PM   #9
Shipman515
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Wait, some states allow people under 21 to carry concealed?
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Old January 16, 2010, 08:13 PM   #10
NavyLT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shipman515
Wait, some states allow people under 21 to carry concealed?
Yep. Vermont and Alaska are two. I think Maine does with a permit.

Idaho and several other states allow open carry of handguns by under 21 without a license, but only issue concealed carry permits to 21+
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Old January 16, 2010, 08:34 PM   #11
vranasaurus
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Legal or not the FFL may have a policy. You can go back in there and tell them it's not illegal and they may say it's our policy.

I have seen plenty of gun stores that have signs up that say you must be at least 21 years old to hold a handgun.
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Old January 16, 2010, 08:45 PM   #12
a7mmnut
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You guys are still confusing private ownership with new handgun purchasing. 18 for ownership and private citizen transfers, 21 for purchasing from a dealer.

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Old January 16, 2010, 09:09 PM   #13
vranasaurus
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I am not confusing anything.

Even though he can legal own and carry a pistol it doesn't mean the FFL has to let him handle the pistols they have in stock.
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Old January 16, 2010, 10:34 PM   #14
Edward429451
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Around here they say they can not hand a firearm to a minor, but they can hand it to the parent or guardian and they can hand it to the minor in the store for inspection.
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Old January 16, 2010, 10:54 PM   #15
Drummer101
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Similar thing to knives as well, one of my friends who is 17 and was at basic and while in uniform asked to see a knife behind the counter (at a store) and they would not let him.
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Old January 17, 2010, 12:34 AM   #16
NavyLT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vranasaurus
I am not confusing anything.

Even though he can legal own and carry a pistol it doesn't mean the FFL has to let him handle the pistols they have in stock.
You're right. We aren't confusing anything... :shrug:
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Old January 17, 2010, 12:49 PM   #17
Al Norris
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It's hard to be conversant with every States laws...
Quote:
Originally Posted by NavyLT
Idaho and several other states allow open carry of handguns by under 21 without a license, but only issue concealed carry permits to 21+
Idaho Code Chapter 18-3302(11):
(11) The sheriff of a county may issue a license to carry a concealed weapon to those individuals between the ages of eighteen (18) and twenty-one (21) years who in the judgment of the sheriff warrant the issuance of the license to carry a concealed weapon. Such issuance shall be subject to limitations which the issuing authority deems appropriate. Licenses issued to individuals between the ages of eighteen (18) and twenty-one (21) years shall be easily distinguishable from regular licenses.
18-3302E(1) states that it is unlawful for anyone under the age of 18 to possess a weapon (as defined in 18-3302A) without written parental/guardian permission or accompanied by the parent/guardian. A minor under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Therefore, open carry (handgun or long-arm) is lawful by anyone 18 or older.

To answer the question, the only places in Idaho that might refuse to let someone under 21 "handle" a firearm would be places like Sportsmans Wharehouse or Cabelas... They would necessarily need to ID anyone looking young. I just don't see that happening, at least not very darned often.

Can they disallow handling? Of course! A company policy would trump the law in this case.
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