Anti-gun Senate Bill 831 has been introduced in the state Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. S 831 would make it illegal for a minor to simply possess a firearm or ammunition, whether intentional or otherwise. Sponsored by state Senator Harold M. Metts (D-6), S 831 is the Senate companion to House Bill 5671.
While this legislation appears to make only a slight change in current law, it could have grave ramifications for those prosecuted under it. Currently, a youth is not in violation unless he possessed AND USED a firearm or ammunition. If this legislation was enacted into law, a minor could be prosecuted for possession of a firearm or ammunition if borrowing a parent’s vehicle and pulled over with a firearm or ammo in that vehicle. The law does not distinguish actual intent over a simple accident or misunderstanding. The “use” of a firearm under the original law clearly signaled intent, but by removing it, minors can be unjustly prosecuted for something as simple as a stray shotgun shell found under the seat of their parent’s car. This legislation is a perfect example of an anti-gun bill that would do nothing to prevent crime and only put another poorly defined and unnecessary law on the books.
Please contact your state Senator TODAY and respectfully urge him or her to oppose S 831. Contact information for your state Senator can be found here.