On May 3, anti-gun Senate Bill 831 was heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee which recommended that the bill be held for further study. Sponsored by state Senator Harold M. Metts (D-6), S 831 would make it illegal for a minor to simply possess a firearm or ammunition, whether intentional or otherwise.
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 continue to check www.NRAILA.org for further updates on S 831.