What is Virginia’s Law on Allowing Access to a Firearm by a Child?
Virginia’s law prohibiting access to a firearm by children is Va. Code 18.2-56.2:
A. It shall be unlawful for any person to recklessly leave a loaded, unsecured firearm in such a manner as to endanger the life or limb of any child under the age of fourteen. Any person violating the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
B. It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to authorize a child under the age of twelve to use a firearm except when the child is under the supervision of an adult. Any person violating this subsection shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. For purposes of this subsection, “adult” shall mean a parent, guardian, person standing in loco parentis to the child or a person twenty-one years or over who has the permission of the parent, guardian, or person standing in loco parentis to supervise the child in the use of a firearm.
A violation of subsection A requires proof that the firearm was loaded and “unsecured”, that it endangered the life or limb of a child under 14, and that the firearm was stored “recklessly”.
Subsection B prohibits allowing a child under 12 to use a firearm without adult supervision.
A violation of either section is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
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