Giving Guns to Children
How old does your kid have to be to have a gun? Can you gift it to them, if yes, at what age? The answers below may surprise you.
NOTE: You HAVE to remember that under Oregon Law, that a 'minor' in these sections is someone under 18, NOT someone under 21. So when Oregon Law says 'minor' do not think of the 19-20 year old, think of 15, 16, 17 year old's. See 166.210 (7) for definitions.
There are types of firearms that matter under Oregon Law; Rifles and Shotguns (Long-Guns) and Pistols.
Gifting Long-Guns; it is unlawful for anyone under 18 years of age to have a long-gun on them 166.250 (1)(c)(A). Exception to the rule;
If the long-gun was given to the minor by a parent/guardian
If the long-gun was given to the minor "temporarily for hunting, target practice or any other lawful purpose"
If the long-gun was being held/used at a "residence or place of business".
Those are the three exceptions for someone under 18 years of age to be allowed to have a long-gun under Oregon Law.
Gifting Pistols; it is unlawful for anyone under 18 years of age to have a pistol in their possession 166.250 (1)(c)(A). Exception to the rule;
If the pistol was given "temporarily for hunting, target practice or any other lawful purpose"
If the pistol was held/used at a "residence or place of business"
Those are the two exceptions for someone under 18 years of age to have a pistol.
"But my friend said I had to be 21 to have a pistol". That is correct if 'your friend' is a Federally License Gun Dealer! Where many folks get Oregon law confused is that it is unlawful for someone under 21 to purchase a pistol from an FFL. This is FEDERAL law, not Oregon. And only applies to federal gun dealers, NOT Oregon citizens or Oregon families. See 18 USC 922 (b)(1). Under federal law a minor cannot purchase a hand-gun from an FFL. So many people apply that logic to Oregon possessions. They should not.
A parent/guardian or anyone in the 'lawful transfer list' could give a pistol or long-gun to a 18, 19, or 20 year old. That is ok under state and federal law.
If you are considering giving or gifting firearms to children, please do so carefully. An amazing resource for children to learn firearm fundamentals and safety is Kids S.A.F.E. Foundation. They do amazing work keeping our kids safe with and around firearms.
Have a Happy New Year!