I came across a post the other day indicating a boy had purchased a firearm on Facebook. That made me wonder if it was true, and of course it was not. What was true is a Ohio man listed a firearm for sale on a Facebook page as a classified ad. A 15-year-old from Kentucky contacted the Ohio man and they met in Kentucky on October 3. On October 11 the teen took the gun to the school football game because he, “just wanted to look cool.”
So let’s go over what is wrong here:
-minors cannot own or posses pistols
-guns cannot be sold across state lines (exception would be dealer to dealer (FFL) transfers)
-in most states firearms cannot be taken to school by unlicensed individuals
So who is at fault? The post I saw indicated Facebook. Now I don’t believe that for a minute. They provided an online community and two individuals took it upon themselves to commit a crime. Here’s why I don’t have a problem, had the buyer been of age and in Ohio they could have legally transferred the firearm so long as they followed the rest of Ohio law. I see no blame to be put on Facebook.
First the blame lands on the man who sold the gun. He was from Ohio and should know he can only sell it to someone from Ohio. His second crime was selling it to someone who could not legally own the firearm. I’m assuming the KY and OH laws are similar to the NC law for a long gun. In order to legally sell the firearm to another party they must be a resident of your state, be legally able to own the firearm, and you must have no reason to believe they cannot own the firearm. IMO the Ohio man broke all three of those rules. The teen was from another state, he was too young to own a firearm, and I would suggest just looking at the teen it would be clear he was too young.
Next the blame lands on the teen and his parents, yes, the parents. The teen should be intelligent enough to know he cannot bring a gun to school. Of course had he never illegally purchased the firearm he would not have had it to begin with. I can believe the teen would not know firearm laws, but he should know he was too young to own the firearm. He should definitely know it was wrong to take it to the school football game to show it off.
So what should happen? The Ohio man has been charged and I believe that is the right move. He will get his day in court, but selling out-of-state and to a minor should earn him a nice corner cell somewhere. After he serves his time and pays his fine he should see probation for several years as well. As far as the teen and parents they should be charged as the law allows. IIRC In NC the parents would get a misdemeanor and the kid would certainly be suspended/expelled. I’d put that teen on probation for the next 3 years and would probably include some verbiage about not handling firearms without a parent present.
What will happen? The Ohio man will plead down and get a fine and probation. Of course we haven’t even discussed what Federal officials might do. They may decide to make an example out of the man, and I believe they should to some degree. If they do, he may have ruined his life. The teen and his parents will not have anything happen other than he will have a juvenile record. He was charged, but of course those charges are confidential since he is a juvenile.
Bottom line is don’t break the law when it comes to firearms.