Juvenile Possession of B-B Guns and Paintball Guns
Paintball guns and BB guns such as airsoft guns and are quite popular among teenagers and are usually used for recreational purposes. However, if these types of guns are used in the wrong context or situation it can be a serious offense which can bring the possibility of juvenile incarceration. If your child has been charged with Unlawful Possession of a Weapon or Possession of a Weapon for Unlawful Purposes you should waste no time in consulting an experienced attorney. The Law Offices of John F. Marshall are available to help your family combat the charges facing your son or daughter. We defend accused juveniles all across the state including Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Union County, Somerset County, Ocean County, Essex County, Ocean County, Mercer County, Hudson County, and Morris County. Our offices are comprised of knowledgeable juvenile defense attorneys who will consult with you and your child absolutely free of charge.
Spring Action & Air Rifles
In New Jersey, owners of air guns run into legal trouble all the time because most these guns fall under the definition “firearms” according to 2C:39-5(f). Additionally, all types of semi-automatic air rifles and B-B guns have now become illegal in this state. Pursuant to 2C:58-6.1, it is a fourth degree Possession of Firearm by Minor offense for any person under the age of 18 to even acquire, possess, carry, fire, or use a BB gun without proper supervision. For this type of offense, a court would most likely impose a non-custodial disposition such as community service. The penalties become escalated when a minor uses a BB gun or air rifle unlawfully or brings one into a school. Possession of a B-B gun or air rifle with the purpose to use it unlawfully against a person or property of another would be delinquent of a crime of the second degree Possession of Weapons for Unlawful Purposes 2C:39-4(a). Similarly, if a juvenile brings an air gun onto school grounds it is a third degree Unlawful Possession of Weapons offense. Both of these escalated offenses are punishable by incarceration up to 2 – 3 years, depending on the situation.
B-B pistols are subject to all of the regulations stated above and an additional penalty for carrying them. A spring action pellet pistol is literally considered a handgun, and therefore, a permit is required to carry one under § 2C:58-4. Carrying this type of handgun without a valid permit is a third degree offense according to 2C:39-5(b). However, there is a safeguard for individuals under the age of 21 who acquire, possess, carry, fire, or use the pellet pistol without proper supervision. Under the law, they are only guilty of a fourth degree crime. Therefore, a juvenile found delinquent of possession of a B-B pistol would most likely receive a non-custodial sentence such a community service, restitution or admittance into a supervisional program.
Paintball guns are less serious than B-B guns because they are not considered firearms but they are still considered weapons. In New Jersey, a “weapon” is defined as anything readily capable of lethal use or of inflicting serious bodily injury under N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-1(r). Therefore, any person who knowingly has in his possession a paintball gun under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for such lawful uses as it may have is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree according to 2C:39-5(d). However, if the court finds that the juvenile planned to use it unlawfully against a person or property of another, they are guilty of a crime of the third degree. It should also be noted that it is a fourth degree offense to bring a paintball gun onto school grounds. Both fourth degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon offenses, and are punishable by up to 1 year in juvenile detention even for a first time offender. The third degree offense is punishable by up to 2 years of incarceration.
It may have been an honest mistake or something that started out as a joke, but if your child has been charged with a possession of a weapon it is no laughing matter. These types of charges are severe and even a first time juvenile offender can run the risk of incarceration. The threat of incarceration is an urgent matter that must be addressed immediately. By retaining engaging an experienced lawyer to take your child’s case, you help guarantee that they come out of this matter unscathed. Our attorneys at the Law Offices of John F. Marshall are qualified in handling serious juvenile delinquency charges and are often successful at helping juvenile clients avoid incarceration. Do not hesitate to contact one of our offices located throughout New Jersey including Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Union County, Somerset County, Ocean County, Essex County, Ocean County, Mercer County, Hudson County, and Morris County. Come in and talk to one our lawyers today, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain since all initial conferences are free of charge.