The Young Transitional Adult (YTA*) is a part of American society who is legally regarded as an adult under some circumstances, but as a juvenile under others. These young adults have reached the age of eighteen, but not yet twenty-one. They are old enough to
- enter into contracts and buy/sell real estate
- enlist in the armed forces of the United States
- buy a rifle or shotgun
but, although under Federal law they may buy a handgun, a Federal Firearms Licensed Dealer (FFL), may not sell a handgun to one of them.
Readers of the Tennessee Firearms Association (TFA) Facebook page may have seen a thread that raised a question about the YTA’s.
The background is the fact that Tennessee passed a ‘vehicle carry’ bill in 2014, which, with some exceptions, treats a vehicle similarly to a home. This was covered in previous Examiner articles HERE and HERE. In a previous column, the conundrum of the young soldier was discussed.
To paraphrase the question . . . Can 18 to 20 year-olds legally have a loaded handgun in their privately own vehicle?
Having taken a close look at the bill that was passed last year, it seemed that this would be worth addressing in this column. First, there appears to be no direct correlation between age and maturity. Some are very mature at fifteen, others still immature at fifty.
But given a mature YTA desiring to have a firearm in the car while traveling across the state, it would be prudent for a parent to make sure he/she has some good training in use of the firearm, good training in the use of deadly force, and good training on interacting with the police. To insure the YTA’s understanding of the importance of this, role play is in order.
Drill into your YTA to always be courteous to the police, but do not answer questions. They are very good at asking probing questions unrelated to a traffic stop.
Drill into your YTA that she should never voluntarily consent to a search of her person, vehicle, purse, etc.
Drill into your YTA that selfies of her hanging out the window with the handgun on Facebook are not a good idea.
If your YTA is arrested for unlawful possession of a handgun, then the wheels of justice may turn in her favor, with a good attorney knowledgeable in firearms law. The attorney should, hopefully, be able to get the charges dismissed quickly. Perhaps a Federal civil rights lawsuit against the officer and agency would then be in order, for deprivation of rights under color of law.
Know before you go: Get advice from an attorney competent in firearms law.
– remember Channon Christian and Chris Newsome. What happened to them is infinitely worse than being arrested on an apparently false firearms possession charge.
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