Parenting is a hard job, and it's not getting any easier. No parent can keep their child from occasional trouble, but sometimes that trouble is very serious. Too often, NJ kids and teens find ways to get their hands on firearms, and when they do, the impacts can be devastating for everyone involved. There aren't just obvious safety concerns when juveniles possess guns, but there are also significant legal ramifications too.
Recently, two kids in Toms River pulled a gun on some citizens in an apparent attempt to intimidate them, according to msn.com. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, but the juveniles were charged with:
- Criminal Mischief
- Eluding Police
- Possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes
Authorities say more charges are pending, and they further note that at least one of the victims appears to have known the defendants. The teens who brandished the firearm made a very bad choice, but that doesn't necessarily mean they were raised by bad parents or even that the kids are bad people. For now, the juveniles are just lucky things didn't end worse, the situation could have easily turned deadly.
Why Good Kids Might Try to Get Guns in New Jersey
Juveniles don't understand what's at stake when they choose to wield a firearm. They might think they know what to expect, but more often than not, they simply can't fathom the consequences that could impact their entire life if they choose to pick up a gun. Good kids from happy homes may decide to seek a gun if they feel a firearm can help them gain protection from bullies or status among their peers. Even if you don't suspect your child has any intention of seeking out a firearm, you should engage in dialogue with them that conveys how serious firearms possession is.
To keep guns out of the hands of kids, safekids.org suggests:
- Keeping guns in safes with combination locks
- Storing ammunition apart from guns
- When a gun is out of storage, keep it in your possession
- Consult with local police in disposing of guns you no longer want
Consequences associated with criminal firearms charges in New Jersey can be imposed on grounds of possession and use. Federal, state, and even local municipal laws dictate who can possess guns and where the guns may be prohibited. For example, guns are not allowed in educational institutions. If the juvenile threatens another with a gun or, worse, shoots someone, the criminal penalties involved could range from assault to murder.
Parents Should Speak to a New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer
Despite a parent's best efforts, sometimes kids will still make big mistakes. If a juvenile you love is in trouble with authorities for gun possession, call attorney Joseph D. Lento at 888.535.3686 today, or contact the Lento Law Firm online.