H.R. 3098 (103rd): Youth Handgun Safety Act of 1993

103rd Congress, 1993–1994. Text as of Nov 20, 1993 (Passed the House (Engrossed)).

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HR 3098 EH

103d CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3098


AN ACT

To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit the possession of a handgun or handgun ammunition by, or the private transfer of a handgun or handgun ammunition to, a juvenile.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. FINDINGS AND DECLARATIONS.

    The Congress finds and declares that--

      (1) Crime, particularly crime involving drugs and guns, is a pervasive, nationwide problem.

      (2) Problems with crime at the local level are exacerbated by the interstate movement of drugs, funds, and criminal gangs.

      (3) Firearms and ammunition, and handguns in particular, move easily in interstate commerce, as documented in numerous hearings in both the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives and Judiciary Committee of the Senate.

      (4) In fact, even before the sale of a handgun, the gun, its component parts, ammunition, and the raw materials from which they are made have considerably moved in interstate commerce.

      (5) While criminals freely move from State to State, ordinary citizens may fear to travel to or through certain parts of the country due to the concern that violent crime is not under control, and foreigners may decline to travel in the United States for the same reason.

      (6) Just as the hardened drug kingpins begin their life in the illicit drug culture by exposure to drugs at a young age, violent criminals often start their criminal careers on streets where the ready availability of guns to young people results in the acceptability of their random use.

      (7) Violent crime and the use of illicit drugs go hand-in-hand, and attempts to control one without controlling the other may be fruitless.

      (8) Individual States and localities find it impossible to handle the problem by themselves; even States and localities that have made a strong effort to prevent, detect, and punish crime find their effort unavailing due in part to the failure or inability of other States and localities to take strong measures.

      (9) Inasmuch as illicit drug activity and related violent crime overflow State lines and national boundaries, the Congress has power, under the interstate commerce clause and other provisions of the Constitution, to enact measures to combat these problems.

      (10) The Congress finds that it is necessary and appropriate to assist the States in controlling crime by stopping the commerce in handguns with juveniles nationwide, and allowing the possession of handguns by juveniles only when handguns are possessed and used for legitimate purposes under appropriate conditions.

SEC. 2. PROHIBITION OF THE POSSESSION OF A HANDGUN OR AMMUNITION BY, OR THE PRIVATE TRANSFER OF A HANDGUN OR AMMUNITION TO, A JUVENILE.

    (a) DEFINITION- Section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    ‘(29) The term ‘handgun’ means--

      ‘(A) a firearm that has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand; and

      ‘(B) any combination of parts from which a firearm described in subparagraph (A) can be assembled.’.

    (b) OFFENSE- Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(s)(1) It shall be unlawful for a person to sell, deliver, or otherwise transfer to a juvenile, or to a person who the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe is a juvenile--

      ‘(A) a handgun; or

      ‘(B) ammunition that is suitable for use only in a handgun.

    ‘(2) It shall be unlawful for any person who is a juvenile to knowingly possess--

        ‘(A) a handgun; or

        ‘(B) ammunition that is suitable for use only in a handgun.

    ‘(3) This subsection does not apply--

      ‘(A) to a temporary transfer of a handgun or ammunition to a juvenile, or to the possession or use of a handgun or ammunition by a juvenile, if the handgun and ammunition are possessed and used by the juvenile--

        ‘(i) in the course of employment, in the course of ranching or farming related to activities at the residence of the juvenile (or on property used for ranching or farming at which the juvenile, with the permission of the property owner or lessee, is performing activities related to the operation of the farm or ranch), target practice, hunting, or a course of instruction in the safe and lawful use of a handgun;

        ‘(ii) with the prior written consent of the juvenile’s parent or guardian who is not prohibited by Federal, State, or local law from possessing a firearm;

        ‘(iii) with the prior written consent in the juvenile’s possession at all times when a handgun is in the possession of the juvenile; and

        ‘(iv) in accordance with State and local law;

      ‘(B) during transportation by the juvenile of an unloaded handgun in a locked container directly from the place of transfer to a place at which an activity described in subparagraph (A)(i) is to take place, and transportation by the juvenile of that handgun, unloaded and in a locked container, directly from the place at which such an activity took place to the transferor;

      ‘(C) to a juvenile who is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard who possesses or is armed with a handgun in the line of duty;

      ‘(D) to a transfer by inheritance of title (but not possession) of a handgun or ammunition to a juvenile; or

      ‘(E) to the possession of a handgun or ammunition by a juvenile taken in defense of the juvenile or other persons against an intruder into the residence of the juvenile or a residence in which the juvenile is an invited guest.

    ‘(4) A handgun or ammunition, the possession of which is transferred to a juvenile in circumstances in which the transferor is not in violation of this subsection shall not be subject to permanent confiscation by the Government if its possession by the juvenile subsequently becomes unlawful because of the conduct of the juvenile, but shall be returned to the lawful owner when such handgun or ammunition is no longer required by the Government for the purposes of investigation or prosecution.

    ‘(5) For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘juvenile’ means a person who is less than 18 years of age.

    ‘(6)(A) In a prosecution of a violation of this subsection, the court shall require the presence of a juvenile defendant’s parent or legal guardian at all proceedings.

    ‘(B) The court may use the contempt power to enforce subparagraph (A).

    ‘(C) The court may excuse attendance of a parent or legal guardian of a juvenile defendant at a proceeding in a prosecution of a violation of this subsection for good cause shown.’.

    (c) PENALTIES- Section 924(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) in paragraph (1) by striking ‘paragraph (2) or (3) of’; and

      (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

    ‘(5)(A)(i) A juvenile who violates section 922(s) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both, except that a juvenile described in clause (ii) shall be sentenced to probation on appropriate conditions and shall not be incarcerated unless the juvenile fails to comply with a condition of probation.

    ‘(ii) A juvenile is described in this clause if--

      ‘(I) the offense of which the juvenile is charged is possession of a handgun or ammunition in violation of section 922(s)(2); and

      ‘(II) the juvenile has not been convicted in any court of an offense (including an offense under section 922(s) or a similar State law, but not including any other offense consisting of conduct that if engaged in by an adult would not constitute an offense) or adjudicated as a juvenile delinquent for conduct that if engaged in by an adult would constitute an offense.

    ‘(B) A person other than a juvenile who knowingly violates section 922(s)--

      ‘(i) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both; and

      ‘(ii) if the person sold, delivered, or otherwise transferred a handgun or ammunition to a juvenile knowing or having reasonable cause to know that the juvenile intended to carry or otherwise possess or discharge or otherwise use the handgun or ammunition in the commission of a crime of violence, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.’.

    (d) TECHNICAL AMENDMENT OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY PROVISIONS IN TITLE 18, UNITED STATES CODE-

      (1) SECTION 5031- Section 5031 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting ‘or a violation by such person of section 922(s)’ before the period at the end.

      (2) SECTION 5032- Section 5032 of title 18, United States Code, is amended--

        (A) in the first undesignated paragraph by inserting ‘or (s)’ after ‘922(p)’; and

        (B) in the fourth undesignated paragraph by inserting ‘or section 922(s) of this title,’ before ‘criminal prosecution on the basis’.

    (e) TECHNICAL AMENDMENT OF THE JUVENILE JUSTICE AND DELINQUENCY PREVENTION ACT OF 1974- Section 223(a)(12)(A) of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5633(a)(12)(A)) is amended by striking ‘which do not constitute violations of valid court orders’ and inserting ‘(other than an offense that constitutes a violation of a valid court order or a violation of section 922(s) of title 18, United States Code, or a similar State law)’.

    (f) MODEL LAW- The Attorney General, acting through the Director of the National Institute for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, shall--

      (1) evaluate existing and proposed juvenile handgun legislation in each State;

      (2) develop model juvenile handgun legislation that is constitutional and enforceable;

      (3) prepare and disseminate to State authorities the findings made as the result of the evaluation; and

      (4) report to Congress by December 31, 1994, findings and recommendations concerning the need or appropriateness of further action by the Federal Government.

Passed the House of Representatives November 20, 1993.

Attest:

Clerk.