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General Assembly keeps guns from violent juvenile offenders

Teenagers who commit certain violent crimes will be barred from purchasing a firearm until they are 25 beginning July 1.

The General Assembly recently passed House Bill 1600, sponsored by State Rep. Ryan Williams, R-Cookeville, which applies to any juvenile 14 years of age or older that is adjudicated delinquent by a court for committing one of more than a dozen violent offenses.

“This would just prohibit them from being able to purchase a gun until their brain fully develops at 25,” Williams said. “The repercussions of their actions as a juvenile will carry into adulthood and therefore possibly prevent crime.”

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The legislation would apply to those minors whose conduct, if tried as an adult, would be classified as aggravated assault, aggravated assault against a first responder or nurse, criminal homicide, robbery, aggravated robbery, especially aggravated robbery, carjacking, burglary, aggravated burglary, especially aggravated burglary, aggravated cruelty to animals, a threat of mass violence, or any other criminal offense that involves the use or display of a firearm.

Once an individual turned 19, they could petition a court to have their right to purchase a firearm restored early.

House Bill 1600 will now head to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk to be signed into law.

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