Could Parents of Nevada School Shooter Face Gun Charges? It Depends


The facts are still emerging from Monday’s Nevada school shooting in which a 12-year-old student at Sparks Middle School allegedly shot and killed a popular math teacher and injured two male classmates before killing himself. The parents could face charges if they gave him access to the handgun he used, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Authorities believe the shooter got the Ruger 9 mm semiautomatic handgun used in the attack from his home.

The boy reportedly brought the gun to school grounds and, just before classes started, wounded one student, shot and killed math teacher Mike Landsberry, and wounded another student before turning the gun on himself. Most underage school shooters get their weapons from home, a relative, or another home where they knew guns were kept. Questions are being raised about whether adults could be held criminally liable if they are proved to have negligently allowed the student access to the firearm. The prosecution of such cases varies widely. Nevada is one of 27 states that does have a Child Access Prevention (CAP) law. Some laws are more stringent than others. Nevada, like 12 other states, prohibits only intentional, knowing, or reckless provision of firearms to minors.

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