It’s a situation you’d never want to be surprised by: your child has a gun in your home and you didn’t know about it.

What’s worse is that under current state law, even if you did find the firearm, you wouldn’t legally be able to take it from them.

Arizona’s firearm statute has a loophole allowing teenage minors to keep guns, even if their parents don’t know about them, or do not want their child to have access to them.

New legislation introduced this week, however, would require teenagers to have their parent or guardian’s permission to have a gun on private property.

House Bill 2819, introduced by Republican state Rep. Quang Nguyen, would amend a state law that allows those as young as 14 years old to have guns for hunting, agricultural use, and in a couple of other circumstances.

“Under the current law, as long as the minor is possessing the firearm on the property of the parents or the grandparents or the guardian – it doesn’t matter if the parents, grandparents, or guardians, consented to this possession,” explained Russ Richelsoph, a criminal defense and second amendment attorney with Davis Miles Law.

Michelle Hicks isn’t a parent, but she is a gun owner. She was surprised to learn about the current law but now hopes Nguyen’s bill passes.

“If they’re living under the same roof, they need to be a little more aware of what’s going on,” Hicks said.

Parental awareness when it comes to guns also made headlines this week for what some would consider to be a worst-case scenario.

Jennifer Crumbley, the mother of a school shooter in Oxford, Michigan, was convicted of four counts of involuntary manslaughter. She and her husband had bought their 15-year-old son the gun used in the shooting days before he killed four classmates and injured seven people in November 2021.

Given that the conviction happened in the same week as this bill was introduced, Richelsoph said he didn’t think it was a surprise.

“I think we need to look at this amendment to this bill, which amends a statute, look at it in that context,” he said. “What they’re trying to do is limit a minor’s access to firearms, even if those firearms belong to the parents.”

Even with a Republican lawmaker as the sole bill sponsor for HB 2819, Richelsoph predicts the bill could face an uphill battle.

“What you have to remember about Arizona is Arizona’s Old West roots,” he said. “This is a state where any restrictions on a person’s ability to possess a firearm are very heavily scrutinized.”

The bill faces a committee hearing on February 14, according to the Arizona Legislature website.