Skip to main content

I have been thinking about an answer to the gun problem that we have in this country for a while now and I believe that I may have come up with a workable solution. At its core, the answer is pretty simple because it comes down to requiring gun owners to really be responsible for their guns. And I do mean really be responsible for their guns.

Gun activists repeat ad-nauseam that it is not guns that are the problem, but instead people are the problem. They tell us that 99.9% of gun owners are law-abiding citizens who would never do anything illegal with their weapons. They say that all they want is to be able to own virtually any kinds of guns and to use them for their personal enjoyment and to protect their property. They also assert that the Constitution guarantees them this right (which is itself a debatable topic for another diary).

So, to many gun enthusiasts, limiting our citizen's access to guns simply cannot be part of any solution. And given the fact that there are already so many guns in circulation in the United States, to some extent they may be right. But maybe there is something we can do. Maybe we can start making gun owners really be responsible for their guns.

Think about this. When you buy a car and then you wreck it into someone else, you are responsible for the damages. And when you loan your car to your friend and he wrecks your car into someone, as the owner of the car, you are still responsible for the lion’s share of the damages. If you were to leave your car running in your driveway with the doors wide open while several of the neighborhood’s young children were playing in the yard, you would be responsible if one of them got into the car and wrecked it too.

So, my proposal is this. People can (with some restrictions) have their guns, but the responsibilities for gun ownership will no longer end with the owner's interactions with his guns. From now on, gun owners will be responsible for not only what they do with their guns, but at least in part for what other people do with them as well.

For instance, if a 3 year old child manages to find your gun and kill himself (or someone else) with it, you will be held responsible and you will serve prison time. The younger the child that is killed with your gun, the more mandatory time you will be required to serve. It won’t matter if you are a state trooper or the child’s mother. If it was your gun that was not properly stored, then you were an irresponsible gun owner and you must serve time. No longer will such an incident merely be considered a terrible tragedy. It will also be the gun owner’s criminal failure and will carry a mandatory jail sentence.

If you train your unstable immature son to be awesome at shooting guns and he ends up going on a rampage and kills a bunch of people with your arsenal of guns, you will also be held responsible. Because it was your guns and the belief system that you passed down to your son that enabled him to commit the heinous crime, you must, as a responsible gun owner, pay your debt to society as well. The more people that are killed and injured in the melee with your guns, the longer your prison sentence.

If you own guns and you fail to adequately lock them away and one of your guns gets stolen and used in a robbery or a murder, you, as the gun owner, will also be held responsible. As a gun owner, it is your responsibility and duty to guarantee that you will keep your guns out of the wrong people’s hands. If you cannot do this, then you are not a responsible gun owner and there will be a price to pay for your failure. Any stolen gun would have to be reported immediately in order to avoid potentially receiving the maximum penalty for a crime committed using your stolen gun.

For this plan to work, all guns will have to be registered. Therefore, if at any time you are found with a gun that is not registered, that gun will be confiscated, you will be fined, and you may be subject to searches for any other unregistered firearms that you may possess. So, either register your guns, or risk losing them.

I could go on, but you get the picture. The Sandy Hook kid and his mom often shared quality time at a gun range and we are told that no one could have foreseen that he would use her personal arsenal to murder 26 people. Had his mother lived, do you think that she would have borne any responsibility for this crime under current gun laws? And, during the holidays another small child killed himself after finding a loaded gun in the house. Of course, this was a terrible tragedy, but it was also a crime and I don’t care that the gun owner was an Oklahoma state trooper. The problem we have is that gun owners are always responsible until such a time comes when they aren’t.

So why don’t we let the NRA and the gun enthusiasts walk the walk to go along with their talk? If these people are the responsible gun owners that they say they are, these laws should not be a problem for them. I mean, if you are sure that your guns will never accidentally kill a minor, you should support this law. If you are certain that people with access to your guns are not in any way unstable and would never hurt anyone with your guns, why not support the new law? If you always lock your guns away so as to prevent them from being stolen and to prevent their unauthorized use, you will have nothing to fear from this law and you should support it.

Let’s let gun owners really be responsible for their guns. And if they are not, let’s let them pay the penalty. Maybe requiring gun owners to take full responsibility for their guns would give some of them reason for pause before procurring their arsenal of weapons.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  you nailed it ... this is what i am trying to say (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Responsible and NRA won't compute within same (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    diary.   Responsible gunowner is an oxyamoron.

    •  Shame on you! Obviously your are as far out in the (8+ / 0-)

      opposite direction of the NRA. Get to know a hunter, get to know a regular gun owner before you decide they are all irresponsible.

      The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die. ~ Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy

      by cherie clark on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:39:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just stop advocating killing American children and (0+ / 0-)

        I might be able to hear you.  Just once, I'd like to hear some gun advocate say, "Those children at Sandy Hook School should not have been killed."  I know that isn't going to happen because the gun culture is so caught up in their own right to shoot off anything the want, anywhere they want that they can't even comprehend why others don't want additional children killed.

        •  It happens every day (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cherie clark

          in these discussions right here on DailyKos.

          Every gun owner here has expressed remorse and sympathy for the victims of that shooting.

        •  Oh Puleese Do you really think we aren't horrified (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          weren't horrified long before Sandy Hook? I would give up everyone of my guns to bring those children back. You know nothing about the gun culture, what you know is the NRA culture which it may surprise you to know doesn't include very many gun owners at all. You need to get out of the bubble, because you are as big a part of the problem as the NRA.

          The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die. ~ Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy

          by cherie clark on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:48:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can count the dead bodies of children.That's (0+ / 0-)

            all I can do---that and cry alot. Your gun psycho-babble does nothing to convince me of your sincerity re: their deaths. When I hear the gun culture shout"Enough in enough- no more dead children!" I might believe you. The gun culture keeps repeating in it's own vacumn, "There is nothing we can do to help improve the safety of schoolchidren except push for more and more guns for more and more crazy people." is just insane. You can't even listen to why parents and teachers are worried.  Your shoot'em mentality prohibits you from hearing anything else. Just stop and listen to the crying!

  •  Most gun owners are responsible now. (7+ / 0-)

    In several of the examples you gave the gun owners would be charged. I don't know a single careless gun owner, or one who doesn't accept the responsibility for owning a gun.

    The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die. ~ Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy

    by cherie clark on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:35:47 PM PST

    •  I realize that... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      a mother whose child kills himself with her gun might be charged with 2nd degree manslaughter, but the sentence would likely be light. I say it should not be light as this happens all too often.

      I am not sure that any charges would have been brought against the Sandy Hook mother, but I think that had she lived, charges should have been brought against her.

      I expect that most gun owners dont think they will ever become one of these statistics, but the fact is some of them will and they should pay new harsher penalties when it happens.

      And, if you think most people are responsible enough to do the right thing with guns, you haven't been to Wal-Mart lately.

    •  how many have multi-million dollars of insurance? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hey338Too, mk, mwm341

      If their gun accidentally puts someone in the hospital for life, who pays that bill?

      If they are truly responsible, such insurance should be dirt cheap.  If they can't get it cheaply, chances are they're not really being responsible.

      If every gun owner had to carry $5 million of liability insurance, more would own gun safes, take gun safety courses, etc., just to lower their premiums.

      •  JMcD - if every gun owner had to have $5 million (6+ / 0-)

        of personal liability insurance, specifically regarding their guns, only rich people would have firearms. That would likely not be constitutional under Heller. While legislatures at all levels have broad gun control rights, they can't fundamentally impact access.

        The minimum liability insurance for autos is very low, in most states $30,000 - 50,000, clearly not enough to compensate anyone for a severe injury. The minimum liability requirements are so low so that poor people can afford to have the insurance needed to register a car.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:15:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  people need cars, they don't need guns (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Why should I pay for their negligence?

          If they actually were as trustworthy as the NRA types keep claiming, even $5 million in insurance wouldn't amount to more than a few hundred dollars per year.

          If the risk they pose is higher than that and they can't pay it, they should not own guns.

    •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hey338Too, JMcDonald, drmah
      Most gun owners are responsible now
      Not nearly good enough.
    •  so they don't exist (0+ / 0-)

      because you don't know a single one?

      what about the assholes at Columbine or the one in Aurora or the mother of the kid in Newtown? were they being responsible?

      mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

      by wewantthetruth on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:42:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I own guns. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cherie clark

      I also know a LOT of people who own them.

      OF those people that I know, easily a couple hundred, none have ever shot anybody and none have ever had their guns stolen or otherwise used by others to harm anybody in any way.

      I keep hearing this stuff here about insuring guns, or making gun owners responsible for their guns if they harm somebody. I can't help but think that the people proposing it have never owned guns or know anybody who does.

      First on the insurance issue I'd have no problem with that because the premiums would be so low.

      On the responsible for use of your guns by others I'm not sure.

      I mean in my state the leading cause of death for those under 45 is not homicide. It's OD on prescription medications.  

      Also while I don't know anybody personally whose guns have caused havock, I do know people who have either sold or had their prescriptions stolen and sold. I have also known people who got drunk and hurt themselves or others in car wrecks or fights.

      I'd be OK with your proposal as long as we also hold bar owners, and convenience stores liable for injury due to alcohol, and drug stores and people who have prescriptions liable for OD's.

      •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

        The thing is, some gun owners have issues with their guns being discharged in ways they didn't want even if you don't.  Just because you personally don't know anyone this has happened to does not mean that it never happens. It actually happens pretty often in the USA.

        As to your drug analogy I will say this... I don't have a huge of chance of someone going nuts and then trying to overdose me with presciption medications.  I they try that, they will likely fail. But, if they have several guns on them, I am probably toast.

        I grow weary of all of the psuedo analogies that are made to guns. Cars are for transportation, forks are for eating with, drugs are for medical issues, and guns are for killing. See the difference?

  •  Had the mother of the Sandy Hook killer survived (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cherie clark, theboz, debedb

    she would have had civil liability. I don't know CT law, but it's likely that under current law she would not have had any criminal exposure.

    National gun registration is the holly grail for many gun supporters, and certainly the NRA.  That's a war we likely can't win in the 113th Congress. However, I do think we can take a first step, in decades, down the gun control path this year.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:38:38 PM PST

    •  I actually disagree (0+ / 0-)

      may be a tough fight but if not now, never.

      you have to register a car and cars have VIN #'s. try registering one w/o a VIN # or an illegal VIN#.

      mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

      by wewantthetruth on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:46:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  wewantthetruth - a gun registration bill (0+ / 0-)

        will never pass the House during the 113th Congress and it's highly unlikely the House leadership would even allow such a bill to come to the floor for a vote. Someone is likely to post a discharge petition as a way for those in favor to show support for registration. A few Republicans may sign, but I don't think that more than two thirds of the Dems will sign. In many districts in the South, Southwest and Rocky Mountain West voting for national gun registration makes you unelectable.  

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 07:46:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Agreed, but it should be "cradle to grave" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hey338Too, mwm341

    The law should require that someone is ALWAYS liable for anything done with the gun, from the moment it is manufactured until the moment it is melted down.

    At first, the manufacturer is liable, until they legally transfer it to a distribution.

    Then they are liable until they legally transfer it to a retailer.


    And the civil liability should extend backwards to previous owners if the final owners can't cover any fines or judgements.  This insures that people don't transfer ownership to some random street person and then "borrow" the gun back, thus avoiding liability.   If you sell a gun to someone, you need to make damn sure they have insurance, are responsible, etc.

    •  That's an absurd rule. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, theboz, debedb, FrankRose, annecros

      If I own a gun, decide I don't want it anymore, and try to sell it to someone responsibly, I'm on the hook if they're judgment proof?  

    •  JMcD - that's absurd (6+ / 0-)

      If you legally sell a gun to another party, and follow the law regarding the transfer of ownership, there is no theory in the law where some contingent liability would stay with the seller.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:17:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  then the transfer would need to be stricter (0+ / 0-)

        You could require the owner to prove they had pre-paid lifetime insurance before ownership could be transferred to them.

        It's completely unacceptable to allow people to sell guns to others who are not provably able to cover the cost to society of their guns.  If someone has a gun and really wants to get rid of it, but doesn't want the liability associated with selling it to a meth-head, let them melt it down.

        •  JMcD - it's an interesting conversation (0+ / 0-)

          but there will not even be a national gun registry bill that could make it through the 113th Congress. The idea of liability insurance is an interesting one, but we are many years away from legislative support for the concept. In addition, there are the legal issues of using taxes, fees, and insurance to restrict access. Those won't do well under Heller.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:12:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  JMcD - should you need to have lifetime (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          auto insurance before you can buy a car?

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:14:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  no, because your right to a car can be terminated (0+ / 0-)

            if you fail to keep up your insurance payments.

            If you want to use cars as the model, then

            1. You need to pass a gun safety course before being licensed to use a gun.

            2. You need to show that you don't have medical defects that would make you dangerous with a gun before you're allowed to use one.

            3.  You need to show proof of insurance for a gun that you own or it can be confiscated.

            Which would also work for me.

            The bottom line is that I should not have to pay for your negligence.  What is so hard to grasp about that?

            •  Why don't we require a minimum of $5 million (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              of liability insurance to register a car? The current minimums do not require negligent drivers to pay for their negligence. In fact we have many uninsured drivers, with no assets, who cause damage and death and escape any civil liability. Today gun owners who are negligent in the use of their firearms have the same civil liability as car drivers. Shouldn't the liability insurance be the same? Many gun owners have insurance and the NRA is actually the top provider.

              I favor more rigorous background checks and mandatory safety training for all new gun owners. What I don't think is constitutional, under Heller, is using the cost of liability insurance to deter gun ownership.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:42:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  because cars are are economic necessary (0+ / 0-)

                Making the liability insurance higher would put people out of work since they wouldn't have transportation.  Which would add more cost to society than would be collected from the insurance payouts if the minimum was higher.

                No such argument can be made for guns -- they are entirely discretionary.

                If you don't want the liability, DON'T BUY ONE.  You'll be out absolutely nothing.  Sheesh.

            •  "medical defects" (0+ / 0-)


              mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

              by wewantthetruth on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:50:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  blindness, schizophrenia, ... (0+ / 0-)

                There are many things that could be wrong with your body that would make it a bad idea for you to have a gun.

                Just as there are many things that make it a bad idea to give some people a driver's license or allow them to do certain jobs.

    •  Clearly defined, registered, legal transfers (5+ / 0-)

      must terminate liability. If not, what is your justification for vetting buyers and registering the firearms in the first place?

      As far as I'm aware, "cradle to grave" is a concept applied only to hazardous waste, not to any consumer product, even dangerous ones.

      It would be more intellectually honest simply to propose making civilian possession of firearms illegal, and probably no more difficult to accomplish.

      •  to avoid "sham" transactions (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If the seller can remove all liability, then they have zero motivation to ensure that the legal sale will ensure that future victims can be compensated.  In fact, they would be motivated to sell the gun to a random street person then "borrow" it back, thus avoiding ownership liability.

        The owner creates the hazard and the liability when they acquire the gun.   It's absolutely unacceptable for them to dump that liability onto me and others in society by signing the gun over to a judgement proof person.

        If you want to be sure you've discharged your liability, just ensure that the new owner has posted a bond to cover any future liability.  Or melt the gun down.  Your choice.

        But I'll be damned if I'll continue to pay for your negligence.

        •  If guns are registered and transactions recorded (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          you have already eliminated any possibility of sham transactions. This, together with requiring all buyers to be approved through NCIC pretty much eliminates your scenario.

          All that is needed for this to work properly is a real registration database with unfettered access by all law enforcement professionals, rather than our current deliberately crippled system.

          Proposals of high bonds, huge insurance amounts, etc. do one thing and one thing only: ensure that only wealthy people own firearms. Among the many reasons why this is a bad idea is that you really screw over one small group of people who can be said to really "need" firearms - subsistence hunters like some of the Inuit in Alaska.

          I'll also note that no other country, even among those with otherwise very restrictive laws, has seen fit to do what you propose.

  •  There's Actually a Productive Line NRA Could Walk (0+ / 0-)

    and that relates to their blaming mentally/emotionally ill people as more of the problem than the guns.

    For my money anyone who commits mass murder is at minimum emotionally ill at minimum temporarily. In many cases individual murder can fit the definition.

    So to deflect attention on its pet issue, the NRA logically ought to be throwing its weight to support the ACA and other programs that would increase access to mental health screening, treatments and supports.

    They'd also support a national gun registry so that any time someone is diagnosed with a mental or emotional illness that could make firearm ownership dangerous (many, maybe most don't), their arms could be bought back or temporarily sequestered.

    What's the NRA's position on supporting expanded mental health services and national gun registry?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:05:22 PM PST

  •  Farewell fourth amendment! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, oldpunk, FrankRose, annecros, Kickemout

    "and you may be subject to searches for any other unregistered firearms that you may possess"

  •  I'm a gun owner and have no problem with this (6+ / 0-)

    provided that the definition of "immediately" for reporting a stolen gun is something reasonable that gives you enough time to return home from a day at work and realize that you've been burglarized.

    I think you'd be surprised how many gun owners would be just fine with the general concept of what the diarist proposes.

    I like to hunt and, sometimes, target shoot. But when my guns aren't actually in my immediate physical possession, they are unloaded in a locked safe. Ammunition is locked in a separate safe in a different room. No one in my house is depressive, schizophrenic, or has substance abuse problems.

    And this is actually fairly typical of most gun owners I know. The ones who don't follow such practices, obviously, are the potential cause a lot of misery.

    I'm tired of dealing with the consequences of their carelessness.

    •  I wish I could drag you into every ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drmah, mwm341

      ... argument I've had recently regarding this issue.  I have not heard one of them say:

      I'm tired of dealing with the consequences of their carelessness.
      You must be the "Chosen Rodent", the "Right Rat"!

      I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

      by Hey338Too on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:20:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Your legal theory seems to be that once you own (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    an item of personal (and presumably you would include business) property, you are henceforth and forever liable, in some measure, if it is misused, irrespective of whether you still own it at the time of misuse.

    My question is, under what theory could this be restricted only to firearms and not include, say a riding lawnmower?

    •  I don't think the diarist went that far (0+ / 0-)

      Under his proposal, you could eliminate liability by a lawful transfer.

      I would add the caveat that someone (or some group of people) with sufficient resources to pay should always be liable.

      You could do that by requiring insurance and confiscating guns without it.

      Or you could do it by making previous owners responsible for any residual liability once the final owner's resources were exhausted.

      Or perhaps other ways, such as a tax on all gun purchases to fund a liability pool.

      Or whatever.   The point is that society should not be forced to pay for the negligence of gun owners, including the negligence of passing guns on to unstable people or those without the resources to be accountable for potential damage they could do with a gun.

  •  A 3-word motto that can sum up this proposal: (0+ / 0-)

    "It's yours forever."

    Which goes right in line with what this diary suggests. Until your gun is legally sold with all paperwork filed and all registrations properly changed, anything that anybody ever does with that gun is at least partly your responsibility, because it's yours forever.

    So if you have a mentally deranged person in your house, but you get a gun anyway, and he does something horrible with that gun, you are partly responsible because it's yours forever.

  •  I would (0+ / 0-)

    be ok with the parent assuming liability if a young child is negligently allowed access to a firearm. This law already exists in some places.

    But if the child is old enough to be tried as an adult, he is old enough to assume responsibility for his own actions

    •  I think if the child is not actually an adult... (0+ / 0-)

      you should still be liable. Very young people are often tried as adults now and if you make guns available to those who may not be mature enough mentally to cope with the consequences of gun violence, it should still be on you.  If you mix guns with a teenaged hormonal child... well, you do the math.

  •  What constitutes being stored safely? (0+ / 0-)

    Aside from unloaded and bolt locked back.

    Locked in a cabinet (no glass cabinet doors)?
    Gun safe?

    Some people do keep a revolver and quickloader in their night stand or something. Revolver is unloaded of course.

    Do you let the states interpret this?

    Why hello there reality, how are you doing?

    by Future Gazer on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:04:40 AM PST

    •  As I mentioned... (0+ / 0-)

      You would be able to report a stolen gun and not suffer the maximum penalty for crimes commited with your gun.  That being said, I think that what constitutes a safe way to store a gun would be a pretty long defintion with several scenarios to consider.

      The long and short of it is that no one should be able to easily get your guns or whatever happens with them is your fault.

      •  Then people who aren't at home for long (0+ / 0-)

        periods of time would be prime targets. Joe goes on vacation but keeps his gun locked in a cabinet. He can't afford a gun safe since he has to travel overseas. Someone breaks in, breaks the lock, steals the gun and goes on a shooting spree.

        I know the scenario is a bit far fetched since the criminal has to know where the gun is stored and do his crime with Joe's gun before Joe comes back.

        Perhaps a new kind of business: gun safety deposits.

        Why hello there reality, how are you doing?

        by Future Gazer on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:25:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  well... (0+ / 0-)

          I'd personally say that "cant afford a gun safe" is probably a primary reason to "not spend the money on a gun either" but I can seriously see ranges or dealers offering secure storage services for a moderate fee too.

          I wouldnt go as far as the measures outlined in the original diary, in practical terms way too many folks, not just the NRA extremists, see registration as a precursor to confiscation and that in itself is sufficient to make any measures that depend on registration unlikely to be successfully implemented.

          What I would say though, is that on a national level it should be required to store an "unattended" weapon in a standards compliant gun safe. By "unattended" I mean that the person responsible for it is not present. That would normally be the owner but could also be a person to whom the owner lent the weapon. Leave the house without locking the weapon in the safe and taking the keys with you and you're guilty of an offence. Call it "negligent storage of a firearm" and make any of the "bad stuff" that can happen as a result of you not properly storing your weapon (stolen, accident, siezed by daughters ex-boyfriend in the heat of an argument with her current SO etc) aggravating factors to that offence.

          Of course if somebody took a cutting lance to your safe and stole the contents that way thats not your negligence but leave the spare key on the hook in the kitchen labelled "gun safe" and it is.

          This should be one of those things that isnt enough to get a warrant for on its own but if a cop is in the house for another reason and discovers a firearm outside the safe he should ask "whose is this?" and expect that somebody present should answer "mine" - and seize the weapon if nobody does.

          When you are around, you dont need to keep it locked in the safe - that would defeat some arguably legitimate reasons to have it around in the first place - but you should have a clear duty under the law to keep it under your control and supervision. This is more vague, because it is more to do with circumstances. The individual who keeps a revolver and speedloader in their nightstand is making a judgement call about the LEVEL of "personal control and supervision" that their circumstances require. If they live alone it should be enough to only lock it away when leaving the house. If there are others in the home, particularly kids, that equation changes. This one would be mostly judged on results. Being present in the house is enough to excuse you of the automatic charge of "negligent storage" but if any of the "bad stuff" happens with your weapon don't be surprised if the DA takes a close look at whether you should face a charge of "negligent supervision of a firearm" or not.

          Borrow a weapon from its owner, taking it out of their presence, and you must follow the same rules until you return the weapon to its owner.

          Lend a weapon to somebody you know would not be permitted to own it in their own right and even if nothing bad happens that could get the borrower charged with negligent supervision, you still will be because you handed a weapon into the supervision of somebody who you knew was disqualified from posessing it.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site