Gun owner's liability when it comes mishaps involving their children

@Babale you’d probably be (pleasantly) surprised at the steps many gun owners would take to secure their firearms and protect their families. The issue in part is that when the roles of firearms in the US gets debated it is normally only the extremes that are heard. People who have chosen the 2nd amendment as their line in the sand (on both sides) shout down everyone in the middle.

I know quite a few people on the gun-owners side that will loudly decry any efforts to put ‘common-sense’ gun laws into effect, seemingly terrified of the variously slippery slope arguments, while simultaneously making sure that (like me) they have all the serial numbers registered with their homeowners insurance in case of theft and $500+ gun safes in their house (still eyerolling you friend with the whiteboard) from which the firearms only come out to go hunting or to the range.

And those same people are shouting (and voting) because they hear someone on Fox news (or even CNN) say that if they had their way, firearms would be banned, or ammunition taxed at 300%, or that by being pro-second amendment, they’re murderers (similar claims on this board in the past). This is by no means the majority of people who are for some sort of gun control, but they’re the ones in the headlines. sigh Which is why so many gun threads here derail, and I think the SDMB is far more rational than the national average.

I’ve said this in other threads, so won’t belabor the point, but I’m actually more concerned (right now that is) about the first-time gun buying surge after BLM/COVID/Defund the Police who skew female/POC/liberal who have no experience or training or family history of firearms. These people are buying because they are scared, and may not have put in the sort of planning into securing the weapons that we are talking about in this thread. Not because they’re female/POC/Liberal, but because they always saw themselves as never wanting/needing a firearm and are just doing it because of circumstances. Which speaks to a whole different kettle of fish. [ for what it’s worth, in my thread about it, dopers reporting for self and family indicated that most who had done the above had taken the time to take safety/CCW classes where I promise they talk about securing your weapons]

So TL;DR this issue, like most issues, is complicated by social, financial, historical and emotional problems. People on both sides want simple answers, which do not appeal to either extreme or even the middle, and the political class cater to the extremes, making any sort of middle-ground approach problematic. Which . . . well, is the same for just about any other issue in the nation in the last decade or so.

And now I need a drink.

Agreed. (Sorry, have previously been reading along).

Partly because this is about gun owners’ liability, rather than whether kids can ever get access to guns if they really want to. When we’re talking about incidents of 5-year-olds picking up Mommy’s gun and shooting their brother in play, it’s pretty obvious that a gunsafe with even a pretty obvious code will make that less likely.

Then older kids might know right from wrong, but still be tempted to try and play with their parents’ guns. Putting barriers in their way makes the wrongness clearer, and, simply, means they have to spend more time doing it. It’s not going to be an impulsive decision. They might well get bored or interrupted before ever getting into the safe.

Really determined older kids - teenagers - will be able to get through. Half an hour plus internet access is probably an exaggeration - they’d need the right tools, for a start. I’m not about to start looking up “how to crack a gunsafe” to see how long it would take, because I don’t want that in my search history. (Some teens might feel the same).

But older kids who are just having a bad day, or are drunk, are less likely to be either determined enough or sufficiently mentally capable to go through all that.

And the parents would certainly not be liable for their child’s actions, if they’d done all that was scientifically possible to put the gun out of reach and the kid was hell-bent on getting that particular gun.

Conflating all those scenarios is not helpful.

Do weapons have any other purpose besides hurting or killing people?

I own several guns. I did not buy a single one of them for the purpose of hurting or killing people.

The main two uses of weapons in the United States are hunting and target shooting. Weapons are also used for historical study, decoration, protection of crops and livestock, military salutes, and other purposes.

I suppose you can make a bit of an argument for home defense, but the vast majority of gun owners who have a gun for defensive purposes don’t buy them specifically so that they can go out right away and hurt or kill someone.

Do you really think that I purchased a model 1756 British Infantry Musket so that I could hurt or kill someone with it?

Feel free to disregard this if it pops up, but I’m finally giving up on tracking the case - sadly, like a lot in our news cycles, if it doesn’t generate immediate clicks, it falls out. Pretty much nothing at all since 4/2021. Searches by Dazmon Brown Jr (the victim) or the proximate adult Shamira Wright-Sanders haven’t turned up anything new since my last update : he’s still dead (pardon the graveyard humor) and she was arrested on the expected charges.

Which, illustrates a problem with our media society, in that we care about the headline and the outrage, but not about the consequences - unless it’s a celebrity. Okay /rant off, if someone else with superior google/bing/duck-duck-go-fu can dig up more information, good luck to you. Definitely makes it harder to judge how our current legislation is working if it’s difficult to find out the consequences.

Or, it illustrates a disconnect between expected resolution times and actual times. I’m assuming by now she’s been charged by a Grand jury (maybe not - I’m not exactly an expert on legal issues); would we expect newspapers to announce that? I can easily see where an actual trial hasn’t happened yet. Are there any consequences to report yet?

Truly, I understand your point. There was an incident a while back in Illinois where several teens from Chicago drove up to a far-Northern suburb to steal a car. Homeowner kills one of the teens; the other teens were all charged with murder. I don’t believe the cases have been resolved yet.

Depends a lot on the on the state and details - for example, in NYS a defendant must be released from custody if they are not indicted within five days of being taken into custody unless the defendant has either waived indictment altogether or requested or consented to a delay. If there’s an indictment three or four days after the incident , I wouldn’t really expect the newspapers to report that. In fact , I usually only see indictments announced when they happen prior to arrest. Sometimes it makes the news when someone is released from custody because the deadline wasn’t met.

It wasn’t that I was absolutely expecting the trial to be over and done with, yes, it’s only been 8ish months since she was arrested. But, in light of, say Gabby Petito’s murder and investigation, where we got months of deeply involved news investigations, the lack of interest in this one is telling. No, I don’t think it’s solely because of our numbness to gun violence (see also the interest in the Michigan shooter), but because we desperately want the titillation of the mystery/drama/etc of a dramatic event, not the smaller scale tragedy of an easily preventable accident.

Grrr. Arrr. Okay, sorry, really done. It just hurts me to let this go when I at least wanted the answers of the who/what/when/where/why sort of thing that would have enabled a full discussion such as k9befriender asked for. For the love of the flying spaghetti monster, we still don’t even know -whose- gun it was. Okay, deep breaths, must let this go. Sorry all, just wanted to clear up my reasoning and expectations for the two of you who were concerned.

Who is that? :wink:

No worries at all. It is a bit frustrating not having access to information that would allow one to make better judgments about the effect of public policy and legislation. But, what can you do?

–slams face into wall repeatedly–

Really should learn to type more accurately. Sorry for that @k9bfriender, didn’t want to @ you to drag you back to the old thread, and instead was typing mad, and thus, like crap.

But yeah, since I’m a gun moderate (whatever that means) I do like to make informed decisions rather than most of the currently polarized all or nothing. And that doesn’t count my issues with incomplete works, to the point where I had to start a new rule where I couldn’t start with a book in a series until the series was done. That one is Patrick Rothfuss’s fault though. :angry:

Which (back to the OP before it probably returns to a death-like sleep) is why I’m one of the few gun owners that actually want to see some sort of federal (or at least large scale) analysis on gun ownership and risks done by a reasonably impartial party: to better make intelligent suggestions. Fighting ignorance without actual reliable information and data is part of what leads to some of the locked horns on this particular issue, especially on this board.