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lock 'em up now while you still have 'em

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by AveragEd, Mar 19, 2008.

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  1. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    About 18 months ago, a young boy shot himself in the head while playing with his aunt's 40S&W handgun that she had recently purchased on the street. This happened in Pennsylvania's capitol city of Harrisburg and the politicians and the anti-gun newspaper went wild over the incident. The gun had been stored in an unsecured manner by its legal owner, whose girlfriend stole and sold it following their breakup. The woman who bought it knew nothing about guns, her nephew found it and you know the rest of the story. I wrote about that tragedy in my column and urged gun owners to buy gun safes because one day, someone was going to get the bright idea that if they cannot outlaw guns, they'll make the owners of stolen guns partially responsible for any illegal uses of those guns. Well, that day might now be upon us.

    The Pennsylvania legislature is currently debating a bill that would make the owners of stolen guns used in crimes chargeable as accessories to those crimes unless they reported the missing firearms to the police within three days of the theft discovery. Obviously, a lot of loopholes exist and even our newspaper gives the bill little chance of becoming law but it only makes sense that if a gun you have stored behind a door, in a drawer or gun cabinet or under a bed winds up in the wrong hands, you stand a lot more chance of being considered irresponsible and partially liable than if you had the gun locked up in a for-real gun safe. A jury would have a hard time finding against you if you took every measure possible to secure your guns instead of letting them lay around where others could find them.

    For what it's worth...

    Ed
     
  2. kelly andersen

    kelly andersen TS Member

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    If they approve such a law, it will get thrown out on appeal.This is almost as stupid as the idiots going after gun makers for guns used in crimes, it wont fly. just my opinion.
     
  3. 100straight

    100straight Member

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    One of the issues that was questioned by Chief Justice Roberts was whether trigger locks were "reasonable" or not. He was described as "scoffing" at the idea that a person would have time to remove a trigger lock if they were being attacked in the middle of the night. The law that needs to be passed is one that requires ALL schools to implement firearms training starting in 1st grade, and continuing until the child can pass a proficiency test for safely handling guns. The boy mentioned in the story above would most likely not have shot himself IF he had known how to properly handle a gun. A lot of the cause for such accidents is childhood curiosity, and most of that curiosity could be put to rest with a good training program.

    Shoot well and often,

    Mark.
     
  4. shannon391

    shannon391 Active Member

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    What if your car is stolen and used in a high speed vehicle homicide?
     
  5. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

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    You best hope you're not the one that finances the defense in hopes such a law gets overturned, kelly.....Bob Dodd
     
  6. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    Illinois has such a law under their "Safe Neighborhoods Act" a law that was enacted 1-2 years ago I believe in the wake of one of the high school shootings.

    The jist of the law was the reasonable expectation of children having access to firearms. In otherwords, if your household had children residing in it or the likelyhood of your household having kids (grandkids) getting access to your firearms - then you as the THAT homeowner has a respnsibility to lock up your firearms in some sort of cabinet/safe.

    Firearms are somewhat akin to being an attractive nuisance - similar to a swimming pool - don't fence it, and a kid/adult drowns - welcome to tort law.

    Jay
     
  7. spritc

    spritc Active Member

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    How realistic is it to assume you can put your hands on a firearm when you need it when it's locked in a safe? I've had guns stashed in various places, out of sight and away from young hands for 35 years or more. I've never had anyone know where they were except my wife and myself. I can guarantee you if one is needed I can put my hands on it in a flash and those who have caused me to reach for it will suffer. Being responsible is key to safety, not locking them up where you can't get to them.

    Steve
     
  8. Jerry944t

    Jerry944t Well-Known Member

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    Ed, I'm a little confused. If I discovered that my gun/guns were stolen why wouldn't I call the police? First of all they arguable might be able to get them back and I sure wouldn't want my guns floating around in the hands of criminals.

    Of course all my guns are properly registered so why would I worry that the police knew they were now stolen?

    What am I missing?

    Jerry
     
  9. TOOLMAKER 251

    TOOLMAKER 251 Active Member

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    Jerry,The law is intended to stop Jamal's girlfriend from buying him a 9 and then when the gun turns up at a crime scene and traced back to her she claims it must have been stolen. But the law their trying to slip thru would open a can of worms.
     
  10. Jerry944t

    Jerry944t Well-Known Member

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    Toolmaker, thanks. I do understand the intent of the law but I don't understand the can or worms that would be opened.

    I'm much more concerned with the fact that another law that's going up for vote allows cities such as the one near me, Philadelphia, to enact gun laws that differ from state laws. Right now cities are subject to state laws and some people in influence are trying to change that, giving cities the right to form their own laws.
     
  11. jbbor

    jbbor Active Member

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    Easily operated in the dark.
     
  12. 100straight

    100straight Member

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    Jerry,

    Here are some scenarios. I am sure there are others.

    Maybe you would be gone from home when the gun was stolen. Then a crime is committed before you return.

    Or, you've got guns stashed like Kolardude, and one gets stolen. You might not even realize it is gone until the police knock on your door and tell you it was used in a crime.

    Or lastly, there might be the case of an elderly lady I know whose husband's shotgun came up missing after he died. She refused to report it stolen because she was pretty sure one of her own kids took it, and she didn't want them to get in trouble.

    Shoot well and often,

    Mark.
     
  13. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    We have an eight year old in the house who knows not to mess around with firearms but who knows about what ever friends she might have over. For that reason, I keep all my guns locked up at all times other than when they are under my direct control. Leaving guns stashed around for 'just in case' just doesn't make sense. A defense gun should be on your person if is to be of any use. I don't need a law to get me to do this but unfortunately some people do.
     
  14. grnberetcj

    grnberetcj Active Member

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    All laws enacted have a "what if"....that's why we have an over abundance of lawyers, judges, appellate courts and the Supremes.....

    In the end when it comes to self-protection where a firearm is used, "It is better to be tried by twelve than carried by six".

    Curt - Delaware
     
  15. ccw1911

    ccw1911 Member

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    I have all the sympathy in the world for the family of the young man who shot himself. I don't know the facts of this case but do know that sometimes the facts are modified to make it sound better for the people involved. For instance a suicide is harder to accept than an accidental shooting. People kill themselves everyday accidently and on purpose with guns, cars, motorcycles, drugs, and on and on. Let's lay the blame where it belongs, we are all responsible for our own actions. Ross
     
  16. spritc

    spritc Active Member

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    Wolfram, it makes sense when you need one and that has only happened once in my life, but one time was too many. We have several entertainment centers that are about seven feet tall in three rooms in our house. Each has a handgun on top and another one comes out at night that rests beside my bed. You're foolish to think it can't happen to you.
    I hope you can survive when violence comes a knocking. My family and I did years ago because of my policy. Hopefully it will never happen again, but if it does we are ready.

    Steve
     
  17. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    Being prepared to defend yourself is a wise thing and I think we agree on that Steve. But what I'm saying is that multiple guns stashed around the house is not a good plan, at least not for those of us that may not have direct control over a group of childern that may be in the house. I keep one weapon very close at hand under my direct control, everything else is in the safe. Beyond that we have some very large and protective canine friends that will provide warning and buy us time to gain the upper hand in a confict.
     
  18. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Our two children grew up in a home with a large gun cabinet with about two dozen long guns and an equal number of handguns on display through its 5x7' glass front. The guns within were never treated as a "bad thing" and to further discourage curiosity, were available for safe handling at any time simply for the asking. But I was lucky to have level-headed kids. Our guns - those kids are now 26 and 31 and both are gun owners - are in a safe now and I'd never stash a loaded firearm somewhere in our home so an intruder could find it and use it on us. I'm too sound a sleeper to take that chance.

    The self-inflicted fatal injury to the child involved in the incident I cited was strictly accidental and suicide was not a factor. The child's older cousin and some friends were pursuing "other interests" in the same room when the younger boy found and started playing with the gun, so the older cousin removed the loaded magazine so the gun would be "safe."

    Jerry, of course you would notify the police the instant you determined one of your guns to be missing. But as Mark intimated, you may have one stolen and not even realize it for weeks or even longer, depending upon the type of gun it is and the time of the year (between hunting seasons, etc.). This crazy bill would make you an accessory to any crime committed with the gun because you failed to inventory your firearms at least every three days.

    It is too bad we gun owners have to constantly be on the defensive but it beats not having the guns at all. If someone breaks into your home and does nothing more than take that gun - even an unloaded one - you have stashed "just in case" and sells it on the street for drug money only to have it wind up in the hands of another 10 year-old who accidentally and innocently kills himself with it, how would you feel? It's easy to say it would be his own fault or blame it on his parents or the person who stole it from you, but what if it really happened and you were answering to a judge and jury because you were being accused of storing a firearm irresponsibly? Could you plead 'not guilty?'

    Ed
     
  19. 22hornet

    22hornet Well-Known Member

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    I spent a lot of time with my grandparents when I was growing up. They lived up a hollow in rural PA, and there wasn't much law enforcement around. The nearest neighbor was 2 miles away. There was a loaded shotgun or rifle behind just about every door, and a loaded revolver under Pap's pillow. We were taught gun safety as children, and nobody got shot.

    Having said that, I keep my guns in the safe. At night I put a short barreled 1100 beside the bed. The next morning, back in the safe it goes. Pain in the butt, but I figure it will help keep the lawyers at bay.
     
  20. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    George Orwell predicted passing laws that make the victim into a criminal.
     
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