Gun storage bill being debated in Colorado legislature


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Justin
February 10, 2004, 11:50 PM
Based on a story run on the teevee nooze tonight:

LAWMAKERS ARE DEBATING A BILL THAT WOULD HOLD GUN OWNERS LIABLE IF THEY'RE NEGLIGENT IN KEEPING GUNS AWAY FROM CHILDREN.
THE LAW WOULD ALLOW FOR GUN-OWNERS TO BE PROSECUTED IF A MINOR KILLS THEMSELVES OR SOMEONE ELSE WITH THEIR GUN...
AND THEY COULD SPEND UP TO SIX MONTHS IN PRISON.
BUT CRITICS ARGUE THE BILL COULD PREVENT PEOPLE FROM GETTING TO THEIR GUNS QUICKLY WHEN THEY NEED THEM.

Methinks it might be time to find out who is sponsoring this bill and give 'em a proper bit of our minds.

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mr_dove
February 10, 2004, 11:58 PM
I'd have to read the wording of the bill.

I support responsability over legislation. I don't really think making gunowners be responsible for their actions is a bad thing.

I've seen laws specifically requiring that guns be locked up or in a safe. I'd rather hold a negligent owner responsible then legislate their actions.

It just feels less intrusive. If your child causes harm, you are responible. This is common sense even without it being the law.

Standing Wolf
February 11, 2004, 12:27 AM
I'd rather hold a negligent owner responsible then legislate their actions.

That's well said.

mr_dove
February 11, 2004, 01:07 AM
I just had a few more thoughts on this topic as I drove home from class.

We always talk about holding criminals responsible for their actions rather than punishing law abiding gun owners. In a way, that's what this does. It only punishes when there is an error but does not require a set course of action.

I really like the fact that it seems to allow the gun owner to choose his own method for keeping his family and others safe. Some laws would require that your guns be kept locked up at all times. This laws would seem to allow the gun owner to use whatever means he chooses, including education about the dangers of guns and the responsability that comes with their use.

Isn't that what we all want? The freedom to govern our own lives and stay safe by whatever means our conscience dictates? I think we can all agree that some method needs to be used to keep kids safe from guns. Anti's would remove guns completely, while we choose to teach. This seems to allow us this right.

I think I'll read to bill to see if that's exactly what it says.

Bob Locke
February 11, 2004, 11:59 AM
The thing that bothers me about legislation such as this is that it's hypocritical in nature.

There's no such bill concerning the safe storage of car keys, for example, nor are there any penalties on the books for parents who fail to prevent their kids from taking the family car on a joy ride and causing a serious accident.

And you can teach and teach them all you want, but sometimes kids are just going to screw up. It's part of the maturing process. I had (and still have) really good parents, but that didn't stop me from having the occasional lapse in judgement. There has to be a point in time when the parents aren't held responsible for the kids anymore.

We lambast the anti's for their "13 kids each day" argument because they lump in 15- and 16-year-olds with pre-teens to get to that number, and we know it's erroneous to do that. So, when is a "kid" not a "kid" anymore?

emc
February 11, 2004, 12:09 PM
Take a look at the language of the proposed legislation. What does it say for those who happen to live alone, or are empty-nesters? If someone breaks in to the residence, and steals a gun and then commits a crime, is the gun owner then considered liable under this legislation?

Something to think about.

Ed

Justin
February 11, 2004, 07:31 PM
That's just the thing, I don't have a link to the proposed legislation, so I can't even say whether or not this is an offensive bill, though on its face I'm agin' it.

Publicola
February 11, 2004, 11:50 PM
http://www.leg.state.co.us/CLICS2004A/csl.nsf/fsbillcont3/4B54DC5AA398403587256E19007EE650?Open&file=158_01.pdf

That's the bill itself.

I haven't read it as I've been too busy with the Vermont carry law & the increase in hunting & fishing fees bills (respectively) but from what I've heard this ain't as bad as some other states, but it's still not good.

Even though I don't think it calls for a specific set of actions (locking up guns, etc...) it does place blame on the gunowner. Say a guy lives alone. His neighbor comes over to use the phone with her kid. Guy & neighbor start chatting. 1 minute later the kid finds the gun & shoots his/herself.
Yes, the guy should have kept an eye on who's in his house, but it'd be more the parents' responsibility.

Same deal - guy lives alone & the nieghbor kid breaks in, steals the gun & hurts someone. even though no set of actions was laid out in the bill I'd bet that most judges & gullible juries would view leaving a loaded gun around in a locked house as being irresponsible.

There are already laws on the books thta deal with criminal negligence. I see no need for this law & I see it causing more harm than good.

want to cut down on the already record low number of kids accientally shot? Get parents to teach their kids gun safety & have gun safety taught in the schools. Yes, take the kids out to an open air shooting range & let 'em see what a bullet will do to fresh fruit, bowling pins, etc... then teach them the rules of safety and odds are it'll stick w/ most of them.

BTW, here's a link for all the gun related bills in colorado this year

http://www.rmgo.org/billwatch04.htm

fjolnirsson
February 12, 2004, 12:14 AM
And I was considering Colorado, too.

Ca already has this law. Firearms are required to be secured at all times when not"in use".

Here is the answer from my academy instructor when I asked emc's question:
Instructor:Yes. If someone gains control of your firearm, you are responsible.
Me: So, even though I have no children, and my house was locked, if a dirtbag breaks into my house and takes my property, I am liable for his use of it?
Instructor:Yes.

What a load of crap.

emc
February 12, 2004, 01:01 AM
Fjolnirsson, I would be inclined to do some checking on the actual law itself, and any applicable court cases. It may very well be that ********** statute and case law back up what your instructor told you. BUT, not knowing his background, etc., I would be inclined to check further, if he cannot direct you to any sources to support what he says.

FWIW,

Ed

fjolnirsson
February 12, 2004, 01:22 AM
Emc,

It's a very new law, so no court cases on it yet. But the instructor is certified by our state POST board(peace officer standars and training) which oversees all police training in our state. I have checked with a few instructors and gotten about half and half responses as to yes or no.
At any rate, this is what is being taught to at least some of our new LE, so you can bet some poor fool will be arrested for it.

fjolnirsson
February 12, 2004, 04:01 AM
The wording of the law in CA is very vague. forgot to mention earlier. It could be interpreted either way, I suppose.

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