Laws Requiring "Properly Securing" Firearms


PDA






Plan2Live
February 25, 2014, 09:50 PM
One of our local TV stations aired Part 1 of a series focusing on stolen guns today. Although the reporter’s angle is not overtly blatant, it is still obvious that her intent is to plant the seed that South Carolina needs to pass laws holding gun owners responsible if their guns are stolen while not being “properly secured”. Link to the website text article, which will link you to the video if you choose to view it.http://www.wistv.com/story/24808709/wis-investigates-sc-ranked-11th-for-stolen-lost-guns

This TV article follows the lead of a local newspaper article published last week. Sorry, no link. Obviously “the game is afoot” as Holmes would say.

Although I believe, for selfish reasons, that I need to secure my firearms, this sudden surge of rhetoric regarding “proper storage” of firearms has me wondering, if my house or vehicle is locked;

1.Why should I be expected, under the threat of law, to take additional measures to secure my firearm simply because it is a firearm?

2. Why should I be held in greater disdain if a thief breaks into my property and steals a firearm and uses that stolen firearm in a crime than if that same thief broke into my property and used my “improperly secured” vehicle, knife, hammer or any other item to kill or injure someone?

3. Why is it more offensive to the general public if the thief uses a firearm stolen from me to harm someone than if that same thief stole “improperly secured” alcohol or prescription drugs from my house, became intoxicated and hurt someone while intoxicated on my stolen booze or meds?

Please don’t misinterpret my comments. I firmly believe that “properly securing” our firearms is a highly recommended practice. However, I don’t believe that failure to do so should expose us to any additional liability unless that additional liability is applied evenly to any and all inanimate objects. What say The High Road?

If you enjoyed reading about "Laws Requiring "Properly Securing" Firearms" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Plan2Live
February 25, 2014, 09:52 PM
Sorry about the bullet points. Apparently they didn't come out as intended and I had to edit and modify.

tommy.duncan
February 25, 2014, 10:17 PM
As far as I am concerned, if the homeowner locked the door he tried to secure the firearm. Some families don't have the money for safes or lockers.
Should the 2nd amendment only apply to people who can afford a safe?
Should a homeowner be charged because some thug was a thief?

rcmodel
February 25, 2014, 10:32 PM
A gun in your home is pretty useless to you if it is locked in a safe.

On the other hand, you would be pretty safe if you locked yourself in the safe with the gun
Until you ran out of air.

I keep guns at various strategic locations throughout my home.

If a thief breaks the door locks, or a window while I am gone?
I would have no regrets, and only hope the cops catch the SOB, lock him up, and throw the key away.

But even if they did, the revolving door justice system would have him back out on the street before the cops got done filling out the paperwork.

And that is the problem.
Not how I store my guns in my own home.

Rc

Skribs
February 25, 2014, 10:45 PM
RC, excellent post, as always.

My issue with mandating safe storage is several-fold, as has been posted:

1. Punish the person committing crimes. Theft, forcible felony, assault, murder, etc.
2. Sometimes "safe storage" is more about common sense than about what's mandated by law. I could get a locked gun cabinet that might comply with local laws that says "hey, put that crowbar in my crack and steal stuff from me", or I could use good hiding places to have quick access to my gun.
3. Safe storage laws mandate buying extra stuff, driving up the price and promoting classist gun control.

As with anything relating to guns and legal-mandated safety, I find it's best to leave it up to the shooter. It's just like talking about kids and accidents. I've read several articles about a 12-15-year-old who is at home alone or babysitting younger siblings when someone breaks in, and they use the gun to drive the person off. Had they not had access to the firearm, they could have been beaten or worse. I don't care how macho you are, if you see a 13-year-old with a rifle, all you see is the rifle.

49willys
February 25, 2014, 11:05 PM
Just another way to control guns.I mean,if I leave my car unlocked and a guy steals it and runs someone over,am I liable?I dont know why the govt.doesnt just ban criminals.But if they did that,only criminals would have criminals,and that makes too much sense.

HammsBeer
February 25, 2014, 11:06 PM
So they are all hot and bothered if you have a handgun in the nightstand, but never a word about the post-surgery oxycodone in the bathroom cabinet. :rolleyes:

Hardtarget
February 26, 2014, 12:51 AM
Ask the news reporter if some thug stole her camera and did child porn if she should be prosecuted.

I've used this twice in conversation with an "anti". I told one that if they owned a computer, a modem and internet hookup, and a digital camera they should just surrender to the police because they had the assault weapon of child pornographers. I was not the favorite at the party. :D

If my house or car is locked then the problem is the thug that broke in...not me.

We don't prosecute the rape victim because she is female.

stuff like this makes my brain hurt.

Mark

mgmorden
February 26, 2014, 01:44 AM
Its my feeling that this, along with the idea of "mandatory liability insurance", aren't really to have positive effects in and of themselves. These "solutions" are meant to make gun ownership more of a hassle. The more complicated, aggravating, and liability ridden they can make gun ownership, the less people will own guns (who'd have thunk?).

As less people own guns, gun control becomes a less controversial issue. There are always 3 groups on legislation: 1. People who want it. 2. People who don't want it. and 3. People who don't care. For gun control, if they can move enough people from group #2 into group #3 then eventually, they win.

Personally, I actually do lock my guns up. The vast majority of them are in a safe downstairs. One handgun sits in a lockbox on the nightstand. That one on the nightstand would probably not be locked up if it weren't for the fact that I have children in the house. Still, I don't want to be legally REQUIRED to lock the guns in a safe.

To me the whole idea is one of victim blaming. Blaming a homeowner whose guns were stolen because they didn't have them locked in a safe is like blaming a woman who just got raped because she "wore too much makeup". Doesn't make sense in either case.

Twiki357
February 26, 2014, 02:04 AM
I agree with the previous comments. How or if I secure my firearms is none of the governments business. If I leave my car unlocked with a gun sitting on the seat, that’s one thing. But if I lock my car and house and take reasonable precautions to protect my property, then some scumbag breaks in, that’s a criminal act and what he/she takes or what they do with it is no longer my responsibility.

I can neither afford or have a place to put a safe and a locked steel cabinet just advertises something worth stealing inside without providing much protection. I have guns in strategic locations and the rest are hidden in various locations. A safe or cabinet just puts all my eggs in one basket for a determined thief.

herrwalther
February 26, 2014, 03:00 AM
Safe storage laws would make the most sense if they were in good faith. Wheras if you locked your house or car, but the firearm was stolen anyway; you should not be prosecuted because you attempted safe storage. However I do not believe legislators know what good faith means and thus do not like safe storage laws. The only way to properly ensure that safe storage laws are followed is if inspections occur, and that is inviting a whole dose of trouble with the 4th Amendment.

I have a safe that I purchased as part of a storage requirement when I was still living with my parents. They wanted my firearms locked up or out of the house. So I found a good deal on a safe to abide by them. And that is about as safe storage as I will go.

hovercat
February 26, 2014, 03:53 AM
There was a time when you could buy dynamite at the feed store. Common sense was the rule, and the store owner knew that farmer John just needed a few 1/4 sticks to clear stumps out of the back 40. When we got away from knowing our neighbors, we tried to put laws in the place of common sense.
I have a book of regulations to follow to store a gallon of paint thinner on a construction site. Inspected at the whim of OSHA with large fines attached for non-compliance.
Some folks see firearms as dangerous as dynamite. They should educate themselves or stay out of other folk's business.

To paraphrase Thoreau,' one occupation that is full is DOING GOOD. If I met someone intent upon doing good to me I would run away as fast as I can.' Some folks want to do their good to you whether you want it or not. The reporter is one of these.

I raised 2 children. Firearms still are stored in the closet or on the nightstand. At 14 years old my wife told my son to use a coaster while at his desk in his room doing homework. He grabbed the closest usable object, a plastic box full of 9mm reloads, and that was his coaster until he moved out on his own.

We need to stop trying to legislate common sense and start requiring that folks apply it or face the consequences. A firearm inside my unlocked front door is secure.

FAS1
February 26, 2014, 11:13 AM
We (TX) are 1 of the few states that require storing your gun where it is not accessible to children. It does place some liability on the gun owners if a child finds an unsecured gun and harms themselves or someone else, but I have never heard of someone being charged with anything if their gun is stolen from a locked home or vehicle. TX also doesn't get involved with safe storage standards like CA DOJ does.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/files/2012/07/gun-control-laws-and-gun-deaths-florida.jpg

AlexanderA
February 26, 2014, 11:33 AM
If "secure storage" is mandated, the next step is random police inspections to make sure guns are secured (as they have in England now). Make no mistake -- this is another insidious tactic of the antigunners. Harass gun owners to the point where more and more of them give up on guns.

Arkansas Paul
February 26, 2014, 11:58 AM
I firmly believe that “properly securing” our firearms is a highly recommended practice. However, I don’t believe that failure to do so should expose us to any additional liability unless that additional liability is applied evenly to any and all inanimate objects. What say The High Road?

You will find that the vast majority of us here agree with you.
I think it is a little different when talking about children, guns and negligence, but it would certainly be insane for a burglar to break in and steal something, then the homeowner get into legal trouble because he "allowed" the burglar to steal certain things.

Pizzapinochle
February 26, 2014, 12:18 PM
However, I don’t believe that failure to do so should expose us to any additional liability unless that additional liability is applied evenly to any and all inanimate objects. What say The High Road?

I don't really think you would be happy with your "applied to all objects" idea.

Wyatt
February 26, 2014, 12:52 PM
I don't think if someone enters my house illegally, I should in any way be liable for their actions henceforth! To me, a locked or unlocked house makes no difference! They have already committed one crime and now it is my responsibility to keep them from committing further ones?

fshnfvr
February 26, 2014, 12:59 PM
I agree with all of the comments. As a gun owner with no children, in a very "nice" neighborhood I never even had the thought cross my mind that I would have guns stolen. When it did happen I was treated like the criminal by my local police. They couldn't fathom that I didn't have a safe and now those cop killing devises where out on the streets.

Never once did the police make negative remarks towards the thiefs only me for not "properly" securing my firearms. Since when is inside my locked house not properly secure. It still makes my blood boil.

I now have a 700lb safe.

NavyLCDR
February 26, 2014, 01:22 PM
I'm curious...there a couple of posters who mention "if the door was locked"....

Why is it necessary for me to take any steps in order to prevent the criminal act? Is it any less of a crime to enter my home or my car and steal an object if the doors were unlocked?

(I do lock my doors, btw). "Well, sir, you did not take 'reasonable precautions' to prevent that burglar from entering your home." Really?

scythefwd
February 26, 2014, 01:29 PM
I already do more than they would require for gun storage. My view is this though.. I have toddlers and light triggers.. if they found a loaded gun (only good gun is a loaded one) and popped off a round, it would very much be my fault. Yes, they should know, but they dont always listen. Should you be requried to if you dont have those concerns.. of course not. There isnt a commercial safe that I cant get into in a matter of 20-30 minutes if I'm left alone with it.. ok, maybe a few but nothing under 2k for the most part. There may be a rare exception. Most safes I can cut in half in about 5-10 minutes... As long as you have powertools, no safe is really SAFE anyways.

Midwest
February 26, 2014, 01:52 PM
If "secure storage" is mandated, the next step is random police inspections to make sure guns are secured
Correct and this is what Australian gun owners have to deal with 'random inspections'....

https://www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=34446#storage

"What are the storage requirements for a firearm licence?
There are specific storage requirements for each category of firearm licence. These storage requirements must be met in order for an individual to possess a firearm. Divisional Firearm Officers will check that you are storing your firearm(s) correctly both when you obtain a firearm for the first time and whenever you change your storage address. They may also conduct random inspections from time to time.

Each licence application form contains information about the storage requirements for that particular category and type of licence. For more information, you should contact your local DFO or see schedule 4 of the Firearms Act."

And this is what UK gun owners have to deal with

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/9446474/UK-gun-owners.html


"Finally, your home, and the secure cabinet where you store your guns, has to be inspected by the police and a face-to-face interview is arranged with a Firearms Liaison Officer (FLO), known as “looking in the eye”. It is the licence-holder’s duty to ensure that nobody else has access to their gun cabinet."


The gun safe has to be bolted to a brick wall!

http://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/OnlineServices/ApplyFirearmsCertificate/Pages/Security.aspx#null

"However, the Chief Constable needs to be satisfied that they can be stored safety before granting a certificate. Therefore the following conditions must be met:

"All shotguns and firearms must be kept in bona fide gun cabinets. Cabinets must be located in the main building of the house and not in a garage or outbuilding. The cabinets must be rawl-bolted to a solid brick wall and out of sight of casual callers. Section 1 ammunition must be stored securely and separately from section 1 weapons"


This says that a new law in Canada allows for 'inspections'

http://www.davekopel.com/2a/Mags/hidden-agenda-behind-gun-storage.htm

"Canada's newest gun law, which goes into effect next year, gives the police the authority to "inspect" private homes to ensure that gun storage laws are being complied with."


If we are not careful we could end up like Australia and or the U.K.
.

Godsgunman
February 26, 2014, 04:29 PM
Coming at this from a different angle, if the anti's want the firearm "properly secured" then I think we can use that to our favor. There's no better security than my firearm being on my person anywhere and everywhere. Being in complete control of my firearm at all times, sounds like a very good "compromise" don't you think? We just need to learn to play the game ;)

SFsc616171
February 26, 2014, 06:02 PM
I am a hermit. I have no siblings and their seed, nor any of my own. I secure the firearm by having it within reach, to protect my own security, life and limb, at my beck and call, 24/7/365. My "corridors of fire" are limited by the 1970's structural design of my abode, as are the "corridors of entry", both physical and planned for. To have me "secure my firearm", would disarm me both in my abode, and out and away from my abode.

My life is mine, to make aggressors pay dearly for their folly of taking from me, or for me to fritter it away by succumbing to dalliances by others that cannot physically live my life, in their attempts to rule over me, without my consent.

AlexanderA
February 26, 2014, 06:41 PM
Mandatory secure storage of guns (and the police inspections that go along with that) violate both the 2nd and the 4th Amendments. The lawyers would have a field day attacking this in the courts.

This is something that seems "reasonable" on its face, but is quite tyrannical in its application. I'm not prepared to have the Gestapo barging into my home whenever they feel like it.

Outlaw Man
February 26, 2014, 06:56 PM
Like someone else said, when will we* learn it has nothing to do with keeping people from getting hurt?

*by "we" I mean society. Those if us on here are well aware of the real impetus.

Midwest
February 26, 2014, 07:59 PM
Lets view this story in a different perspective.....

Replace 'Queensland' with the name of your state or city.

"Queensland police conduct random inspections
Queensland police have been carrying at random safe-storage inspections without notice this past week, and say more are going to happen in coming weeks. They say a number of compliance issues have been identified during the dozens of inspections....."

http://www.sportingshootermag.com.au/news/snap-shots45

Scary..isn't it? We need to keep this from ever happening in our country, city or state...

.

huntsman
February 26, 2014, 08:19 PM
One of our local TV stations aired Part 1 of a series focusing on stolen guns today.

Typical sweeps month pap, I keep my gun locked up cause I choose to. Mandatory is a chaffing word as far as I'm concerned.

Frank Ettin
February 26, 2014, 08:31 PM
All nice arguments when preaching to the choir. Does anyone have any good arguments likely to convince the supporters of safe storage legislation?

That is really the issue. If the proponents of such legislation have enough support the laws will be enacted. And I really can't see any of the arguments I've read so far in this thread swaying someone who thinks we ought to take some extra steps to secure our guns from unauthorized hands.

Our history is replete with examples of people exercising rights and dominion over their property in ways thought by others to be irresponsible; and when enough people agree, laws have been adopted restricting the activities.

Don't be naive and believe it can't or won't or shouldn't happen. It will happen unless we can find powerful, convincing arguments why such laws aren't needed or shouldn't be adopted -- or can otherwise adroitly exercise political power to keep them from being adopted.

brboyer
February 26, 2014, 11:05 PM
We (TX) are 1 of the few states that require storing your gun where it is not accessible to children. It does place some liability on the gun owners if a child finds an unsecured gun and harms themselves or someone else, but I have never heard of someone being charged with anything if their gun is stolen from a locked home or vehicle. TX also doesn't get involved with safe storage standards like CA DOJ does.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/files/2012/07/gun-control-laws-and-gun-deaths-florida.jpg
I see Florida is highlighted on this map too. As with most these things, it's somewhat misleading. Florida's law prohibits 'unsafe' storage, but it is only criminal if the minor gets the gun and does something illegal with it. Also, the law does not apply if the gun is obtained via an illegal act by any person, i.e. theft. Which is the only constitutional method to require 'safe storage'.

texasgun
February 26, 2014, 11:18 PM
I'm against mandatory storage laws... that being said: there's always a civil lawsuit component (and sometimes a criminal one) when children/minors are involved.

so: hiding guns in different places around the house is ok; but NOT when you have children around. common sense dictates that. kinda like you are not leaving the medicine cabinet unsecured or have liquor sitting on the kitchen table unsupervised when a toddler roams around...

danez71
February 26, 2014, 11:34 PM
One of our local TV stations aired Part 1 of a series focusing on stolen guns today. Although the reporter’s angle is not overtly blatant, it is still obvious that her intent is to plant the seed that South Carolina needs to pass laws holding gun owners responsible if their guns are stolen while not being “properly secured”. Link to the website text article, which will link you to the video if you choose to view it.http://www.wistv.com/story/24808709/wis-investigates-sc-ranked-11th-for-stolen-lost-guns

This TV article follows the lead of a local newspaper article published last week. Sorry, no link. Obviously “the game is afoot” as Holmes would say.

Although I believe, for selfish reasons, that I need to secure my firearms, this sudden surge of rhetoric regarding “proper storage” of firearms has me wondering, if my house or vehicle is locked;

1.Why should I be expected, under the threat of law, to take additional measures to secure my firearm simply because it is a firearm?

2. Why should I be held in greater disdain if a thief breaks into my property and steals a firearm and uses that stolen firearm in a crime than if that same thief broke into my property and used my “improperly secured” vehicle, knife, hammer or any other item to kill or injure someone?

3. Why is it more offensive to the general public if the thief uses a firearm stolen from me to harm someone than if that same thief stole “improperly secured” alcohol or prescription drugs from my house, became intoxicated and hurt someone while intoxicated on my stolen booze or meds?

Please don’t misinterpret my comments. I firmly believe that “properly securing” our firearms is a highly recommended practice. However, I don’t believe that failure to do so should expose us to any additional liability unless that additional liability is applied evenly to any and all inanimate objects. What say The High Road?

Lets see.....

1) For the same reasons that many (most? all?) states have additional laws to secure pools from being accessed by children. Locked gates. Latches that are X high, fences with no holes big enough for a foot to climb, outward swinging gates... etc.

2) For the same reasons you would be if a kid drowned in your pool and you didnt lock the gate.

3) For the same reasons pools are.


Having said that, as already noted, you're preaching to the choir.

Everyone should reread Franks post.

brboyer
February 26, 2014, 11:45 PM
Lets see.....

1) For the same reasons that many (most? all?) states have additional laws to secure pools from being accessed by children. Locked gates. Latches that are X high, fences with no holes big enough for a foot to climb, outward swinging gates... etc.

2) For the same reasons you would be if a kid drowned in your pool and you didnt lock the gate.

3) For the same reasons pools are.


Having said that, as already noted, you're preaching to the choir.

Everyone should reread Franks post.
Can you show us in the Constitution where pools are listed?
Or perhaps a ruling from the United States Supreme Court that tells us ownership/possession/use of a pool is an individual, inalienable, right. ;)

316SS
February 26, 2014, 11:46 PM
Blaming a gun owner for the unauthorized misuse of her stolen gun is victim blaming, pure and simple:

It was her fault [she was raped | her gun was stolen] because she [was wearing provocative clothing | failed to secure it properly].

danez71
February 26, 2014, 11:54 PM
Can you show us in the Constitution where pools are listed?
Or perhaps a ruling from the United States Supreme Court that tells us ownership/possession/use of a pool is an individual, inalienable, right. ;)

I understand and agree.

......if it was that simple, Franks post would post wouldn't be valid.

Frank Ettin
February 26, 2014, 11:56 PM
Can you show us in the Constitution where pools are listed?
Or perhaps a ruling from the United States Supreme Court that tells us ownership/possession/use of a pool is an individual, inalienable, right.Swell, but no one cares except us (and not even all of us, as evidenced by a number of past threads on this topic on this board and others).

Unless we can come up with better stories, the laws will be enacted. That leaves us betting on the courts tossing them. I don't think that's a very good bet.

If you enjoyed reading about "Laws Requiring "Properly Securing" Firearms" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!