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Firearm Owner Liability for Suicide

Discussion in 'Legal' started by bearcreek, May 13, 2020.

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  1. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    I vaguely remember that, Jim. Got the locale?
     
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    University of Alabama - Huntsville.
     
  3. boom boom
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    boom boom Moderator Staff Member

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    Tort law is not one of my favorite areas of law nor a strongpoint as it is a state by state mixture of common law and statutes. Frank and Spats are far more familiar with tort law than I am.

    That being said, transfers via loans in general to other individuals are problematic under the law and a lot is going to turn on who knew what and when about the deceased's mental state at the time of the suicide. That gets very tricky when you have a layperson's evaluation versus expert witnesses as to what a layperson can testify to versus an expert. One has a similar issue if you have loan someone a faulty firearm, hand an inexperienced person a firearm with substantial recoil, or faulty ammunition--especially handloads.
     
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  4. old lady new shooter

    old lady new shooter Member

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    :what::what::what:

    Don't see how the range could be considered responsible (unless she also shot off her mouth when there about how she was gonna do it), but I can see how it would creep out some people.
     
  5. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    I provided in post 11 a link (which I have just repaired) to the statute. On it's face it provides a statutory basis upon which to hold a lender of a firearm civill liable for damages caused by the borrower's misuse, at least if the transfer of the gun were in violation of the background check requirements (18-12-112(5)) or a permissible, short-term loan without a background check (18-12-112(6)(h)).

    How those provisions of the statute might apply to a question of lender liability for loaning a gun to someone who uses it to commit suicide is not clear. That "joint and several liability" language isn't a good fit to that situation. I'm not inclined right now to do the research to see if any Colorado court decisions applying the statute might add some needed clarity.

    But in any event, there doesn't appear to be any reason to believe that a temporary transfer in compliance with, or exempt from, the background check requirements would in any way insulate the lender from civil liability for negligence.
     
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  6. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

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    In addition to waivers, the local ranges here will not rent a gun to someone who doesn't have one reasoning that if the person is interested in that long goodnight they could do it with their own firearm.

    That was the original thinking when Fla enacted the first version of a waiting period back in the 80's. If you had a gun you didn't need a "cooling off" period as you already have the means to do harm so buying another gun didn't enable you to do something you couldn't before the purchase. That was later amended, can't let logical thinking get in the way don't you know.
    For example, someone who owns a .44 magnum and wants a cheaper gun to plink with could go out and buy a .22 or some other gun shooting less expensive ammo with no waiting period.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
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  7. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    FLSwampRat writes:

    I remember that. I bought my first handgun from a dealer, and was subject to the three-day wait. I bought my second handgun, about three weeks later, from that same dealer. Since they knew (or could assume) that I already had one, I was not subject to the wait that second time. I bought four handguns that year (1987.) The third was at a gun show, and those were exempt at the time. The fourth was about an hour after I'd been issued a badge and sidearm, so I remained exempt.
     
  8. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

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    I have no issue with gun laws that make sense and accomplish their clear objective. I know it's probably silly to expect laws to have some degree of logic and consistency about them as most are passed to placate some group, either
    voters or lobbyists, but one can dream.

    When it was 18+ for long guns and ammo for same and 21+ for handguns and handgun ammo it was crazy.
    "Want 9mm or .45ACP for your carbine Mr 19 year old? Sure thing. Oh, you're going to use it in Dad's 1911? Sorry, can't sell it to you, have your Dad buy it."
     
  9. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    Please stay on-topic.
     
  10. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    Seems to have run its course
     
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