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How do You ask Someone to give up Their Gun?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by AR-10, Oct 4, 2003.

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  1. AR-10

    AR-10 Member

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    Moved my mom into A fourplex style senior housing neighborhood today.

    She has a Colt Trooper .357Mag that she has kept around to feel secure over the years. She just moved into a fourplex unit ( one of twenty on site) today, and I am thinking it is time to ask her to pass her piece on to me for good.

    Her health is not good, she cannot shoot it or handle it safely anymore. The complex is the safest area to live in this town. Due to her physical and mental state, her neighbors were safer yesterday than they are today. Her new neighbors, that is.

    This really is the time for her to pass it onto me. She has a history of chasing off "prowlers", and frankly her new neighbors are at some small risk. Still, how do you tell someone you care for that they are no longer fit enough to be trusted with a weapon, their most effective means of self protection?

    That is what it will come to. I will have to look her in the eye and tell her that she is incompetant. Too old and crazy to own a firearm, and may I have it for my collection, please. You're plenty safe here.

    I discussed the move with her yesterday, her revolver quite specifically. Asked her to have it unloaded and in a case, ready to give it to me before we started moving, as there would be kids and other unaware indiviuals helping. I knew it was loaded right then, because there had been an incident that upset her the night before. I would transport it and keep it secure till she was unpacked. When I got to her house and we were starting, I inquired about it. She did not know where it was, but it was in one of those boxes. :banghead:

    We had already loaded it on the truck at that point.

    Not that any of us knew, till we were unpacking boxes.

    She can't drive, but refuses to sell her vehicle, which is costing her money she does not have. It is a freedom/independence issue, which I certainly understand. Her pistol falls into the same catagory. I understand that too.

    Growing Elderly sucks. How do I preserve her dignity while protecting her neighbors?
     
  2. BryanP

    BryanP Member

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    Blanks?
     
  3. AR-10

    AR-10 Member

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    My brother-in-law reloads. I was telling my wife today that loads with no powder may be the answer.

    Seems very lame to a gunnut like me.
     
  4. MagKnightX

    MagKnightX Member

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    Well, loads with no powder could leave a bullet in the barrel, causing an extremely high potential for a KB. It's called a squib load. DO NOT DO IT!
     
  5. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    No powder and a snapcap "primer" might do the trick.

    However, first time she tries to shoot a 'coon or 'possum in the back yard, she'll figure it out and go buy some ammo.

    I'd hate to be in your position AR-10. You may have to have her declared "incompetent" :(
     
  6. AR-10

    AR-10 Member

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    Three rounds with a primer and no powder would be a bad day for the revolver, but I don't think pieces would go flying.

    Live rounds would be a serious problem. As I eluded earlier, she has an exiteable nature.

    At this point, I still see myself asking her tomorrow to give me her firearm.

    It's for the children, you know.
     
  7. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Member

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    There's the upfront Boy Scout method you've described with all of the potential for unpleasantness associated with it.

    It is the best way to go though an unfortunate point in someone's life you love.

    Having said that, if its in some box somewhere and said box happens to get placed somewhere else... "Which box did you say it was in Mom? I can't find it anywhere!" and its never found again... well, thats not taking the high road, now is it, so we won't go there...

    Take her out shooting one more time with it and judge her ability to use the thing and hit the target. Then have the heart to heart. Maybe buy her some little NAA .22 to take the 357's place...if recoil is an issue and she can still control her mental & eye/hand coordination.

    There is NO good answer coming from my mind. I'm putting myself in her shoes and I think I'm gonna have to be room temp before I want my kids to take my last firearm from my person and even then I may want to be buried with it. ;) If I'm out of it enough to be a danger to someone nearby then the kids will have to take it and I'll probably never know or even remember where I had it last. I hope I don't degenerate like that mentally, but I might and if so, there it is.

    Good luck AR

    edited to add, I just re-read your post where she can't shoot it or handle it. Keep her and her neighbors safe. She's an accident waiting to happen. Reloading some empty-non-primed brass with bullet only, no powder is also not good. Just do the dirty deed and lose sleep for one night.

    Adios
     
  8. Kamicosmos

    Kamicosmos Member

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    Could you ask her to 'borrow' it? Drop by on a Saturday, say you're hitting the range with friends. Then just stall on bringing it back.

    If she's in a seniors' home, does she realize that? (I'm mean, if nurses visit her daily and things like that, she probably shouldn't have a firearm around.) Perhaps there is a rule at the establishment about firearms. That way, you're not disarming her, they are.

    Good luck. I don't look forward to those times with my parents. But hopefully that's a couple decades off yet...
     
  9. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I'd be inclined to have a chat with her doctor and another with the senior citizens' housing complex management team.
     
  10. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    I don't think the problem is her being able to hit the target, I think the problem is her choosing appropriate targets.

    My only concern there is that there might be some Second Amendment Bigots among the complex management team and she may find herself looking for a new place to live.
     
  11. hammer4nc

    hammer4nc Member

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    Don't know all the details, but one thought that comes to mind is have you checked the rules of the apt. complex? Political issues aside, there might be a clause in the lease about firearms, which may provide a pretext for you to bring up the subject.

    If you haven't already done so, you ought to est. a relationship with her doctor(s)...you said there are other health problems, and the gun concern is just one of many independence issues you will be dealing with. Many geriatric doctors are trained to provide some good counseling support (or references) for things like this. Sometimes unpleasant news is received better, if it comes from a trusted professional, rather than a family member. Worth a try.

    Senior housing varies widely in the level of support services they provide. If your mom is fully aware of these, she might feel more secure without the weapon around.

    Been there, done that. Good luck.
     
  12. AR-10

    AR-10 Member

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    She is settling into a housing complex with twenty buidings, and no onsight management or medical staff. It sits right across from the Care Center (sort of the next stop), but it is an independant-living neighborhood.

    Borrowing or loosing it seemed atractive this morning, but at the end of the day I left and she had it in hand. I started to play the "where the heck is it?" game, but in the end...

    I find it very distastefull to be dishonest with her. My siblings have been bitching about this for two years, and they are right. She should not own a firearm.

    Perhaps "borrowing" it will be the less painfull path.
     
  13. Edward429451

    Edward429451 member

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    Not a nice position to be in. Dignity can be a sensitive thing. If you take the "guns aren't allowed here" stance, you may distance yourself as family par se and dignity is still lost maybe. That is a tough one. Maybe you could borrow it, have the firing pin removed (if its frame mounted) and assemble some deactivated primer / no powder loads for it as well. If she ever realizes its broke, you take it to get it 'fixed' and brainstorm some more.

    Good luck.

    Edited too add, a half case full of sand to be able to shake back & forth may keep her from smelling a rat if she was to become suspicious for any reason...
     
  14. pax

    pax Member

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    Sheesh. What an awful question.

    So much of it depends on her.

    Of the sneaky solutions, Edward's seems the best to me. Disable the gun itself, not the ammo. If she still has the gun, she won't be trying to get ahold of another one. She could buy new ammo if she wants, but it still wouldn't work in the gun. She wouldn't be able to shoot anyone, but she also wouldn't have the gun taken away from her and used against her. If she discovers the gun won't fire, you can offer to take it in and get it fixed (and stall) -- or use the occasion then to tell her, "No, I won't help you keep a gun in your home any more." And finally, if she does point it at one of the neighbors, at least none of the neighbors will get hurt or killed ... and maybe the neighbors would take care of the problem for you at that point.

    All that said, I have to say that if that day ever comes for me, I really, really, really hope my children are able to deal honestly with me. That's a measure of dignity, too.

    pax

    He was either a man of about a hundred and fifty who was rather young for his years, or a man of about a hundred and ten who had been aged by trouble. -- P.G. Wodehouse
     
  15. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

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    I am against loadin it with dummy ammo.

    She could brandish it and get shot by another.

    Sam
     
  16. Andrew Rothman

    Andrew Rothman Member

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    I feel for you; this is tough.

    But between hurt feelings and hurt people, you know what to do.

    The cops will shoot her just as dead whether it's full of live rounds or dummies. Take it away.

    Matt
     
  17. sm

    sm member

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    Allow me to share what I did, let me swallow past this lump first.
    I had a customer so full of life and energy , a shooter, whom taught her kids and grandkids to shoot. Like a mom to everyone she met, yeah me too. Run of events, starting with being a passenger in a severe car wreck, then stroke, downhill fast, other complications. The woman I saw was not the same I had known. Kids and family she wouldn't talk to about the big diamond ring she wore,or the guns she kept for protection. She had to go to a Senior home, and I was asked for advice by the family. I summoned her attorney,her Dr. and my Dr. friend, these two Dr.'s knew and respected each other. Fear was that large family dia ring would be lost or stolen, concern/ fear was she might lose faculities and disharge a weapon. In and out of reality at this point. She had always taken care of things her way, by herself.

    I had duplicated the family ring and substituted for the large dia a CZ for the one on her finger. I went in to visit and to clean her ring, yes I switched rings. She trusted me , her attorney, not her Dr. We staged a lie, no other way to describe it. He Dr. informed her of "Policy" and terms of Senior Complex dictated no weapons ( a lie) I "acted" enraged, cursed out her Dr. , tried to get the attorney to find a loophole...her DR. stormed out...My DR Comes in and she has settled down some, he too curses the other DR., the complex...she finally understood we had all done what we could. She rarely cursed, but she cursed everyone, the decline of society, stupid gun laws...she turned over the weapons. She thanked me for trying, Thanked my friend the Dr. and her attorney. She died 30 days later. One of the hardest things I ever did.

    It was not about money, the family is not this way, it was about sentiment, and safety. Safety in regard to her, we didn't want someone to rob her and in the process of going after the ring, or guns causing death or injury, to her or neighbors.

    Tough, tough to stage a lie to protect someone from themself, tough to be involved in,orchestrate. Tough to see a lady end up like this. She said she appreciated my integrity, in trying to fight for her rights. I believe she passed with dignity. My integrity took a big blow that day. <lump in throat.
     
  18. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    I have dealt with 100 dud reloads (.38, .357, .44) at the range I used to work, NONE of them ever made it past the forcing cone. Even with magnum primers. The cylinder would lock up and we kept a stout wooden dowel and a rubber mallet to gently return the bullet into the case.
    (I know it was 100 because when we hit the 100 mark we stopped buying from them.)

    Besides, a drop of 3-in1 oil on the anvil of a primer will deactivate it.
     
  19. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    They say you don't really grow up until your ma dies. It's true. Been there and it sucks. And right up until I found her dead she thought I couldn't do anything right. If your ma feels better having a firearm, so what? Leave it but take the ammo. Mom will feel secure and so will you.
     
  20. Dilettante

    Dilettante Member

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    After the "one of these boxes" business...why didn't you just make it disappear right then? :confused:
    She's already admitted she doesn't know where it is...if she never finds it and never mentions it...who cares? Or is she going to go looking for it and demand to know what happened to it?
    If she's still that sharp, shouldn't she be okay with it?
    I just don't understand it.
     
  21. gunsmith

    gunsmith member

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    When I lived in Florida

    A young neighbor (18yr old gal) was run down by a confused old lady
    driving a car.
    Take the car and the gun.
    When you were young she wouldn't let you cross the street without
    permission. you didn't like it much but it saved your life.
    Do the same for her.
    The GF's old Auntie chases off coyotes in AZ all the time with blanks.
    I'm sure any prowler would leave too...
    Good luck
     
  22. 45King

    45King Member

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    Tough, tough question. However, Truth is always The High Road. Don't deceive her, whatever you do. Tell her the truth, and remind her that if she doesn't comply voluntarily with your request to hand over the gun and the car, you may have no choice but to have her declared incompetent. Tell her what could happen if she keeps them both, and ask would she like to live with those possible consequences. Tell her what the consequences of having her declared incompetent would be, and how that could be a much worse affront to her dignity than to voluntarily give up some things. Above all, make sure she knows that what you are doing is out of love and concern for her safety and well-being. If she can't see this, you must face the fact that she has indeed slipped beyond reason, and should be declared incompetent.

    It's tough for someone to give up independence, but remind her that God planned it that way--our parents take care of us when we're too young to take care of ourselves, and when our parents get too old to care for themselves, we then take care of them. It's a natural order that has prevailed for all but the last hundred years of human history.
     
  23. Wanderer

    Wanderer Member

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    Do not EVER give her squib loads. If a bullet got lodged in the barrel, and she fired again, she would probably lose her hand or have the revolver blow up in her face. Give her lightly loaded .38 rounds, or as some people suggested, a smaller gun.
     
  24. Kharn

    Kharn Member

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    How about offering to do a detailed cleaning on it and keep the firing pin? (If the Trooper has a non-hammer mounted pin)

    Kharn
     
  25. pesticidal

    pesticidal Member

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    I find it very distastefull to be dishonest with her. My siblings have been bitching about this for two years, and they are right. She should not own a firearm.


    So, you are being "delegated" by your siblings to be the one to take away her weapon? If they are that concerned, you should all get together, explain you concerns as a family, and deal with it.

    I had to take away my dad's driver's license a few months before he died. I knew he was a slow driver, but I followed him around town one day, and was amazed that he didn't get into an accident. I explained to hiim that I was concerned for his safety, as well as others. He didn't like it very much, and said he needed to get around. I told him I would take him anywhere he needed or wanted to go.

    It's a tough choice, and a tough job, but you need to do it. Now. I wish you luck.
     
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