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Storage of firearms in the home - WA

Discussion in 'Legal' started by ohbythebay, Jul 7, 2014.

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  1. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Member

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    There is no such law.


    This thread is full of fail.
     
  2. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    Well it's not necessarily a matter of a cop inspecting your home. But if someone does get your gun and hurts someone with it, it's no longer only your business.

    Consider this case from gun-friendly Montana, Estate of Strever v. Cline, 278 Mont. 165 (Mont., 1995), at 174 -- 175 (emphasis added):
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
  3. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Sigh. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.41
    It really, really is not difficult to find the firearms laws in our state. And they just aren't that complicated, either.

    One of local prosecutors had to struggle mightily to find a law under which to charge the adult family members of a young boy who took an unsecured handgun from their house to his elementary school, where he shot a 10-year old female schoolmate (fortunately, she lived, albeit with some permanent physical damage).

    In this state, it really boils down to common sense. As it should.
     
  4. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    Yup.
     
  5. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    I fail to see the difference. An unsecure gun is an unsecure gun and there was a clear lack of responsibility here. I think the prosecutor made the right call. Too many bleeding hearts for me. The prosecution would have selected me to be on that jury for sure.
     
  6. ohbythebay

    ohbythebay Member

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    I just asked the question

    To be SURE I was not missing something. No, WA does not have any such law. I am not under any restriction to keep my guns locked; nor will I as I have several strategically placed for home defense. If someone did break in and steal one (unlikely as if they get past the dogs, there is always someone home), then I am not criminally liable for their acts.

    Now, that does not mean someone wouldn't try a civil suit that I was negligent, allowed a criminal to get my guns and killed their auntie.. but that is just lawyers looking for a payday.

    So I would have to request a jury of my peers (CC holders, gun owners...) :D

    Get Pelosi and Hilary voters on there and I would be toast :what:
     
  7. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    It's was a purely emotional thing. Some jurors would not convict the father because he already has a full cup of guilt to live with. And obviously, the father appeared sufficiently contrite and devastated.

    He might get it, and you'd be the one paying, directly or through your insurance premiums.

    You can't have one.

    1. Nothing in the law of the United States entitles you to a jury of your peers, i. e., people belonging to the same societal group, especially based on age or status, as you. You are entitled to an impartial jury (Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States).

      The notion of a "jury of one's peers" comes from Magna Carta and was indeed intended to refer to being judged by one's equals. Magna Carta was forced on King John by the feudal barons to protect their interests. Their first concern was that they be judged only by nobles of similar rank. (And indeed until relatively recently, a British noble charged with a crime was entitled to be tried in the House of Lords. The last trial in the House of Lords was in 1935, and the trial jurisdiction of the House of Lords was abolished in 1948.)

    2. This is how jury selection works:

      • Each side gets a set number of peremptory challenges and can thereby excuse a limited number of prospective jurors without stating a cause.

        • A lawyer owes an absolute duty of loyalty to his client. He is required to exercise his professional judgment in the best interests of his client.

        • So he will use his peremptory challenges to exclude those people from the jury who he, in the exercise of his professional judgment, believes will be least receptive to his client, his client's position, the witnesses his client might be offering and/or his client's legal arguments.

        • At the same time he will need to use his peremptory challenges to exclude those people from the jury who he, in the exercise of his professional judgment, believes will be most receptive to his client's opponent's position, etc.

      • But he has only a limited number of peremptory challenges. And the other side will be doing exactly the same thing.

      • So the result is that if each side has, say, ten peremptory challenges, the lawyer on each side will excuse without cause the ten possible jurors he has decided will be least desirable from his particular perspective. If there are 50 jurors in the jury pool, the jury will then consist of persons from the remaining group of 30, unless one side or the other can convince the judge of actual bias.

      • The result of the process is probably going to be the most impartial jury available out of that jury pool of 50 people.

    3. It's fashionable to denigrate the jury system and process wthout really understanding it.
     
  8. ohbythebay

    ohbythebay Member

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    Frank...The Jury

    I knew that...I was making a joke...in point of fact, the dual process is sort of a joke that one can be found not guilty of a crime yet; be sued in a civil suit.

    I look at it this way from a self-defense standpoint. I would rather be alive defending my actions than dead hoping for my widow to nail the bastard ...
     
  9. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    It's not a joke. It's a function of the differences in the burden of proof.

    An acquittal in a criminal trial is not an affirmative finding that you didn't do it. It's merely a finding that the prosecutor wasn't able to convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that you did it. And the burden of proof in a civil matter is merely a preponderance of the evidence.
     
  10. ohbythebay

    ohbythebay Member

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    Actually ..it is

    Actually, it is because you were innocent UNTIL proven guilty. I am sure some cases are justified however; from a pure perspective, it feels like double jeopardy in some cases.

    Case in point (extreme) - A homeowner shoots an intruder in self-defense and is tried. He is acquitted of all charges as the jury feels his actions where justified and within the self-defense laws.

    The intruder now turns around and files a civil suit for being shot. Or the family sues for wrongful death.

    That is an extreme case but my point is, if you are innocent, then you are innocent.

    This is just my opinion. I know the reality of the real world, it happens all the time. It is the law. That doesn't mean its right.
     
  11. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    No, not really, not technically.

    "Innocent until proven guilty" is merely a sort of non-technical, casual way of referring to the presumption of innocence.

    The presumption of innocence is the technical, legal rule describing the prosecution's burden of proof in a trial on a criminal charge. In a trial on a criminal charge, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defendant in a trial on a criminal charge is presumed to be innocent, but that presumption is rebuttable if the prosecution, in the opinion of the jury, meets its burden of proof. If the prosecution fails to meet its burden of proof, the defendant is entitled to a verdict of "not guilty."

    So no, he is acquitted because the prosecution could not convince the jury that the defendant's actions were not, assuming that the defendant has made a prima facie case for justification.

    But the jury has not affirmatively found the defendant was, as a matter of fact, innocent.

    But we're talking about the law here, not what is cosmically right and wrong. Concepts of right and wrong are something of a chimera anyway.

    It's like a conversation in Major Barbara between Andrew Undershaft (the maker of cannon) and his son:

    People everywhere are continually struggling to reach a common understanding of "justice", "morality", "love", "right and wrong." They are generally unsuccessful, except with regard to the most extreme circumstances. Sure, murder is off the table; but when does killing someone morph from murder to justified self defense. We can generally agree that it is wrong to steal the property of another; but many, perhaps most, would assert that it would be unjust to punish a man for stealing bread to feed his starving child.

    But while people everywhere are struggling unsuccessfully to reach a common understanding of "justice", "morality", "love", "right and wrong", we still need a way to resolve disputes without tearing the fabric of society asunder. We might not all be able to reach agreement on "justice", "morality", "love", "right and wrong", except on occasion at certain crossing points, but in the real world we must still be able to get on with life.

    Perhaps a true common understanding of "justice", "morality", "love", "right and wrong" will come to us in Heaven. But in the meantime we'll need to try to get along as best we can with the tools we have.
     
  12. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    Home carry; James Yeager; safes.....

    In response to #21, I agree. If you have problems or issues with firearm security/safety, you can "home carry"(carry a firearm on you) or secure it in a safe/lock box until you need it.
    You Tube gun channel host & tactics trainer; James Yeager says he "home carrys" & doesn't remove his gun until he goes to bed. :uhoh:
    I'm not against home carry, per se, but I used to consider it excessive.
    Now, in 2014, after a few high profile events, I don't think it's as far fetched.
    There are many well engineered safes & gun cases that offer quick access.

    I'd add that in my state(which is fairly pro-gun/pro 2A), a young woman is now facing 2 felony charges for allowing her 3 year old child to get access to a .380acp pistol. :uhoh:
    The girl shot a relative & then herself. The woman had the compact pistol on a stand by her bed.
    The prosecutors in her area were not very lenient.

    My point is that I wouldn't expect a DA or prosecutor to be sympathetic after a ND all the time. This too, wouldn't include any civil actions or lawsuits.
     
  13. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    That's my take on it also.

    Best just to secure your weapon and avoid this whole issue.

    If you must leave a pistol in your vehicle or laying around the house at least clear it and put the mag in your pocket.

    I know people who have died because someone had to pull the trigger on an unloaded firearm.

    No excuses.
     
  14. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    On the issue of whether a "acquittal in a criminal trial is not an affirmative finding that you didn't do it," it also bears noting that in most states, the SD shooter must affirmatively state that he "did it." More specifically, the SD shooter must admit to having shot the victim in order to avail himself of SD as a defense to the shooting. In ordinary criminal defense, the defendant claims "State, you can't prove that I did it." In SD defense, the defendant claims "Sure, I did it. I did it, and I meant to do it. But I had a really, really good reason."

    For those who read this thread later, I'll add the following: As Frank noted above, in a civil trial, such as negligence or wrongful death, the Plaintiff's burden of proof is "by a preponderance of the evidence," which is much lower than that to which the State is held in a criminal prosecution. Conceptually, there is this area which is: (a) higher than "preponderance of the evidence," but (b) lower than "beyond a reasonable doubt," such that even if the prosecutor fails to meet the latter, a civil plaintiff could meet the former (setting aside Castle Doctrine and other civil immunity statutes for the moment).

    Also, it should be borne in mind that while the elements of a criminal act may be similar to the elements of the civil cause of action, they are not necessarily the same.
     
  15. ohbythebay

    ohbythebay Member

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    Spats...I don't disagree with how it works

    You and Frank are correct, I have no issue with that.

    What I have issue with is the abuses that have occurred because of this double standard.

    Another good example
    • A man has no trespassing signs on his property.
    • Kids go riding through on dirt bikes
    • He has an open hole somewhere they fall into or has areas with barbed wire
    • He is not criminally negligent nor did he break any laws.
    • He gets sued civilly and the preponderance of evidence says he was negligent. He should have had signs. etc.
    This is not hypothetical, this stuff has happened.

    I completely understand how the law works however; sometimes I think the scales on blind lady justice should be replaced with a roulette wheel. :D
     
  16. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    Abuse is often in the eye of the beholder.

    These are often complex and difficult situations, and often in a particular case there could be widely differing ideas about what the "right" result should be. If a matter is in court, there's a dispute about how things should work out, and the court will need to decide using established principles, applicable precedent and applicable statutes. And that decision can be second guessed on appeal.

    If application of established principles, applicable precedent and applicable statutes leads to a result which enough people find unacceptable (unjust, wrong, etc.) they could perhaps successfully use political process to cause the legislature to change the law. That sort of thing has also happened.

    But in any case, the result in any case is unlikely to satisfy everyone. At least one person will always tend to find the system abusive -- the guy who lost.
     
  17. Theohazard

    Theohazard Member

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    Did you read the posts in this thread where multiple people pointed out that WA has no such laws? The gun laws here in WA are some of the best in the nation. A few years ago I moved from TX to WA and I was pleasantly surprised to find that WA gun laws are even better than TX laws.
     
  18. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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  19. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    If it is in my house and my house is locked up my guns are secure and the courts need to stay out of it. I see no need to spend extra money to keep thieves from get to what I already have locked inside my house.

    I grew up with guns hanging on the wall on deer feet. That all the security I grew up with.
    This kinds of laws drive me nuts and the Nanny State continues .
     
  20. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    Can your house be broken into? What happens when someone steals a gun and they kill someone with it? Can you be charged? Probably not but do you want to find out? What's wrong with keeping your guns in a safe when you aren't using them?
     
  21. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    And that reflects the higher bar for criminal negligence. So while criminal liability has been resolved favorably to the gun owner, the question of possible civil liability appears to still be open.

    That's it. You tell 'em!

    But understand that the courts won't necessarily be accommodating. If someone gets one of your guns and hurts someone else with it, you could be sued. And if you are sued the courts will not be staying "out of it" no matter what you want. You will need to deal with the matter in court.

    And it a prosecutor decides to go after you, you'll need to deal with things in court as well.

    You do not decide if the courts will get involved. Someone else will be making that decision.
     
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