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Thoughts on leaving loaded guns in the house and car when not occupied

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow, Feb 10, 2009.

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Which do you believe

  1. Leaving a gun loaded in a house or in a car when you are not there is negligent, period.

    11 vote(s)
    3.9%
  2. Leaving a loaded gun in a house is negligent, but in a car, it depends on the circumstances

    4 vote(s)
    1.4%
  3. Leaving a loaded gun in a car is negligent, but in a house, it depends on the circumstances

    18 vote(s)
    6.5%
  4. Both depend upon many circumstances, so it's not automatically negligent, but could be.

    137 vote(s)
    49.1%
  5. Not negligent at all; I do it all the time. No one but thieves could access it anyway.

    109 vote(s)
    39.1%
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  1. marv

    marv Member

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    I always have maybe six loaded guns in my house and vehicles. Children are not a problem. If I had to load/unload when I departed and returned I would not have time to do anything else.
     
  2. Eightball

    Eightball Member

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    As the dwellings in which I live are rarely empty--or if they are, they aren't for long, it's a case-by-case basis for me in the house.

    My car piece has one in the pipe at all times, though......that's the point.
     
  3. Dev

    Dev Member

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    At All Times

    All my revolvers are loaded at all times, no matter where they are.

    None of my rifles or shotguns are loaded at all.

    If I have need to use a handgun, it is full and good to go.

    If I must shoot an elk in my living room, I will have to load a rifle.

    I carry because I care.
     
  4. Rockwell1

    Rockwell1 member

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    To say that a gun is no more inherently dangerous than a baseball bat is insane. I can't kill you from a hundred yard away with a baseball bat (unless, of course, I drop it off the Empire State building).

    Now having said that, if crook breaks into my car and steals my gun it's the criminals fault not mine.

    I secure my guns in a safe not out of any social obligation to do so but because I simply don't have the money to replace them. I don't think taking basic steps to secure my high dollar items is unreasonable,my digital camera lives in the safe too as does my collection of silver dollars.
     
  5. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    Which is the same situation numerous people face. In fact unloading and loading your gun in public, even hiding from view in your car on a regular basis would be more dangerous and negligent than not doing so.
    If you were spotted with the gun out you could also face legal issues in many places. So taking it out and working with it on a regular basis would be quite foolish.

    You of course living in the real world and not part of the ideal situation legislators with "good intentions" would think of.
    Your situation is the same most people will have on at least some occasions where they will need to go places without guns, but have a need for them before or directly after.


    Which is why such topics are not merely innocent speculation.
    If other people believe they know what is best and a consesus is reached by at least some that mandated limitations are better legislation will eventualy result.
    Legislation that will not take into account the thousands of real life situations that do not fit neatly into what is the ideal storage.
    More red tape and bureaucracy regarding excercising 2nd Amendment "Rights".
    It is not long before that progresses into ownership requirements mandating certain locked containers, certain government approved containers, and even requiring government inspection of such storage locations.
    That is exactly the situation in many nations, including Australia and England for storage of various firearms.

    Some may think we are not talking about that, but yet we are.
    The steps are not that far apart because the initial change in mindset is the biggest step.
    The mindset that it is okay to tell other people how they always need to store a personal item, and feeling entitled to enforce your collective will upon them through law. Once you have that many types of such legislation are easy to pass successively.
    Including many you won't agree with.
    Then it essentialy becomes illegal for various people that cannot install the right type of safe, cannot pay the various fees, or the inspectors do not approve to excercise thier right.
    It becomes difficult for those in certain homes or dwellings to have firearm rights. What about that retired couple that lives in a motorhome they travel around in. Or the person renting out a room someplace that cannot install the legislated type of storage container. Or the person who finds themself homeless with just a vehicle. Or....

    I do not know what is best for everyone else in every situation. I think leaving something you do not want to lose in a vehicle on a regular basis is not a great way to safeguard valuables.
    It is not negligent.
    Nor do I believe I know so well what storage methods are best for everyone else that I will confidently state it in a way that could result in agreement and legislation to those ends. Adversely affecting the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.Sometimes people here are thier own worst enemies.
    Respect freedom and the liberty of individuals' choices or it will cease to exist.
     
  6. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    There are situations where I leave a gun in the car because I can't carry it when I get out of the car.

    I'm not going to disarm myself in the name of preventing thieves from gaining access to my guns. That's a slippery slope that never ends until there are no legal guns. The first step is holding people civilly responsible for what happens with their stolen guns. I'd say we're already there in some parts of the country. The next step is holding people criminally responsible for what happens with their stolen guns. I'll bet we've seen laws like that proposed.

    Toward the bottom of the slope you end up with law enforcement officers visiting your house to make sure your safe is secure enough by their standards and to ensure that you've stored your ammo & guns separately in an attempt to further thwart the thieves.

    I take what I consider reasonable precautions to prevent my guns from being stolen. Sometimes that's a large gun safe, sometimes it's a locked car, etc.
     
  7. mojo II

    mojo II Member

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    I think a major point has been missed in this discussion. Consider the possibility of a fire. Any ammo in a fire is going to go off but without the containment of the gun, likelyhood of any projectile having enough energy to do major harm is slight. Now, ask yourself if you would want to be a fireman if you knew every house or car fire contained several loaded guns? When a gun is left loaded & unattended, you are not only responsible for human intervention but also unforseen cases such as fire. Most states it is unlawful to use a "set gun" booby trap to deter burglary. The possibility of emergency personnel having to respond at unforseen times is all to real a risk.

    Jim
     
  8. viperstarbuck

    viperstarbuck Member

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    My firearms are NOT loaded if I am Not present, period.
     
  9. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Contributing Member

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    That only proves that YOU are more dangerous - not the gun.

    Again - an object at rest cannot be inherently dangerous unless it is capable of spontaneous animation.
     
  10. dirt_j00

    dirt_j00 Member

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    The last 3 paragraphs in Zoogster's post above is where my thought process was heading.

    Once someone comes up with a "good idea", before long they want to enforce their opinions on me.

    Doesn't work well with a const. right.
     
  11. mp510

    mp510 Member

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    Even if you do leave it loaded, You still have the option of leaving it unsecured (ie unlocked glovebox, console, under the seat) or securing it (in the trunk, etc...) One will inhibit potential thieves from making off with it. The other will make it that much easier for them to potentially ruin multiple families' lives.
     
  12. dirt_j00

    dirt_j00 Member

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    A trunk or an unlocked glove box are only levels of "security".

    Neither "inhibit" a thief (i.e. criminal <-person breaking the law) from stealing anything (gun, car, tire iron, hotdog launcher) from you.
     
  13. WarHall

    WarHall Member

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    Heck, I've got them everywhere

    But that being said, it does make me nervous about leaving one in the car at all times - It's a major component of my mini - BOB, which is behind the driver's side seat. I suppose if it gets ripped off, the thief is getting more than just a loaded handgun. I also CCW at all times, avoid 'restricted' areas if at all possible, and stash my CCW under the flip-up console of my truck when I have to. Lately I've considered carrying a rifle in the truck box as well.
    In the house, there is literally a firearm about every ten feet, not necessarily secure, but at least somewhat concealed. I suppose if someone broke in while I was out, he'd have to figure out how to get them out of the house more than anything else. Just a can of ammo would probably be more than he bargained for. (And it's insured!) I can't imagine some guy trying to lug a 1000 rd case of .308 out and over the fence -
     
  14. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    Locking it in the turnk makes it even MORE likely that someone will see you with it, making it a target of theft, and you a target for physical violence.

    If it's feasible, when I know I'm going some place that I can't carry (posted business, restaurant with liquor license, etc.), I try to put my gun in the glove box BEFORE I leave my starting point so that it's already there when I have to get out. Then when I return to the car, I reholster so that I don't have to do it when I arrive at my next destination if I can carry there.

    Ohio is an open carry state, so LEGALLY, it doesn't matter how many people see me holster or unholster. It's only a SECURITY issue created in large part by the State of Ohio by making me disarm to eat dinner. It's highly unlikely that an Ohio cop will give me a hard time for disarming in public in order to OBEY OHIO LAW. If he does, it won't go well for him, guaranteed. I simply don't care what the public at large thinks. Let them call the cops to their heart's content. The police are unlikely to even respond.
     
  15. DeathByCactus

    DeathByCactus Member

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    Both depend on the circumstances. It is not automatically negligent, but it can be. I typically leave a loaded (but not chambered) handgun on my desk. However, there are no children in my house. I have educated my sister on proper usage in case of emergencies and she knows not to touch my firearms without my permission/supervision (she is almost 18, scary).

    When I am at my friends house, who has a 5 month old, I don't keep my weapon chambered at all in his house and either leave the firearm on my person or place it in a drawer in his bedroom; around his shotgun location :).

    As for my car? Damn well no one better be in my car, touching my things, sitting on my leather, or messing around in my glove compartment when I am not there. If someone breaks in and shoots himself in the face all I can say is...lol.

    If I had kids in the car... well, I am a CHL, if I have a firearm in the car with any children my weapon would be with me and only me. I don't see many situations in which I would have to use my glove compartment to store my weapon and leave anyone in my car, especially if I was to be watching over say, my friends child, temporarily.

    I don't ever see the need to keep a firearm permanently in my car however. In the case of a break in, a criminal would then have possession of a weapon registered to me and I would have a giant pain in the arse to deal with.

    It's either with me or stored near me.
     
  16. wyocarp

    wyocarp Member

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    I'm totally unable to wrap my mind around this whole philosophy. The one that says I am responsible for what happens to something that had belonged to me but was STOLEN. I don't care if it was in my house, my car, my tent, or just sitting on a bench at the range.

    Does anyone really think that the possesion of "my" gun in someone's hands will make them harm someone? If not my stolen gun, then it will be another gun. MY gun isn't going to make someone a criminal.

    I can feel bad about someone being hurt with a gun, but I would feel no remorse for the fact that it had been mine. The fact that it had been my gun has no bearing on the event at all.

    And what is this whole "unsecured" thing about? If it is in a locked vehicle, it is secured. It is in a locked vehicle. That is secured. That is a court case just waiting to be explored. What difference does it make if it is in a safe? None of you have a safe that would keep me out for more than 10 minutes and with many of the safes today that time would be less than 5 minutes. Would that make you negligent?
     
  17. Gypsy Pilot

    Gypsy Pilot Member

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    I personally have no issues with leaving my gun in a safe inside my locked vehicle, or locking it in the glove box of my locked vehicle (if absolutely necessary). In my experience, thieves look for the easy target, hence usually grabbing stuff from an unlocked vehicle. Even then it's usually a grab and go situation (rarely do I park in a secluded area) where they spend little more than 30 seconds tossing the interior looking for valuables. If they run into a locked glove box they usually move on (unless they know that a gun is in there and they are specifically looking for it...probably because you disarmed in the parking lot within visual range, ahem). :uhoh:
    At home my weapons are loaded and ready. I keep the Walther on my belt and the Para is secured. No kids to deal with and the wife knows exactly what to do with them if need be...point-shoot.
     
  18. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

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    mp510: "Leaving an unsecured gun, especially a loaded and unsecured pistol, in a vehicle is inherently negligent behavior. In Connecticut, quite a few permit holders have had their permits revoked (and the revocation upheld on appeal) because they left their weapon unsecured in their vehicle, allowing it to be stolen- even if they only intended to leave it there for a couple minutes. "

    That's outrageous. What are they supposed to do when they go into a courthouse or a bank -- leave it by the door?
     
  19. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

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    mojoII: "I think a major point has been missed in this discussion. Consider the possibility of a fire. Any ammo in a fire is going to go off but without the containment of the gun, likelyhood of any projectile having enough energy to do major harm is slight. Now, ask yourself if you would want to be a fireman if you knew every house or car fire contained several loaded guns? When a gun is left loaded & unattended, you are not only responsible for human intervention but also unforseen cases such as fire. Most states it is unlawful to use a "set gun" booby trap to deter burglary. The possibility of emergency personnel having to respond at unforseen times is all to real a risk."

    Big difference between a spring-gun trap and a loaded gun in the house. Even so, I don't leave loaded guns pointed at the door. Conceivably a firefighter could catch a cooked-off round from a loaded pistol flipping and flopping on the floor as each round lets go. That's a risk with any loaded weapon. Plenty of hazards in a burning building. That's why they get paid. They don't typically enter a building that involved or that hot, however.
     
  20. wep45

    wep45 Member

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    it may be negligent if you leave a loaded weapon unattended
     
  21. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

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    wep45: "it may be negligent if you leave a loaded weapon unattended"

    Why?
     
  22. gdcpony

    gdcpony Member

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    I generally store mine unloaded, with ammo near by. I think normal circumstances make that OK in my house. There are too many shooters to widely spread for us all to be taken off guard. It could be done, but not likely.
    However last night a couple got loaded as we were all in the same area and the power was out in the town. We had no heat so we were all in the area with the wood burner. Plus without the power you never know who might take advantage of it.
    I put myself by the interior door and window and closest to the weapons that I had loaded. As my son was with us (2yr old that loves "Boom-booms"), I had the firing pins down on empty chambers right near my ears so he would have to cycle them and I would wake up (acquired habit from a GySgt that loved to steal weapons in Iraq and make us pay for it). Today they are back to normal.
     
  23. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "could catch a cooked-off round from a loaded pistol flipping and flopping on the floor as each round lets go."

    Time out. The round in the chamber is going to cook off and chamber another round? If it's hot enough to cook off the chambered round won't the ones in the mag cook off at the same time or maybe sooner?


    Anyway, I always lock up my guns, kitchen knives, hammers, scissors, saws, power tools, gas mowers and chainsaws. I lock my car, too. And duct tape; I've seen in the movies how the kidnappers use duct tape to hurt people. Yep, I put my key in the door and lock it when I leave. Same as my car, but the car has a better security system and satellite radio.

    Has anyone ever lost their driver's license because a crook stole the car and killed somebody with it? Why not? It's not the crook's fault, right? It's somehow the car owner's fault.

    John
     
  24. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

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    JohnBT: "Time out. The round in the chamber is going to cook off and chamber another round? If it's hot enough to cook off the chambered round won't the ones in the mag cook off at the same time or maybe sooner?"

    Maybe; who knows? Those firefighters unlucky enough to find themselves inside a building that involved and that hot outside of Hollyweird likely are more concerned about exploding boilers and radiators.
     
  25. rbernie
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    rbernie Contributing Member

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    The gas cans and solvents in my garage are a greater potential hazard to firefighters than are any loaded weapons in my house.
     
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