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Owner of lost/stolen gun may be in deep doo-doo after WA shooting

4099 Views 109 Replies 36 Participants Last post by  magazineman
Since 2018 we've had a slew of bad gun laws on the books in WA, starting with I-1639 (approved by voters) which among many things makes gun owners liable if their firearms are not secured and they end up in the wrong hands. A Snohomish County man might be the first to be charged under this new law if he can't give a good explanation to the police as to how a Glock he owned somehow got lost or stolen, and weeks later was used in a fatal school shooting.

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Yeah, that’s not even in the same ballpark as the OP’s thread.
Point is, after several years, the state is actually enforcing its "safe storage" law, which also pertains to securing firearms in the home and timely reporting of lost or stolen firearms.

And as a "test case," the same county picked a member of the law enforcement community who lost a child to suicide with her firearm.
 

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Holy moly, I read through the summary of the law and it’s one of the most oppressive things I’ve ever seen. Everything is salted with comments about “assault rifles“ which demonstrates the mindset of the drafters.

Doc, “reasonable practitioner“ is the medical standard and I think the kinds of laws we are talking about here with the “knew or should have known” will be judged along the lines of a negligence claim. The standard jury instruction In most states defines negligence as doing something a reasonably prudent person would not do or failing to do something that a reasonably prudent person would do under the circumstances.
I can see the wrong jury saying that if someone owned something as dangerous as a gun, they should check on it every few days to make sure it is secure.

Many states do have the safe storage provision in their laws. Florida has one that provides liability if you negligently store a firearm and a minor gets it and causes harm. I represented a police officer who was charged under the statute when his daughter crawled under the bed and found an old POS revolver, drove to another jurisdiction and killed herself. A lot of gun safety is common sense. I was consulted in the very early 80s by a lawyer about his case against the NRA. Kids broke into NRA headquarters, got a closet open and took firearms and ammo. One of them shot the other. A 6 foot tall NRA exhibit in the trial was “Blooey” The gun safety dog. It was a standing dachshund with a barrel sticking out of his head and it was saying “remember, NEVER store guns and ammunition in the same location” The NRA had used it in gun safety presentations to the public, they just didn’t follow their own advice.
 

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I honestly think most 'safe storage' nonsense is about anti-gun mentality, not preventing crimes or accidents. The idea is keep guns out of sight, out of mind, and reinforce the impression that they are evil. Heaven forfend people get used to seeing them and treat them as what they are, neutral tools.
IMHO, every house should have a rifle openly hanging on the wall in the livingroom (albeit ammo somewhere else if you have a very young kid).
 

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The standard jury instruction In most states defines negligence as doing something a reasonably prudent person would not do or failing to do something that a reasonably prudent person would do under the circumstances.
That's the problem, the vast majority of jurists have no idea what "reasonably prudent" people or actions are. If you include any millennials, you are lucky if they can tie their own shoes.

Grumpy
 

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I'm sure our AG the "BooBster" is personally reviewing this case as he's been dying to execute a law abiding gun owner with one of the undefined gray zones in his menagerie of anti gun rhetoric.
 

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I may be missing something here. It appears that the legal owner of the gun reported it as "missing" roughly two weeks before the shooting. It is possible that he did not report it in a timely manner, but he certainly reported it well before the shooting. Also I can't find anything where it says the legal owner is being prosecuted under the statute, which is called Community Endangerment In The First Degree.
 

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Giving any further explanation to the police will just give them and the DA/County Attorney a story to pick apart. He or she should stand on his or her right to remain silent and consult an attorney if needed.
I wish I could "triple like" this statement.
ANYTHING he says will be used to indict him.....without question.
Remain silent, and let your attorney handle your defense
 

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I may be missing something here. It appears that the legal owner of the gun reported it as "missing" roughly two weeks before the shooting. It is possible that he did not report it in a timely manner, but he certainly reported it well before the shooting. Also I can't find anything where it says the legal owner is being prosecuted under the statute, which is called Community Endangerment In The First Degree.
Good point! There are only 2 guns that I own that I would realize were missing inside of 5 days
My CC, and my bedside. I would know they are missing inside of 12 hours at the longest. All the others could be missing for up to 3 weeks, before I might realize they are missing
 

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Good point! There are only 2 guns that I own that I would realize were missing inside of 5 days
My CC, and my bedside. I would know they are missing inside of 12 hours at the longest. All the others could be missing for up to 3 weeks, before I might realize they are missing
Therein lies one of the big problems with laws like this.
It relies on the jury to determine the 'reasonable person' standard, and whether or not you met that standard given your circumstances.
It's reasonable for my neighbor to keep his shotgun locked up and out of reach of his two young kids. It's not nearly as reasonable for me to take the same level of caution when no such kids exist in my house. I lock my door every morning when I leave. That should be the end of it. If somebody besides me gets their hands on one of the pistols I keep out, they broke the law getting to it in the first place.
I basically spend all my time at a desk, and my desk is right next to my safe. I will know if the safe has been broken into or not within 10 hours of it happening. Somebody else may have their safe in a garage, or maybe their guns are in storage, and they don't check on them for months at a time.

Unironically, we need to bring back tarring and feathering. Every once in a while, if politicians and lawmakers were subjected to the consequences of the gross intrusions on the lives of the people they 'serve,' they would do so far less.
 

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I worked for my town Hardware Store (Arlington Hardware) when this Initiative 1639 was being pushed and passed.
I remember meeting a gentleman at our Sporting Goods counter asking questions and complaining about trying to by a Semi Auto rifle from the local gun store and he couldn’t!
I told him because of I1639 and he needed to take a class and such to fulfill State requirements by Law.
He said; “O was that what that was! I voted in favor of it thinking that it was something else because I didn’t READ IT!”
And here we are today! I bet the Libs in Olympia are foaming at the mouths to prosecute this guy and can give two craps about the victim! Because that’s how they operate!!
 

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Sounds to me like the NRA-ILA needs to be contacted! There are (IMO, since I am NOT
a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV), so many seeming "holes" in the way the law is written,
that the same "offense" could be prosecuted (PERsecuted?), the law does not pass
Constitutional muster.
 
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Frankly, the idea that they want to hold the VICTIM of a crime, (theft of their firearm), criminally liable for the misuse of that stolen property is really just nuts!
 

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The owner claims he "lost" the gun? I think the WA law, like the majority of gun laws/restrictions is BS, but, how did he "lose" a "gun?" I don't lock up all of my guns. I have several that I keep out and where I can get to them quickly if needed. Other guns I keep in the safe. In over 40 years I have never, ever "lost" any of my guns. I've never had any of them stolen either.
 
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