Stolen Firearms – Should Owners Be Liable?

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I am constantly and utterly amazed at the number of firearms that are stolen from unlocked vehicles.  I find it hard to blame a victim when a firearm is stolen from their home in a burglary or robbery, but it is a tough pill to swallow when a pistol, rifle, or shotgun is stolen from a car or truck the owner left unlocked.  Reading the police blotters show just how frequently this occurs.  In this morning’s paper alone there were three shotguns , two pistols, and one rifle reported stolen. Only one of those six was from a vehicle but some days it has been two-three pistols from unlocked cars.

Regardless of how you might feel about having to disarm to enter a particular “gun free” zone, every firearm owner is responsible for securing his weapon at all times.  This means – at least – locking the car doors.  Adding a small, portable safe like this one (which has a cable which can be locked around the seat frame) is an inexpensive, convenient option.  At a minimum, press the button on your key fob and lock the doors with the firearm out of sight from passersby.

Should an owner who does not take even this minimal precaution be liable if his/her firearm is stolen and subsequently used in a crime?  No.  Should the negligent or imprudent storage of a firearm be a crime?  You decide.