View Full Version : Safes, storage, and legal issues.

07-17-2012, 4:08 PM
Sorry if this is the wrong place to post this, sort of a legal question, sort of a safes / storage question. I've just been doing a bunch of reading here and on the wiki since I discovered Calguns.net, and still was hoping for clarification on a few things, if anyone knows.

So I've managed to confuse myself reading all about (mostly California) requirements for storing guns in safes, and the notion that if someone steals your gun you can get in trouble for what they do with it (which I read somewhere recently).

So my questions are:
1) If someone steals one of my gun safes, whether it's a full size safe for long guns or a quick release GunVault, am I responsible if someone uses that gun in a crime?
2) I know it's good practice to bolt down a gun safe--is that also the law? Do I have to screw my mini GunVault to the floor of my house or something?
3) "Criminal storage of a firearm" seems to apply to children mostly? If a 17 year old breaks into a house and steals a gun safe, cuts it open somewhere else and shoots someone, is the owner of the gun on the hook for a felony?

Thanks for any thoughts on this. Some of these requirements seem a tad insane if I'm understanding them correctly.

07-17-2012, 4:43 PM
You are not legally required to bolt down a safe in your home, but it is a good idea. If someone ever manages to steal your safe, or guns, there MAY be a requirement to report the theft. Not 100% on that one, but it would be foolish not to. As far as a minor breaking in and stealing your guns, you have nothing to worry about. I'm sure someone who is a little more familiar with the laws will chime in any minute here...

07-17-2012, 4:53 PM
See this part of the wiki? -- http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/Storage_and_Children

A) you are not required to keep your guns in a safe or with any kind of lock on them. It's a good idea, of course. The only issue amounts to negligently allowing a minor access. Access via criminal behavior of the minor is not your problem.

B) I suspect your insurance company might like to hear about a stolen safe, and I'm sure the police would appreciate it, but there is no legal obligation to report such a theft. There is an active CA bill that would impose that requirement.

07-17-2012, 5:34 PM
Hey folks, I really appreciate the clarification!

I totally missed that section, Librarian--that explains the situation pretty clearly. Apparently I got some bad or hyperbolic information, certainly on another web site than this one.

I would report a stolen firearm, or anything else stolen from me to that matter--that makes perfect sense to me. I just was hoping I didn't have to bolt my two quick release safes because I tend to move them around and take them in my car as well.

Anyway, thank you guys for the info! This place is fantastic.

07-17-2012, 5:43 PM
If a minor breaks into your home and steals a firearm, you are not legally liable. The law is to prevent people from allowing minors to access firearms. It is not intended to nor does it make a victim of a crime into a criminal just because the person who illegally gained access into your home and stole your firearm was under age. Now, if your kid's buddy is invited into the house, finds your gun and "borrows" it, yea, you're liable and you have committed a crime.

07-17-2012, 8:50 PM
My local ordinance "requires" stolen firearms to be reported to police within X (48 IIRC) amount of hours. Yours may too. Just a thought.

Los angeles example w/ link.
Chapter V, Article 5 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code. A. Any person that owns or is otherwise in possession of a firearm shall report the theft or loss of such firearm to the Los Angeles Police Department within 48 hours of becoming aware of the theft or loss whenever (1) the owner resides in Los Angeles, or (2) the theft or loss of the firearm occurs in Los Angeles.

Tortuga Rick
07-17-2012, 9:50 PM

There is another issue here. your ins co may not cover your collection or give you a hard time if extensive,and you did not have ever notified them about your collection pics & ID #'s written down for them, and in a UL listed ,security safe, just not some pieces Heavy duty meta welded together with a combo on it. or some old antique safe that can be broken into with a hammer. this problem did come up and damn sure I have all mine in the right safes with all reported to the ins co , with this much invested ! Keep that in mind, even if the safe is just a costco bought or just an approved DOJ storage cabinet. the INS CO have no problems covering that. to many false claims and not secured properly !