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  #1  
Old 10-15-2018, 9:42 AM
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flyboy3394 flyboy3394 is offline
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Default No child in home, but children do some over occasionally-safe storage question.

I live in a townhome with my room/housemate in the Bay Area. Neither of us have kids, but my roommmate does have friends with kids.

I keep my handgun in my bedside drawer, without a round chambered (during the day while at work) and loaded at night while im home.

My question is, if a child were to enter my room, find my gun and shoot him/herself, or another person, would I be liable (criminally or civilly)?

The question stems from the fact that my roommate has people over without telling me, and i'm worried that he won't tell me when/if a child is over, and that child could possibly enter my room and find my gun.

Again, totally hypothetical, but i want to know what the law says about these things.

*side note: I understand that getting a safe/lock box and/or locking my room will prevent any issues to begin with. I am not interested in those answers, only the hypotheticals around my scenario.
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  #2  
Old 10-15-2018, 10:08 AM
applejacks applejacks is offline
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Here is an article which dives into this a bit (it is a womans boyfriends gun and she didn't know it was there but still applicable I think). I think the answer is maybe.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...nts/101568654/
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  #3  
Old 10-15-2018, 10:15 AM
LD1061 LD1061 is offline
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Just put it in some type of lock box so No One has access to it but you.
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  #4  
Old 10-15-2018, 10:17 AM
LD1061 LD1061 is offline
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If you leave it to where others especially a child can access it you are potentially liable. The lock box is just a no brainer no matter what the law is.
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Old 10-15-2018, 10:26 AM
Win231 Win231 is offline
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Of course you would be liable - criminally as well as morally. You would also lose in civil court.
And that is how it should be. Irresponsible & reckless gun owners should pay.
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  #6  
Old 10-15-2018, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Win231 View Post
Of course you would be liable - criminally as well as morally. You would also lose in civil court.
And that is how it should be. Irresponsible & reckless gun owners should pay.
Morally seems a bit egregious (not knowlingly exposing a child to deadly harm). From other answers, it seems to be a grey area as far as legality, culpability.

I would never want to be in such a position, for multiple reasons. Being proactive about it is clearly the best idea overall.

I will indeed be procuring a lock box to ensure that such a situation never occurs outside a hypothetical scenario.
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  #7  
Old 10-15-2018, 11:18 AM
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Default Wise move - lock box

While it is a somewhat grey area ultimately any harm of a child in the state of California involving a weapon will likely end up on the gun owner. Your weapon , your responsibility to secure it. I recall people mentioning a scenario where teens broke into a home and stole a pistol that was used in a crime and the owner was help liable just as an example (sorry don't recall the source.)
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  #8  
Old 10-15-2018, 11:21 AM
larkja larkja is offline
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Just get a lockbox/handgun safe - problem solved. Also, since you have a roommate, I'm assuming you're renting, which means the landlord can enter with good cause. If you're not home and he finds the gun, could be a problem.
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  #9  
Old 10-15-2018, 5:36 PM
Win231 Win231 is offline
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With today's quick-open lockboxes, the old excuse "Too slow to get to my gun" doesn't wash. It then becomes a matter of being cheap (and foolish).
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  #10  
Old 10-16-2018, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboy3394 View Post
I live in a townhome with my room/housemate in the Bay Area. Neither of us have kids, but my roommmate does have friends with kids.

I keep my handgun in my bedside drawer, without a round chambered (during the day while at work) and loaded at night while im home.

My question is, if a child were to enter my room, find my gun and shoot him/herself, or another person, would I be liable (criminally or civilly)?

The question stems from the fact that my roommate has people over without telling me, and i'm worried that he won't tell me when/if a child is over, and that child could possibly enter my room and find my gun.

Again, totally hypothetical, but i want to know what the law says about these things.

*side note: I understand that getting a safe/lock box and/or locking my room will prevent any issues to begin with. I am not interested in those answers, only the hypotheticals around my scenario.
With the way California law is written, its only the end result that matters. If a child was injured or killed in the home by the firearm, the only factor that comes in to play is if they have permission to enter the home. 9 times out of 10 that means you would be liable.

So that does mean you either to put it in a lock box, use a trigger lock, or put a lock on your door.
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  #11  
Old 10-16-2018, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larkja View Post
I'm assuming you're renting, which means the landlord can enter with good cause. If you're not home and he finds the gun, could be a problem.
I'm not sure why this would be a problem. Moreover, good cause for a landlord would something like a pipe breaking etc. Hardly a reason to go through a drawer
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  #12  
Old 10-16-2018, 2:13 PM
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Default YES

The answer is "yes"

This is why:

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/f...er=2.&article=

/thread
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  #13  
Old 10-16-2018, 2:17 PM
Usmc0844spare Usmc0844spare is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboy3394 View Post
I live in a townhome with my room/housemate in the Bay Area. Neither of us have kids, but my roommmate does have friends with kids.

I keep my handgun in my bedside drawer, without a round chambered (during the day while at work) and loaded at night while im home.

My question is, if a child were to enter my room, find my gun and shoot him/herself, or another person, would I be liable (criminally or civilly)?

The question stems from the fact that my roommate has people over without telling me, and i'm worried that he won't tell me when/if a child is over, and that child could possibly enter my room and find my gun.

Again, totally hypothetical, but i want to know what the law says about these things.

*side note: I understand that getting a safe/lock box and/or locking my room will prevent any issues to begin with. I am not interested in those answers, only the hypotheticals around my scenario.

2 scenarios here, both predicated on the concept that you KNOW it is likely there will be kids in the house/apt:

1) Your normal practice is to lock the room door or the dresser drawer. You lock them and leave. Kid comes in, somehow defeats the lock(s), and racks the slide cuz he's seen it in movies. Chambers round and blows his friends head off. If I am on jury you walk.

2) Either you FORGET to lock the door/dresser or you normally just DON'T lock them. Kid gets in, racks slide, and blows friend's head off. If I am on jury you go to jail.
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  #14  
Old 10-16-2018, 2:30 PM
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71MUSTY 71MUSTY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyboy3394 View Post
Morally seems a bit egregious (not knowlingly exposing a child to deadly harm). From other answers, it seems to be a grey area as far as legality, culpability.

I would never want to be in such a position, for multiple reasons. Being proactive about it is clearly the best idea overall.

I will indeed be procuring a lock box to ensure that such a situation never occurs outside a hypothetical scenario.
Bull, you already know you are exposing a child to deadly harm or you wouldn't be posting here. I don't think California law is gray at all. A minor gets access to your unsecured gun and commits a crime gun owner can be prosecuted.

But in your case it's worse then that because you already know you are exposed and are just too self centered to do anything about it.
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  #15  
Old 10-16-2018, 5:00 PM
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I wouldn’t take a chance. Even if, somehow, you’re not charged criminally, you’d probably have to deal with a civil suit. You’re going to loose either physically or financially or both.
I’d hate to go infront of a bunch of gun hating jurors and explain how a teen or child got ahold of your gun.
Yeah, I agree that EVERYONE should stay out of your room and your drawers, but I will not be on the jury
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