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Over at The Trace, Mike Spies describes the defeat of Tennessee’s “MaKayla’s law,” penalizing gun owners who fail to store their firearms safely resulting in accidental death or injury. As you’d expect, the report proceeds from pathos to prohibition, highlighting the “evil” NRA’s successful efforts to quash the law.

desantis-blue-logo-no-back-4-smallI oppose any and all laws that infringe on Americans’ rights to keep and bear arms. Any arms. Any way they wish to keep them. Gun owners who want immediate access to a working firearm are well within their rights to store a loaded gun anywhere and anyhow they like, noting that there are already plenty of laws concerning negligence. Not to mention the fact that safe storage laws can lead to unannounced home inspections.

Do you support safe storage laws?

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  1. Totally agree with you….lots of things around the house can be dangerous, but there aren’t a set of laws for how to store each one. Every house is a different environment and only the homeowner can decide how things should be properly stored. BTW, we’ve survived this long without these kinds of laws and while there are occasional tragedies (not just with guns), it’s nothing compared to what is going on in, say, Chicago streets on a daily basis.

    • Owner of the shotgun got off, 11 year old kid is in jail until 19, 8 year old dead. Law makes it a crime to “recklessly place, leave or store (a gun) in plain view and readily accessible to a child under 13 if the gun is left unattended,” not under the owner’s control, and either loaded or with ammunition nearby.

  2. No here. We do not have “safe storage laws” for matches, lighters, kitchen knives, power tools like say power jigsaws that could cut off a limb, household chemicals, etc…guns, like anything else, require some common sense. If children are around, then yeah, don’t just leave a loaded gun lying in easy reach. The same applies to all the other stuff mentioned. You don’t leave a lighter just lying about with little kids around and then act shocked if a fire starts.

    Such laws are based on the assumption that guns are somehow more dangerous than the other items, that because a gun is a tool for killing, that it has some special properties that make it ultra-super-extra dangerous. At the very least, the gun is no more dangerous than any of that other stuff. You adhere to proper safety procedures with it just like the other things. At best, guns may actually be argued to be MORE safe than the other things, because a gun can’t harm a person when they’re using it for its intended purpose (killing or simulating killing) unless they violate the laws of gun safety. On the other hand, things like power tools, kitchen knives, matches, etc…those can result in a variety of accidents because in spite of their being used for their intended purpose, accidents can happen where they can still harm a person (you drop a lit match, miscalculate chopping the carrots and cut a finger, etc…).

    • A gun is NOT “a tool for killing.” A gun is a tool designed to propel an object in a specific direction. Like many other tools, it CAN be used for killing, but more often it is used for self-defense, most of those times without ever needing to be fired.

      Please don’t let the anti-gun folks control the language.

      • I know not everyone agrees, but IMO that doesn’t change the fact that it is still ultimately a tool designed for killing. It is a device designed to fire a projectile for the purpose primarily of killing. It can be used for self-defense without killing anybody precisely because it has the ability to kill. Regarding the anti’s, I actually think it works more in our favor to say guns are tools for killing as it undermines their argument:

        Anti: “That type of gun is meant for killing people, it should be banned.”

        Gun rights person: “Of course it’s designed for killing a person. Possessing a tool designed to kill a human doesn’t mean you intend to kill a human, you have it so that you don’t have to use it. The right to keep and bear arms is about the right to possess at a minimum the same basic weapons that soldiers carry, basic weapons of war. It is a tool that can be used for self-defense very effectively because it is designed with killing people in mind.”

        IMO your opinion is kind of like saying, “Nuclear bombs are NOT designed for massive destruction, they are just devices that cause a nuclear blast.” Yeah, but they are designed to produce such a blast for destructive purposes.

        • I like to point out two things:

          First, that steak knives are, in fact, specifically designed to slice through flesh. As it turns out, the nature of that flesh and the circumstances under which it is cut make all the difference as to the moral implications of slicing flesh. You don’t get to lump cutting up your steak with skinning a human being alive and legend they’re the same thing, nor do you get to judge the reasonableness of owning steak knives by invoking a blanket term that bundles vicious crimes with prosaic activities.

          Second, that guns are designed to kill works against gun control, not for it. Imagine that one person gets burned by their stove and another gets burned by their Galaxy Note 7 – which of the two products do you think will get pulled off the market?

    • Owner of the shotgun got off, 11 year old kid is in jail until 19, 8 year old dead. Law makes it a crime to “recklessly place, leave or store (a gun) in plain view and readily accessible to a child under 13 if the gun is left unattended,” not under the owner’s control, and either loaded or with ammunition nearby.

  3. No. More children die from private pools than from firearms. You also have no right to own a pool, and there is precedent restricting where you can build a pool in building codes already. You can do any swimming at a public pool with a lifeguard.

    Also medication.

    • I would say you do have a right to own a pool. Remember, your rights are not restricted to what is listed in the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights were seen as redundant by the Federalists, only put there to satisfy the anti-Federalists who wouldn’t otherwise support ratification. As the Federalists saw it, a bill of rights was dangerous because it says the government cannot do things which the Constitution doesn’t grant it any authority to do in the first place, and thus by saying so, could give the impression that the government does have the authority to restrict such rights.

      There is nothing in the Constitution about the government restricting one from having a swimming pool. Unless it can be shown that pools cause a major public health hazard or something, but otherwise, it’s none of their business.

      • I would like to point out that you have the right to own a pool even if it’s expressly forbidden in the constitution. No one has – or could possibly have – the right to kidnap you and lock you in a cage for digging a hole on your property and filling it with water.

    • Pools and water in general kill an enormous number of people–people drowning, young & old, are constantly in the news–I propose registration, licensing, universal criminal background check, finger printing, mandatory safety course and a yearly registration fee to own a pool. Also announced surprise inspections to make sure your pool is locked up when not in use.

  4. Safe storage laws are constitutional so long as they except weapons “in use”, and “in use” includes arms deliberately placed to be accessible in case of an intruder by any member of the household.

    So if I had, say, sixty guns, and kept one by my bed, one in the kitchen, one in the basement, and one by the stairs to the second floor hidden but not locked, those and any I or other household members carried on our persons would be fine, but the rest would be required to be locked up securely. Of course this is only common sense; no gun not intended to be used by the owner or made accessible to others to use should not be available, any more than one ought to be pointed at something/someone not intended as a target. So of my sixty guns, fifty-five should be locked up. And that would be legitimate under Article I Sec 8 authority over discipline for the militia. But the moment they want to say that any weapon I have for defense of home or person is not allowed to be kept or borne as I deem suitably available for immediate legitimate use, they’ve crossed the line.

    (Of course this would cover any item judged to belong to the set of “arms”.)

    • You do realize that you’ve basically said they can enact safe storage on knives, bats, chains, gasoline, and literally dozens of other everday items? Every item in common use as a tool has been used on the battlefield. Eg warhammers, battle-axes, daggers, maces, flails, napalm, etc. I absolutely DON’T want to give these meddling douchebags more power over me than they already have. They don’t have the right to enter into my home and decide how I store my property. Go find the real criminals me jail them.

      • Just make sure that kids (the real not teenager type) can’t get a hold of you gun and you are good to go. As it is, no one is being charged (other than the other kids) when the kids end up dead.

  5. No federal, state, or local government has any authority to regulate firearms in any way. That’s what “shall not be infringed” means.

    • Not quite. The government has constitutional authority to regulate firearms for the purposes of military service in the Militia. For example they have the authority Article I, Section 8 poweres to require you to register your firearms with the State Adjudent general for purposes of logistics support. Congress also has the authority to require citizens to own a semiautomatic rifle and pistol chambered in standard military calibers. The original Miltia Act of 1792 did in fact make that a requirement.

      • Yeah, not so sure about that.

        Yes it’s true that the original defense of the land was to be through a militia, as a standing army is expressly unconstitutional (and if raised, the army must be disbanded within two years).

        But the 2nd Amendment does not say that the arms are to be used when serving in a militia. It says that a militia is necessary to the security of a free state, and then it says “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Which is to say, people can keep and bear arms, whether they are serving in a militia or not. But it’s saying that it recognizes that a militia is necessary, and how could you have a militia if the people were prohibited from having arms?

        Nowhere in the amendment does it say that you can only use arms or have them when you are actively serving in a militia.

    • except for the fact that every natural right as espoused in the Bill of Rights can be infringed. Pretty much been constitutional law since the constitution….

      Sorry, you may think differently but that is the state of the law. Don’t kill the messenger, I don’t agree with it either.

      • Let’s see them make me. The beauty of stupid laws is that I am under no obligation to obey them.

    • ^^^…this.

      The city of San Jose, CA is ruminating over the installation of a “safe storage” ordinance whereby all firearms must be locked away unless “in use”.

      If cleaning falls under “in use”, then I guess mine will always be in a state of “being cleaned”!

    • This! So much this!

      I completely support any and all safe storage practices, equipment, and behaviors.

      Safe storage laws? Absolutely not! First, Shall not be infringed. Second, How can this idea of a law be enforced? Third, why do the anti-gunners keep suggesting laws do nothing but make more criminals?

      • Read the actual law being proposed and tell me what you would consider to be not criminal in the law?

    • Safe storage laws are like mandatory helmet laws. It is perhaps the height of being a stupidass to ride a motorcycle without a helmet on. But should it be legally required?

      It is perhaps the height of being a stupidass to leave loaded, ready-to-fire guns around where unsupervised kids could get their hands on them (trained or not). But should it be legally prohibited?

      There’s other ways to do it. Perhaps you could be charged as an “accessory to murder” if some kid gets your unsecured gun and uses it to kill themselves or someone else, but you’d be exempt if you had safely stored it. Just like with the motorcycle helmet situation, if they bring you to the E.R. and you weren’t wearing a helmet, and you don’t have insurance, they should be free to refuse treatment. And you should know that going in, so you can make an informed choice.

        • And judging by your endless stream of repetitive comments, you want the gun owner dead. Okay, we get it.

        • If it was your kid, what would you want. One of the major points of having a government is to prevent vigilantism by providing a way to justice without resorting to a feud In addition ,I’m a strong believer in parents being responsible for their kids. Why do you think the south and west sides of Chicago are so bad?

  6. Give them nothing…period. 27 words are clear and NO regulation infringing should be considered. Its nothing more than additional paperwork. In CA we sign paper declaring we have a lockable safe, know how to load a weapon, how to operate a lock issued with a weapon, have to take a test on handgun safety. Yield once to gun safety nazi’s and your gun purchase becomes just one GODDAM sign sheet after another. All requiring storage at your gun store.

    • And you are NOT resistible for securing you guns from pre-teens nor what happens. Yes Yes thank God for America

  7. Uh… No.

    Making a law requiring safe storage at home begs the question how it would be enforced. Is law enforcement going to make random checks in your home? If not, then there is no point in having the law. It would be better to word the law in such a way that if a child dies due to negligence then… Insert punishment here. Regardless, the accident itself is a great punishment to the grieving parents already, so I don’t really see any benefit anywhere in any case. Also. Priorities. We are talking less than 500 deaths a year here. There are so many others: drownings, poisonings, etc that would be better/sooner addressed than this one that take far more lives per year.

    Ultimately, this really isn’t something that can be prevented with legislation.

    • If it is a law, people are more likely to be taught it in firearm classes. And here is another example. Child protective services is called into a house and they see loaded guns laying around where kids can get to them, you think they should just say no harm, no foul?
      “It would be better to word the law in such a way that if a child dies due to negligence then… Insert punishment here” is beyond stupid, that’s like saying a cop can point their gun at your head with finger on the trigger while you are handcuffed and as long as you don’t die, no problem. We have manslaughter laws to take care of that if it happens.
      The only valid argument I see here is possible government abuse. The rest of the arguments sound like I get to run red lights as long as I don’t hit anyone.

      • FYI, “Child protective services” is a weaponized state organ used to destroy the nuclear family and intimidate those who dare to challenge today’s progressive “parenting” methods. Once upon a time it saved kids from legitimately abusive households, but now that refusing to buy your kids stuff counts as “abuse,” it has become a propaganda arm with fangs that needs to be gutted.

      • From your blatant strawman, your support of unenforceable government mandates over personal responsibility, and your tasteless low intellectual ad hominems based on your incommensurable strawman, I have put you in the “pre-crime pro-big government statist” boat.

        • And you think people will just be responsible without laws, well that’s not working. So do you think seat belt laws work? Because I remember the 70s and 80s and people use to disable the buzzers.

      • If it is a law, people are more likely to be taught it in firearm classes.

        Pure speculation. Not even good speculation. Do you think anyone attending a firearm class doesn’t know that guns are dangerous? Most parents would rather die than have their child die. Do you think a law is going to provide better incentive than that?

        And here is another example. Child protective services is called into a house and they see loaded guns laying around where kids can get to them, you think they should just say no harm, no foul?

        No. I think they’ll make shit up so they can take the kids away.

        “It would be better to word the law in such a way that if a child dies due to negligence then… Insert punishment here” is beyond stupid,

        This is called knocking down the strawman. You make an assertion mixed with a little ad hominem.

        that’s like saying a cop can point their gun at your head with finger on the trigger while you are handcuffed and as long as you don’t die, no problem. We have manslaughter laws to take care of that if it happens.

        This is the strawman. You build a strawman from my statement with the strawman looking similar to my statement. Then you knock it down – because it is easy to do so – it being made from the substance of straw instead of my statement.

        But I will address the theme as best possible. You are suggesting that a law be made that punishes the gun owner in the event that the law is broken. (This is what laws do – they don’t actually prevent anything). But how will you know that law is broken (other than your child services statement)? You would likely know when the ambulance shows up to pick up the child’s corpse. Do we must ask how really can it be enforced? And do we have any privacy in our home? And why stop there? Why not all the other hazards of your home that child services or the police could make a decision on based on their opinions?

        The only valid argument I see here is possible government abuse.

        At least we agree on something.

        The rest of the arguments sound like I get to run red lights as long as I don’t hit anyone.

        Are my children the state’s responsibility or my responsibility? Are the items in my home matters of the state? Do I have a right to privacy? Am I innocent until proven guilty? If I run a red light and nobody see’s it but me – does that mean that I get to run red lights? If you know it is impossible to hit someone at a particular red light that you are waiting at and you know you will not be seen – should you get to make the call if you run the red light or not? It’s a lot more complicated than simply a red or green light and the law.

        • What I’m trying to say here is that only the person at the light knows if the light is useful. When things are congested, the light helps coordinate. When nobody is at the light and you are waiting forever maybe you wish the light wasn’t there. The point is, the light removes your options and takes the decision away from you (the one best knowledgeable about the situation) and hands it to legislators that make the decision for you. Likewise with gun storage laws.

          You asked for a solution. The best solution – as it always is – is education. Rather than force people to do a thing, educate them in an honest way, how that thing should be done or the dangers of the subject matter, It leaves the decision with the person who best knows the situation to make the best call possible. Blanketing everyone with rules – simply doesn’t accomplish the same.

  8. I support safe storage itself. Who doesn’t? Safe storage laws, however, are just traps to ensnare gunowners.

    There are already plenty of laws addressing negligence and child neglect. If those laws and common sense aren’t enough to prompt people to behave responsibly, then heaping extra laws on them or others isn’t going to solve anything.

  9. We bought son his first rifle when he was fifteen. Yeah, a little late to the party. I found out there was a state law or City ordinance against him storing the unloaded rifle in his closet until he was sixteen years old, when he was seventeen. Oops.

  10. No for the following reasons in no particular order:

    1. We already have laws to hold adult responsible for a child that harms him or herself or another child. It’s generally in the reckless negligence area. Specifics vary by state and how serious the injury is.

    2. The new laws will be abused by government. Either the conditions will be so onerous to practically prevent one from having a loaded working firearm accessible at all, or it will be used to harass gun owners, or it will be used to justify a gun owners database and registration.

    3. It is legislating people’s behavior down to the lowest common denominator. If you want people to be better, you have to judge them, not try to save them with technology or processes. The individual won’t learn or aspire for better if technology or a process allows them to mentally check out.

      • That’s kind of the problem.

        Behavior for one person may not be appropriate for another based on that persons opinion. Kind of like your behavior towards the Democratic Party. How about they just legislate some rules that you don’t like huh?

    • “We already have laws to hold adult responsible for a child that harms him or herself or another child. It’s generally in the reckless negligence area. Specifics vary by state and how serious the injury is.”
      The 11 year old shot the 8 year old with his dad’s gun, no charges. So how exactly is the adult being held responsible? What is the 11 year old just threatened and pointed the shotgun at the kid. What about if he fired and missed?. The 8 year old was killed and no charges were filed against the dad (his kid is stuck in jail until he is 19)

  11. The imbecile clamoring for a law about an inanimate object probably would be the first person squealing about the ‘unfairness’ of holding the vile little $#17 responsible as an adult and locking him up for life. It’s always somebody or something else with these people. They cannot handle assigning blame and consequence to the perpetrator of the act. Meanwhile two deranged preteen girls lured a playmate into the woods and stabbed her nearly to death. Should we lock up our knives too?

    • How about a dad who leaves his shotgun out so his 11 year old kid kills a 8 year old. Think he should get off free and clear?

      • Binder, you obviously don’t think an 11 year old is old enough to be responsible. The child went to the shotgun on purpose. He pointed it at the 8 year old on purpose. He shot her on purpose.

        This was no accident. It was first degree murder. If the kid had been 17 should the dad have been responsible? How about 24? This was not an accident, and I see no reason to hold the dad responsible. The whole point of “Safe Storage Laws” [aka Further Impediments to Gun Ownership Laws] is reductions of accidents.

        What if the 11 YO had taken a can of gasoline from beside the lawnmower and poured it on the 8 YO and lit it? Dad responsible for that?

        My objection to SSL’s [FIGOL’s] is who decides what is safe? Some states (MA and IL come to mind) require you to be prescreened before being allowed to buy a gun. The sale can’t be completed without possession of that ID card. Is inspection of your “safe storage” going to be required to get the ID card? Is the minimum safe storage a $3000, 1200 lb. Liberty safe required to store your $400 Stevens shotgun?

        Just too much chance for abuse.

  12. Ralph beat me to the punch. Yes to safe storage but no to laws on the topic.

    The laws are too easy to abuse and they’re generally written by people who don’t actually know what they’re talking about. They therefore become onerously expensive for the folks who really need a gun but can only afford that Hi-Point. They also tend to restrict one’s ability to quickly access a firearm in an emergency that requires ranged perforation power of the handheld variety.

  13. Of course not- deal with it the way we deal with every other form of negligence, through the civil courts.

  14. OK, maybe there was a poison pill in the legislation, but read the newspaper article, and NOT TAG’s propaganda. The law punishes people who let kids get a hold of their firearms, IT IS NOT ABOUT SAFE STORAGE. It address the fact that a kid “was shot by her 11-year-old neighbor after he removed his father’s shotgun from a closet last October” the 11 year old is in jail until 19, but the father was never charged.
    The bill would have made it a crime for an adult to “recklessly place, leave or store (a gun) in plain view and readily accessible to a child under 13 if the gun is left unattended,” not under the owner’s control, and either loaded or with ammunition nearby
    Sure sounds like reckless endangerment to me.
    So what should be done, tar and feather the DA along with the 11 year old’s dad?

    • Here’s the problem this law, as you’ve presented it, basically says no kid under 13 can have access to a gun and ammo except under supervision otherwise the parent is in trouble. That’s overly broad.

      Look just leaving a loaded shotgun lying around where kids can get at it seems pretty irresponsible but that doesn’t mean that storage methods should be mandated for everyone. Some people have kids who are trained in the use of firearms.

      Wouldn’t it be equally tragic to have a kid who has knowledge of firearms be killed or kidnapped by a home invader because a safe storage law preventing the kid from having access to a defensive weapon when the unimaginable happened? Oh, well he was 12 so his 20 gauge, that he/she knows exactly how to handle had to be inaccessible to him/her.

      There is no blanket law that can cover every circumstance and no matter how you tailor the law inevitably some otherwise innocent people will somehow end up on the wrong end of it when they really did nothing wrong. You certainly can’t argue that the 12 year old who blasted the house-breaking cho-mo didn’t have ready access to the firearm and ammo because if they didn’t they couldn’t have used it defensively.

      • And if the 12 year old (in this case it was a 11 year old) kills the neighbors 8 year old, who should be charged? What if it is becoming a bigger problem?

        • The trigger puller gets a charge for sure. As for the rest of it you would have to examine it on a case by case basis. Not every case is going to involve gross negligence and a blanket law on storage can’t take every possible set of circumstances into consideration. People who were in circumstances unforeseen by the legislature will inevitably get caught up in this.

          Consider two situations where the 12 year old shoots the eight year old. In the first, the gun is simply stored loaded in a closet and the child has no firearms training. That’s fairly negligent IMHO. In a second case the shotgun is out for cleaning and the gun safe is open, which is where the shells are kept. There’s a house fire across the street and dad rushes out to help get people out of the house, leaving the shotgun out and the safe unlocked. The same shooting occurs.

          In case one, I’d say you have a negligence case that could be made. In the second case dad was distracted by another situation and arguably did nothing wrong. His focus was on saving the lives of his neighbors and that distracted him from properly storing the shotgun. I’d call that extenuating circumstances and I’d argue his actions not to be negligent because he went after the bigger problem that was statistically a bigger threat to more lives. In the case of a blanket safe storage law however, he’d potentially be liable for the shooting unless he wasted precious time storing the shotgun back in the safe (he can’t know if Jr. stole a shell while he wasn’t looking so he’s gotta lock up the gun). So what does he do? Worry about the gun and the low statistical chance of this shooting and let someone burn alive or does he attack the higher risk while relegating the lower risk to the back burner but opening himself up to potential legal action? That’s a shitty situation to put the guy in.

          As for it being a bigger problem, first I’d have to see the stats on the problem getting worse and second those stats would have to outweigh everything else, which in this case I know for a fact that they don’t.

  15. Absolutely not. Anyone who thinks, in these times, that a national “safe storage” bill with flowery language wouldn’t be used to persecute gun owners for political points, including those engaged in legit DGU’s, has his head in the sand.

    The lack of common sense PARENTING in this country is what perpetuates the frequency of these and other fatal accidents. When I was eight years old I showed an interest in power tools. My father came home with a juicy T bone steak from the grocery store and brought me down to his workshop. He put the steak under his miter saw, said “Pretend this is your arm” and chopped it in half. My face turned white, but I got the message, don’t ever play games with power tools. Never touched them without his permission after that. And yes, we cooked the steak later.

    Friends’ dads taught the same lesson with guns by shooting cantaloupes, rabbits, stuff that really shows ballistic power in ways tin cans and paper targets can’t. Nobody I know who was given such a demo as a kid has ever had a negligent discharge or acted cavalier around guns.

    TL;DR, Fvck safe storage laws.

    • But as it stands the dad left his shotgun out. 11 year old kills 8 year old, dad not charged and kid in jail until 19. Solution please?
      And read the actual law.
      FYI in Tennessee since January 2015, there have been 30 incidents of a child finding a loaded gun and firing it, resulting in 18 injuries and 12 deaths.

      • But as it stands the dad left his shotgun out. 11 year old kills 8 year old, dad not charged and kid in jail until 19. Solution please?

        Why are extant laws regarding negligence insufficient?

        • Negligence/civil liability is a whole different kettle of fish than potential criminal liability. And in many cases, there is not enough insurance–if any–to cover the loss.

          • Criminal negligence is no longer a thing?

            I said nothing about civil liability. I’m talking about negligent-act (i.e. involuntary) manslaughter.

        • In this case the current laws we not sufficient as the father of the 11 year old got off. Or do you think his dad was not responsible in this case. Do you think anyone is not responsible when they leave gun out that pre-teens can use unsupervised. How about when someone is killed?

          • Ex hoc ergo propter hoc

            That the authorities decided not to charge the father is not evidence that extant laws were insufficient to charge the father.

            And where have I said or implied that one is not responsible in those circumstances? I have not. To the contrary, I have stated that such a person is criminally negligent.

  16. No.

    (Does more need to be said? I think everyone above has covered it.)

    Rhetorical question: why aren’t all of these people concerned with the welfare of children arguing for safe-storage laws for drugs, which cause far more accidental deaths than firearms?

      • Safety caps go back, what, 20-30 years, at least? And they’re demonstrably ineffective, given the number of accidental deaths due to prescription drug overdose – which, again, far outnumber the number of accidental deaths due to firearms.

        So, where are the calls for safe drug-storage laws?

        • Give me the stats for kids under 13. Also “almost all (91%) of unintentional poisoning deaths are a result of drug overdose – especially from opioid pain medications such as methadone, hydrocodone or oxycodone”. Sound like you want to add up the junkies with the kids. You sound like a gun grabber who lumps in the 17 year old gang banger with the kids killed when dad leaves out the shotgun.

          • Speaking of cherry-picking and conflating statistics:

            Give me the stats for kids under 13.

            Since when are safe-storage laws intended only to impact kids under 13? Regardless, from 2005-2012, there were 110 unintentional firearm deaths among children 0-14, per NIH estimates. According to CDC, the number for 2013 was 69.

            According to that same CDC report, in the same year, 65 children aged 0-14 died due to accidental poisoning.

            That sounds awfully close – which is, I suspect, why you limited your query to those aged 0-14. Because if you look at the overall, accidental fatalities among all ages due to poisoning (38,851), the number dwarfs that of accidental fatalities due to firearms (505).

            Oh, but wait: there is a separate category for “drug-induced deaths”. That category accounts for 106 children aged 0-14, and 46,471 overall.

            I’m sure that includes self-inflicted drug-overdoses. The point is: safe storage of drugs is an overwhelmingly worse problem than safe storage of firearms.

  17. The sequence seems to be:
    1. a child grabbed a parent’s loaded firearm,
    2. Killed themselves or another,
    3. the NRA opposes and perhaps partially assists in overturning ‘commonsense’ regulation to protect innocent children / people (in this case storage law).
    4. Pro-gun forums push back on any storage regulations.

    I wonder about this. We should all agree that the loaded and ready firearm should be in our protection (not accessible to others). What do we do with the 12-gauge or for home 9mm when we go to work? Leave them in the closet or dresser drawer? Both are scenarios that occurred – the former the shooting related in the blog and the other several shootings.

    IMO Leaving a loaded and ready firearm where it can be accessed by another in any circumstance is negligence at the least. When such an event occurs should not this be something that the NRA and that we should condemn in and though major media?. This can be done in such a way as to not address a specific incident but, would it not be ‘helping the cause’ to at least react in the public forum?

    • In response to your comment, I refer you back to Ralph’s comment, above: support for safe storage is not equivalent to support for safe-storage laws.

      And safe-storage laws will do absolutely nothing to change safe-storage behavior, or to reduce accidental deaths related to firearms.

      • Agree and that is my point. We as a group (hopefully) are very good about self-regulating. I don’t think we do a good job about messaging beyond our ‘walls’. The perception being that we are ‘for’ leaving a loaded and ready firearm where someone we don’t intend can take it.

      • Well, it certainly *could* do something about safe storage behavior! If you tell people it’s “the law” that they must lock up their guns, you’ll probably find a higher percentage of people locking up their guns. Not everybody’s as responsible or as intelligent as you and, as the 2A absolutists often repeat, the “shall not be infringed” means that absolutely everyone, regardless of intellectual capacity, has that right to keep and bear that arm. But some of ’em gotta be told, and have to understand that they should comply. If it’s a law, that will get more folks to pay attention to it.

        Enough to make a difference? Enough to warrant the negative effect of implementing the law? Those are both debatable. But it seems eminently reasonable to assume that law-abiding citizens will follow the law, where — if it wasn’t a law, they may not have understood or done the responsible thing.

        Hell, we’ve got enough folks in the “gun community” who advocate never locking your doors because “a locked door is a sign to a thief that there’s something valuable inside”… you can’t ever account for the sheer amount of stupid that’s out there. But just because someone’s stupid, doesn’t make them a lawbreaker, so a good share of those folks might lock their doors (or their gun safe) if they knew it was a law.

        Again — just because something’s unconstitutional, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work. Stop ‘n’ Frisk is unconstitutional as hell — but it was effective. The question is does the end JUSTIFY the means?

        • In this instance, the end doesn’t even justity the end. Democrats will hang gun owners over laws like this one. Your gun proficient teenager with access to your firearm would be your downfall regardless of intent or abilities. I wouldn’t entertain this law for a second for this reason alone.

          And I’m going to be really blunt here. Binder’s dead children should not affect how I store my guns in my home, or my judgment of the abilities of my children vs their availability of firearms – which I would know more than anyone else.

        • OK, then you are responsible if something happens. The problem is people are not being held responsible. The damn feelings keep getting in the way. If your 11 year old killed my 8 year old because you kid was a killer and you left out the 12 gauge, I would probably want to blow your head off. However, I know where that leads to. So what do you recommend, just suck it up? Because the attitude of whatever, I don’t care, it is my right is a really good way to lose them.
          Having kids under 13 shot themselves and others is also a good way to lose your right to bear arms.

        • Truth: Further Impediment to Gun Ownership Laws masquerading as Safe Storage Laws.

          Binder: What if the kid was fully checked out on the shotgun? What if he could out score dad shooting skeet? Is the storage unsafe because dad didn’t know his little snowflake was a homicidal maniac?

    • But governments will always abuse these laws way beyond common sense.

      Massachusetts law says that gun storage must be “securely locked,” but leaves it entirely open to the state’s interpretation what “securely” means. It’s obvious to any cynic that the state will argue that the theft of a gun from any locked area proves a priori that the area wasn’t “securely” locked, and therefore the theft is always the fault of the gun-owner victim.


  18. i can see the point but its a fantasy. once again, this doesn’t avert a tragedy, merely punishes those involved.

  19. So, The Trace, not great with stats…

    Young children shoot themselves, other kids and adults with stunning frequency in America. Between September 1, 2014, and September 1, 2016, a child under the age of 13 was the perpetrator in at least 300 acts of gun violence, resulting in 102 deaths and 198 injuries, according to data provided by the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit.

    That’s 51 deaths a year nationwide, for a death rate of 0.016 per hundred thousand. As tragic as any one case may be, this is not a something that needs a legislative solution.

    • According to trivia columnist L. M. Boyd, over 100 people in the US — twice as many — choke themselves to death on ballpoint pens every year. I like this statistic because it especially useful in putting the issue into sudden perspective.

  20. The safekeeping of your firearms is yet another of the responsibilities you incur when you own firearms, just like observing the rules for the safe handling of them. Other than my “wallhangers” every firearm I own is under “lock and/or key”. If you fear that you may need one quickly in an emergency situation, invest in a quick-access gun safe or two – or as I have, three. I can access a loaded pistol in a matter of a few seconds at most and I don’t have to worry about my grandson finding a loaded firearm and killing/wounding himself or others. Nor do I have to concern myself that I have contributed to a mishap which will inevitably result in stringent laws which infringe on my or anyone else’s liberties.

    • Or, my preferred solution — keep at least a pocket pistol on you. Ain’t nothing ever gonna be faster (or safer) than the pistol that’s on your body, under your control at all times.

    • Good job. I’m sure many agree, but none of that bears any relevance to whether or not legally mandating any of those ideas is acceptable. For myself, it certainly isn’t.

  21. We have ridiculous storage laws in Canada. Don’t let any law makers pass any safe storage laws. Unless I’m cleaning my gun it has to be stored, pistols have trigger lock and have to be locked in cabinet. How does anyone propose that’s reasonable for stopping an intruder.
    Too nanny state for my liking. The police have to make an appt with minimum 24 hr notice to inspect storage .

  22. Safe storage laws are only fair if you get to beat half to death with a wet flip-flop, all those who demanded you lock your firearm and you were not able to access it to protect you, your kids, your home, your friends, your car, your goods, your neighborhood, your boat, your. . .

    If such persons cannot withstand enough of a beating [i.e., cannot withstand much of a beating before being beaten half to death] then you go after their family.

  23. Q: Should “The Trace”, and Mike Spies individually, be held directly responsible for any malfeasance that may come upon you because you had the means to stop it, but your access was handicapped so that Mike and The Trace could claim that they are somehow protecting others (on the individual level [an impossibility]) by forcing you to potentially abdicate your role in your own safety?

    If The Trace, and Mike Spies was successful in their attempts to regulate your storage of firearms, wouldn’t that telegraph to all bad guys what your response time would be?


  24. “When such an event occurs should not this be something that the NRA and that we should condemn in and though major media?. This can be done in such a way as to not address a specific incident but, would it not be ‘helping the cause’ to at least react in the public forum?”

    /The Point
    The NRA, a membership organization for peaceful, responsible gun owners, does, and always has promoted “gun safety.” That’s why they develop and supply education, training and certifications, for example, for individuals, and for “range safety officers” where people practice shooting together. Indeed, the training they offer starts with the four rules.

    How else? Who is most likely to be harmed by unsafe gun handling? The people who have them. Peaceful, responsible citizens looking to own guns want the knowledge and skills to do so safely.

    There is the crux. As with predators, thugs, crazies and terrorists, casual, irresponsible gun handlers aren’t prone to practicing safety, and aren’t much bound by laws anyway. Really, if 1/10 the effort put into knee-jerk restrictions on people who haven’t done anything harmful — “Something, must be done!” — were put into programs like gun safety education, we’d all be further along.

    We look forward to groups like Bloomie’s turf-Mothers Spun up About Only Some Violence joining us in promoting and providing these effective, low-cost ways to allow people to do what they like, and protect themselves, without undue risk. Indeed, we’ve found that peaceful, responsible gun owners eagerly seek out information and training like this. Join us. We’ll be over-booked.

    / If you must…
    Really, responsible gun owners and their organizations like the NRA (among others), don’t like waving bloody shirts after a tragedy. And that’s what dead kids are: a tragedy.

    That said, what might have been avoided, had the children involved had a reasonable grasp of gun safety? Or any other kind of safe behavior? Messing with devices you don’t understand is dangerous. We are fans of teaching children rules and tools to take care of themselves, as, as this tragedy demonstrates, adults won’t always be there. Children drown in pools, because they don’t know and follow the safety rules. Children and others crash cars for the same reason.

    Just as you can’t put a police officer in everybody’s hip pocket, 24×7, you can’t bubble-wrap the world.

    We’d rather put our efforts into empowering people — adults and children alike — with education and practice, so they can live more safely in the world. A law that will be applied only as much as it is enforced is far less effective than awareness, judgment, and skills, not to mention the many consequences and side-effects that come with this particular law.

    Do you really want to make someone purchasing a gun into a license for on-demand inspection of their home? A tool for additional “pile on” charges should they come to law enforcement attention? Another “reasonable suspicion” justifying police harassment? Another administrative charge usable for revenue collection under guise of law enforcement and public safety?

    It this is about safety, teach people. If it’s about something else, well, say that.

    When we have riots in multiple cities for months, grounded in the perception of inconsistent rights and privileges, arbitrary enforcement, harassment, and lack of protection, what will a “dig through you business” law help?

    The reasons for the knee-jerk daemonization of peaceful, responsible people for something they had nothing to do with are my speculation. The NRA doesn’t go there. I do. The advocates of this knee-jerk law that will be ineffective and abused are worse than confused. They are deliberately exploiting a tragedy, when we could be doing things that will help. They are horrible, evil people.

    The next kid that gets killed from mishandling a gun will be on neither the gun, nor peaceful, responsible gun owners … it will be on them.

  25. It is to the point that the only way to get around being hassled about this stuff is to fight your way through.

  26. So can anyone here state that if I leave a loaded firearm accessible to a child under the 13 that I should not be criminal responsible for any injuries or death that result? And if your kid was killed in this situation, honestly what would you do. Remember, in this case it was the neighbors kid with his dad’s gun that just killed your 8 year old over a being able to see a puppy

    • Straw man. No one here has said that.

      Why is another law needed, when laws already on the books should suffice (regardless of the decision not to press charges in this instance)? Especially when said new law would accomplish nothing but place further and unneeded burdens on the law-abiding?

      • So if your kid was killed because your neighbor left out his shotgun for his murdering 11 year old, you would be good with that?

      • Making you responsible for keeping kids out of your loaded firearms is a burden. What next, you want to run over kids who are jaywalking

        • Yes, imposing arbitrary legal restrictions on the manner the law-abiding choose in exercising the right to keep and bear arms is inherently and by definition a burden. I didn’t think that point really needed to be spelled out.

        • I was looking threw the comments, ” I have stated that such a person is criminally negligent.” But the Law makes it a crime to “recklessly place, leave or store (a gun) in plain view and readily accessible to a child under 13 if the gun is left unattended,” not under the owner’s control, and either loaded or with ammunition nearby. OK, so why exactly did you not like it? Remember the “recklessly place” is in there for the “I had to run out a save the neighbors in the burning house” argument. There is some possible argument for a responsible 12 year old, but just how many home invasions are stopped for the number of kids killed?

        • “OK, so why exactly did you not like it? Remember the “recklessly place” is in there for the “I had to run out a save the neighbors in the burning house” argument.”

          Massachusetts police ORDERED people out of their homes (without warrants) while searching neighborhoods for the Marathon bomber… then charged a number of them with “leaving unsecured firearms unattended.” These were homes with no minors, and the firearms were unattended only because the police ordered the residents outside at gunpoint.

          Why you would even want to enable this sort of oppression boggles me.