Gun owners, like anyone, have a responsibility to see to it that they do not allow a foreseeable harm to occur through their own negligence or recklessness.
In this instance I see two things which make me less than sympathetic to the defendant:
1) She did not properly secure firearms not under her direct control;
2) She allowed someone she knew or should have known was a dangerous person access to such firearms.
(Sharon Kask allowed Jason’s father to store an arsenal of thirty firearms in her home in a makeshift gun cabinet, and she gave Jason free access to her home...)
That is not the behavior of a responsible person.
Note the article also mentions other state's ruling on this matter: Courts in Indiana, Kansas and Montana have recently expanded liability of gun owners who fail to secure their guns.
Courts in KA, IN and MN have ruled similar to the MA courts:
The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in August 1998 that handgun owners have a duty to store guns safely in order to prevent juveniles and others from misusing them (Long v. Turk [962 P.2d 1093]). Seventeen-year-old Matthew Turk took his father's .357 Magnum handgun, which had been left in a cabinet. While out driving, he shot and killed Anthony Long, a passenger in another vehicle, during a traffic dispute. Long's mother filed a wrongful-death action against Matthew's father. The court held that because firearms are dangerous instruments, gun owners owe the public a duty to secure them. This case followed a similar case in Montana, Streaver v. Cline (924 P.2d 666 [Mont. 1996]), which also resulted in a decision that firearms owners have a duty to secure their guns from theft.
On April 7, 2003 the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that gun owners have a legal duty to exercise care in the storage of their firearms in order to keep them away from criminals. The court overturned a lower court ruling that Indiana gun owners do not have a responsibility to secure their own weapons (Estate of Heck v. Stoffer [No. 02A03-0007-CV-267).
Its nothing new.
Just because its a MA case people go nuts...
This is a very different case from a situation mentioned by LenS:
IMNSHO if a gun is locked adequately in a home (meets MGLs), a perp breaks in (not one that lives with you), steals the gun and mis-uses it . . . I fully expect the gun owner to be arrested and charged with a crime.
You are expected to safely store your weapons so that people who have access to your home but are not supposed to have access to your firearms. You aren't required to have your home the equivalent of Fort Knox.
If your storage of the weapons complies with the law and someone broke into your home, stole your weapon, and that gun was later used in a crime, if you reported the theft you will in all likelihood be fine.
You have a duty to store weapons in a reasonably secure manner.
If someone wants into your safe and has to B&E, steal your gun case and spend an hour with power-tools...well, that's pretty much proof your storage was secure if someone has to go through all that to get your Glock.