Gun Owners Legal Battle
This is a discussion on Gun Owners Legal Battle within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; A 9 yo boy stole a gun from his Mothers Boyfriend. Douglas L Bauer kept a 1911 45 loaded on his bedside table. The boy ...
Post By WHEC724
March 14th, 2013 11:52 AM
Gun Owners Legal Battle
A 9 yo boy stole a gun from his Mothers Boyfriend. Douglas L Bauer kept a 1911 45 loaded on his bedside table. The boy took the gun to school in a backpack. Reaching into the backpack, the gun discharged & seriously wounded Amina Kocer Bowman. Douglas had other guns 'improperly stored'. He is being charged with Class C Felony assault. He was not present. (Mom a Felon had assault charges dropped to testify against Douglas.)
One Judge said he could be charged, a retired Judge disagreed. It is going to WA State Supreme Court.
I would like to know what others think on this case.
The LAW IMHO Is Being Twisted!
My Opinion: What if the boy stabbed someone with a stolen knife? Would he still be charged with the assault? Very Doubtful!
What if it was an adult whom stole the gun? Would Douglas still be charged? Doubtful!
Accumulation Related Stories
Updates on School Shooting Victim Amina Kocer-Bowman News for Kitsap, WA from Kitsap Sun
March 14th, 2013 12:02 PM
I don't know the laws of Wa. But in Florida the law states:
Florida Statute 790.174 Safe storage of firearms required.
(1) A person who stores or leaves, on a premise under his or her control, a loaded firearm, as defined in s. 790.001, and who knows or reasonably should know that a minor is likely to gain access to the firearm without the lawful permission of the minor's parent or the person having charge of the minor, or without the supervision required by law, shall keep the firearm in a securely locked box or container or in a location which a reasonable person would believe to be secure or shall secure it with a trigger lock, except when the person is carrying the firearm on his or her body or within such close proximity thereto that he or she can retrieve and use it as easily and quickly as if he or she carried it on his or her body.
(2) It is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, if a person violates subsection (1) by failing to store or leave a firearm in the required manner and as a result thereof a minor gains access to the firearm, without the lawful permission of the minor's parent or the person having charge of the minor, and possesses or exhibits it, without the supervision required by law.
A misdemeanor of the second degree; $500 fine and 60 days in jail.
March 14th, 2013 12:10 PM
The gun should never been left out where the child could get it. My weapon is never left out if I am not there. So yes I think he should be held responsible in some way. Assault???..... Idk
March 14th, 2013 12:14 PM
I think that a felony charge is a bit too draconian, a misdemeanor would be more appropriate. However, the fact is that he left a loaded firearm easily accessible to a child. That is definitely irresponsible, and as a gun owner he should have been more cognizant of what is happening within his own house and taken steps to ensure that no unauthorized individuals, child or otherwise, would have access to his firearms.
March 14th, 2013 12:49 PM
I too believe I am responsible for the safety of my firearms.
I keep them locked up or on my person. At night one is on my night stand.
But when I wake in the morning I shower, dress, and wear it. I suppose
during my shower my 13 year old child could get her hands on it though not likely.
I think felonies are thrown around to often. Assault? I don't think so.
But responsible in some degree, definately. He bought it, loaded it, and left it.
Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle.
But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer.
March 14th, 2013 01:05 PM
With great power, comes great responsibility.
I cringe when I see a thread on the great variety of home safes, and see all of the replies with "I don't have kids, so I just leave it in a drawer".
You Can Also Find Me On Personal Defense Forum Dot Com
March 14th, 2013 01:19 PM
I don't like that he left the gun out but I also don't like it when a person gets punished for something he didn't do. IMO the mom should be the one in trouble, if anyone should be.
I American and I Ameriwill!
March 14th, 2013 02:36 PM
Yes improper storage. Assault has intent in it. I wanted to write a letter to the newspaper. So looking for wider perspective. Thanks
March 14th, 2013 02:37 PM
In WA it is not required to lock up your guns. There is the child endagerment provision, and yes he should have known better. He also should not have been giving his girlfriend (a felon) access to the house with guns around. He made all sorts of mistakes, and I have no problem with him being held accountable for that, BUT...
The assault charge they are charging him with requires that you "cause" the act/injury upon the victim. Allowing this charge to go forward is essentially implimenting a new law requiring WA gun owners to lock their guns or be held criminally liable for actions taken with them. That is not a decision a judge or prosecutor should be making. That kind of rule is up to the legislature and the people.
As to the knife argument against it, the majority opinion addressed that by saying that a knife has many other purposes and uses, while leaving a gun out indicates a mindset of willfull negligence, or something to that effect. It was a weak argument, but made it clear that this is not precidence for charges agaist actions with any normal stolen property, just guns...or a hand granade(yes he used that comparrison).
March 14th, 2013 03:17 PM
If indeed a parent or other adult opts to take zero steps to secure a firearm from young children within that home, and then another comes to harm directly because of that, then I think it's hard to argue the parent/adult in question didn't contribute in a material way to that situation occurring.
This is distinctly different than securing items inside a home that is locked against intrusion. This sort of situation is a situation where a child inside the home gains casual access to a weapon because no precautions are taken by the responsible adult over that weapon's access. In the case of young children inside the home, I agree with the "safe storage" requirements some states have put in place.
March 14th, 2013 03:36 PM
I don't leave any of mine out even though I'm not worried about kids. How about the turd that breaks into the house while you are gone? You served up exactly what he wants.
March 14th, 2013 05:22 PM
Was he wrong, and should he probably be punished? Yes, but not with an assault charge. It just doesn't fit.
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