Tort liability and unsecured property

Tort liability and unsecured property

This is a discussion on Tort liability and unsecured property within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I was not sure what the proper forum for this should be so I will put it in here. What responsibility should property owners bear ...

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Thread: Tort liability and unsecured property

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Tort liability and unsecured property

    I was not sure what the proper forum for this should be so I will put it in here.
    What responsibility should property owners bear when their property is stolen and later used in a crime?
    Tort Liability for the Negligent Storage of Firearms « lawhaha.com
    This article, cited by several courts, asserts that U.S. common law firmly supports of a tort cause of action for the “negligent storage” of a firearm when unauthorized users gain access to it and use the weapon to cause harm.
    This Article makes a case that unsafe firearm storage constitutes an unreasonable risk and is negligent conduct under universally accepted principles of tort law.
    If this is the case who decides what is proper storage? Will you be subject to home inspections like they have in the U.K.? Is storing a weapon in a vehicle reasonable or unsafe? Or, for that matter is storing your vehicle on the street unsafe? We do have garages and secured parking in many places. Its not unreasonable to think a car owner should insure that his parked car is safely stored when it is outside his control.

    Armed and Dangerous: Tort Liability for the Negligent Storage of Firearms by Andrew McClurg :: SSRN
    By definition, all stolen guns go directly into the wrong hands. Thus, not only is it foreseeable that guns will be stolen, it is readily foreseeable that stolen guns will be use for criminal purposes.
    Would this logic not apply to any property that might be stolen from a person?

    Michael


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    Member Array DanDglassman's Avatar
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    Not suprising. I believe the spirit of the law is to hold negligent an individual that does not secure his firearm sufficiently to prevent accidental injury. Somehow I imagine it will be twisted to allow the BG to sue the owner that he stole the gun from - to pay his bond from using said weapon in a crime. Or by the victim to sue the original gun owner for injuries received by BG.

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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanDglassman View Post
    Not suprising. I believe the spirit of the law is to hold negligent an individual that does not secure his firearm sufficiently to prevent accidental injury. Somehow I imagine it will be twisted to allow the BG to sue the owner that he stole the gun from - to pay his bond from using said weapon in a crime. Or by the victim to sue the original gun owner for injuries received by BG.
    They don't want me on that jury!
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    I was not sure what the proper forum for this should be so I will put it in here.
    What responsibility should property owners bear when their property is stolen and later used in a crime?
    Tort Liability for the Negligent Storage of Firearms « lawhaha.com


    If this is the case who decides what is proper storage? Will you be subject to home inspections like they have in the U.K.? Is storing a weapon in a vehicle reasonable or unsafe? Or, for that matter is storing your vehicle on the street unsafe? We do have garages and secured parking in many places. Its not unreasonable to think a car owner should insure that his parked car is safely stored when it is outside his control.

    Armed and Dangerous: Tort Liability for the Negligent Storage of Firearms by Andrew McClurg :: SSRN

    Would this logic not apply to any property that might be stolen from a person?

    Michael
    Civil liability is always determined by either a settlement of some sort between the parties, or a judicial proceeding--trial, in which the jury determines if there was negligence and therefore liability. Since the standard is 'more likely than not,' you could have two different juries reach two different verdicts on the same facts. In short, whether it is those leaves you didn't blow from your driveway or your stored gun, if something is alleged to have gone wrong, it will get settled one way or the other. Homeowner's insurance provides insurance against personal liability. Carry lots of it and carry an Umbrella policy.

    The second question is sort of silly. No one is going to inspect your house. Negligence is determined AFTER something has gone wrong, not before. No one is a mind reader and now one can predict the future. As always, it comes down to did you do what a reasonable person would do.

    With regard to gun storage, would a reasonable person keep guns in their home outside of a safe where they might be stolen by a stranger when you are not home. I think the answer is yes. Others would disagree. There probably is some civil case law in your own state that deals with this issue.
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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    The second question is sort of silly. No one is going to inspect your house. Negligence is determined AFTER something has gone wrong, not before. No one is a mind reader and now one can predict the future. As always, it comes down to did you do what a reasonable person would do.
    I'm sure gun owners in the U.K. felt this way too. Their laws say that firearms must be stored securely. Those enforcing this regulation interpret that to mean that they can inspect this storage area in order to determine that it meets that requirement.

    With regard to gun storage, would a reasonable person keep guns in their home outside of a safe where they might be stolen by a stranger when you are not home. I think the answer is yes. Others would disagree. There probably is some civil case law in your own state that deals with this issue.
    I agree that it is perfectly reasonable to keep guns outside a safe. They are still behind the walls of the residence which should prevent them from being accidentally removed by persons who have, through no fault of their own, entered the wrong house.
    I also believe that a firearm in a vehicle is properly stored. Will some "reasonable" bureaucrat come to the same conclusion?

    Michael

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