Gun Owner, Not Thief, Could be Held Liable for Murders in New Hampshire

This is a discussion on Gun Owner, Not Thief, Could be Held Liable for Murders in New Hampshire within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Saw this in my morning reading. In a case attorneys say has no precedent in New Hampshire, a federal appeals court is weighing whether the ...

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 36
Like Tree27Likes

Thread: Gun Owner, Not Thief, Could be Held Liable for Murders in New Hampshire

  1. #1
    Member Array Ransom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    347

    Gun Owner, Not Thief, Could be Held Liable for Murders in New Hampshire

    Saw this in my morning reading.

    In a case attorneys say has no precedent in New Hampshire, a federal appeals court is weighing whether the owner of a handgun used to kill three people at a Conway military surplus shop in July 2007 could be held liable for their murders.

    Lawrence Secord didn't do enough to secure the .22-caliber handgun he kept at his camp in Wentworth Location, enabling his grandson, Michael Woodbury, to steal it and open fire in the Army Barracks store several days later, according to a lawsuit brought by the mother of one of the victims.

    A federal judge decided Secord didn't have a duty to store his gun in a different manner, citing the circumstances of the case - that Woodbury had broken into Secord's cabin - and a New Hampshire Supreme Court ruling that individuals ordinarily can't be held liable for crimes committed by others.
    Article: Gunowner may be liable

    One of the commenters nailed it:

    Let's say that someone breaks into my house and steals the keys to my car. Drives that Stolen car and kills someone. Am I now guilty of vehicular homicide? Sounds stupid doesn't it, that's because it is.

    Guns should be kept locked safely away when not under your direct control. Come to think of it so should lawyers.

  2. Remove Ads

  3. #2
    Ex Member Array Harryball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Lansing Mi
    Posts
    6,960
    I said that this could happen in another thread. Certain folks did not believe it could happen. Well its happening....
    Guest1, Badey and The Old Anglo like this.

  4. #3
    VIP Member
    Array RoadRunner71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,321
    This is not good. Secord "hid" the gun rather than securing it. I don't care if it was in a locked building. If others have access to that building, that gun was outside of his control.

    This does not sound good for any of us if this precedent is set.

    So, if a burglar burns through your gun safe while you are gone for the weekend, then uses the firearm(s) therein to commit a crime, you could be held liable?

    Not good.
    "Mind own business"
    "Always cut cards"

  5. #4
    Senior Member Array Chad Rogers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Metro DC
    Posts
    958
    Interesting that in the purportedly "live free or die" state, there are folks who think that a person who breaks into a house (committing a crime), steals a gun (committing a crime), and murders people with it (committing a crime), is not the person responsible for his actions. Nope. The homeowner is.

    I see the same mindset among liberals who somehow/some way can find a reason why a person is not responsible for what they did. Just never thought I would see it spill over into the gun owners world.
    atctimmy likes this.
    "People who take an Internet handle of a great warrior, are usually the first to go fetal when crunch time comes." - Me

  6. #5
    Senior Member Array Dennis1209's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    NW, TN
    Posts
    744
    Just no common sense anymore. If successful, this would have far reaching consequences.

    Best put a pad lock on your silverware drawer to secure those butter knives.

    Just when you thought the thickness of the lawyer section in the "Yellow Pages" couldn't get any thicker?
    I think, therefore I am...

    <the Menace>

  7. #6
    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    ct
    Posts
    1,902
    follow the money. its all about the lawyer telling the grieving people that he can "make them pay"
    them being someone with something 'we' can take from them.
    the kid got nothing...
    go after the ...well, keep on going after who ever till we get something. by the way,
    says the lawyer, i need another $5000 to file more paperwork if im going to sue for you.
    oneshot and The Old Anglo like this.
    Be aware, be deliberate in your actions and be accurate.
    -------------------
    Why do those elected to positions of power than work so hard
    to deny those same opportunities to the same people who empowered them

  8. #7
    VIP Member
    Array OldVet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    S. Florida, north of the Miami mess, south of the Mouse trap
    Posts
    15,864
    Secured, hidden, or otherwise, the blame is entirely on the thief--NOT the victim(s). Unless NH has a law that states all firearms must be locked and secured when not on the person, the owner violated no laws.

    At what point do we, as citizens, make a stand and force the courts to stop making criminals of victims?
    scgunlover1 and DaveH like this.
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    25,981
    It's an interesting question, whether there should be a distinction between an unknown/uninvited criminal and someone invited into the home. In this case, though, it seems the break-in was the key factor.

    Can't imagine what's going through the heads of the screaming ninnie's looking for the owner's head. By their logic, if a stolen item gets into the hands of someone who misuses it, then the owner's liable for those crimes. Even if the item was inside a locked home? Inside a locked safe inside a locked home? Inside a locked safe bolted to the foundation and encased in four feet of steel-reinforced concrete inside a locked home? Slippery slope those knuckleheads are on.

    Taken to logical extremes, such purveyors of knee-jerk illogic would:
    • Hold a person responsible for what is purchased by a robber after fencing the stolen goods.
    • Hold a person liable to cover all insured losses of items stolen from one's home.
    • Hold a person responsible for a death because one's thieved blood pressure pills got sold/given to someone else who died of zero BP.
    • Hold Ford responsible for a drive-by shooting because a Ford emblem was on the grille of the criminal's car.
    • Hold Boeing responsible for loss of peaceful neighborhood space because of the local air traffic decisions made.
    • Hold Nature responsible for sharp, pointy objects when one's lack of common sense causes pain for one's assumptions.


    I was born in the wrong century.
    accessbob and oneshot like this.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    2,220
    Quote Originally Posted by claude clay View Post
    follow the money. its all about the lawyer telling the grieving people that he can "make them pay"
    them being someone with something 'we' can take from them.
    the kid got nothing...
    go after the ...well, keep on going after who ever till we get something. by the way,
    says the lawyer, i need another $5000 to file more paperwork if im going to sue for you.
    Nailed it. Look for the deepest pockets and find a way to implicate them. You don't even need a rational argument. Just throw a bunch of stuff out and see if anything sticks. You know the other party will have to hire an attorney just to counter all the stuff you're throwing their way. Maybe, they'll get tired of it and settle out of court.
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

  11. #10
    Ex Member Array oldrwizr's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Durham, N.C.
    Posts
    413
    Amazing how people misinterpret what they read. After reading the posts I expected something much different when I went and read the article. This is not a random thief stealing a random gun committing random murders. This is a family dispute dredged up by the mother trying to get her son off the hook and having a lawyer who would try. You guys feel free to worry yourselves blind over this. Here's my worry level: ____________

  12. #11
    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    under a rock in area 51
    Posts
    2,548
    Let's say that someone breaks into my house and steals the keys to my car. Drives that Stolen car and kills someone. Am I now guilty of vehicular homicide? Sounds stupid doesn't it, that's because it is.
    Guns should be kept locked safely away when not under your direct control. Come to think of it so should lawyers.
    He needs to be sued, it’s his firearm and he has a responsibility to secure it from unauthorized access. if they break a lock off and uses it but to just leave it lying around so anyone can get at it is a different story. Texas has laws that say just that and makes the owner responsible

    edit: it wasn’t lying around but in a secure cabin but not locked up. there still needs to be some better for of security if it’s that easy to get to it

    “IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STORE, TRANSPORT, OR ABANDON AN UNSECURED FIREARM IN A PLACE WHERE CHILDREN ARE LIKELY TO BE AND CAN OBTAIN ACCESS TO THE FIREARM.”
    PC 46.13. MAKING A FIREARM ACCESSIBLE TO A CHILD.

  13. #12
    Member Array Ransom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    347
    Quote Originally Posted by oldrwizr View Post
    Amazing how people misinterpret what they read. After reading the posts I expected something much different when I went and read the article. This is not a random thief stealing a random gun committing random murders. This is a family dispute dredged up by the mother trying to get her son off the hook and having a lawyer who would try. You guys feel free to worry yourselves blind over this. Here's my worry level: ____________
    Go back and read the article again. It was the mother of a murder victim, not the mother of the thief/murderer.

  14. #13
    Member Array Ransom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    347
    Quote Originally Posted by barstoolguru View Post
    He needs to be sued, it’s his firearm and he has a responsibility to secure it from unauthorized access. It’s one thing if someone breaks in and steals it or breaks a lock off and uses it but to just leave it lying around so anyone can get at it is a different story. Texas has laws that say just that and makes the owner responsible

    “IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STORE, TRANSPORT, OR ABANDON AN UNSECURED FIREARM IN A PLACE WHERE CHILDREN ARE LIKELY TO BE AND CAN OBTAIN ACCESS TO THE FIREARM.”
    PC 46.13. MAKING A FIREARM ACCESSIBLE TO A CHILD.
    I see a few problems with your analysis: The gun was in a locked house and the thieving grandson had to break in to steal it. The gun was not left "lying around", it was hidden. The Texas law you quoted was about access by a child, but this grandson was an adult and a convicted felon.

    Other than that, I agree it would have been better to have the gun secured in a safe instead of hidden. It would have at least slowed him down. But then the question is, how secure is good enough? It's a slippery slope to hold the man liable for crimes committed with a gun stolen from his locked cabin.
    accessbob and Brass63 like this.

  15. #14
    Member Array Orion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    103
    Quote Originally Posted by barstoolguru View Post
    He needs to be sued, it’s his firearm and he has a responsibility to secure it from unauthorized access. if they break a lock off and uses it but to just leave it lying around so anyone can get at it is a different story. Texas has laws that say just that and makes the owner responsible

    edit: it wasn’t lying around but in a secure cabin but not locked up. there still needs to be some better for of security if it’s that easy to get to it

    “IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STORE, TRANSPORT, OR ABANDON AN UNSECURED FIREARM IN A PLACE WHERE CHILDREN ARE LIKELY TO BE AND CAN OBTAIN ACCESS TO THE FIREARM.”
    PC 46.13. MAKING A FIREARM ACCESSIBLE TO A CHILD.
    Irrelevant. There is no indication in the story that this is an area where one could reasonable expect a child to be, or have access to for that matter. The story states that this is the owner's camp, subsequently referred to as a cabin. One could reason that this may be a hunting lodge, used by select members of the family and not for general family use and entertainment. One could then assume that anyone familiar with the site would also be educated in the proper handling and use of a firearm. Too many variables that are missing from the story to make any definitive conclusion.

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    2,886
    ...Mr. Woodbury could not have gotten a hold of them, and we wouldn't be here today," Tepichin said.

    A felon with a history of armed robbery, Woodbury left prison in the months before the murders...


    So should everyone in the world lock up their guns, hammers, cars and everything else you can think of because this clown got out of prison? If it wasn't this guy's gun that he took, it would have been something else anyway. I think they "wouldn't be here today" if said scumbag was still in prison. Maybe instead of the world having to lock up everything on Gods Green Earth, they should keep these people where they belong, out of society. Yeah, he sounds rehabilitated don't he? <rant off>

    All that said, I do understand that people should keep guns locked up and out of childrens' curious hands. But convicted felons will always be plenty capable of finding ways to do something stupid with other peoples' stuff. I just find it preposterous that people can be held liable for something that another adult got themselves into.

    Hmm, trespassing, slashing a screen, breaking a window, breaking and entering, stealing a hidden firearm, using it to kill 3 people. All he would have needed to do was add cutting open a safe to that and we all would be in the same boat I guess. I hope they're easy on Mr. Secord.

    I also agree with claud clay about the money.
    Vietnam Vets, WELCOME HOME

    Crossman 760 BB/Pellet, Daisy Red Ryder, Crossman Wrist Rocket, 14 Steak Knives, 3 Fillet Knives, Rolling Pin-14", Various Hunting Knives, 2 Baseball Bats, 3 Big Dogs and a big American Flag flying in the yard. I have no firearms; Try the next house.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Search tags for this page

can a gun shop owner be found liable
,
can you be held liable for not locking up your guns if they are stolen?
,
conway, nh military surplus store murders
,

gun owners not responsible

,
if a crime is committed with your gun
,
if someone steals your gun and commits a crime are you responsible
,
if someone steals your gun and kills someone are you liable
,
if someone stole my firearm am i liable for murder?
,
law says if someone steals your gun and kills someone you can go to prison
,
michigan if someone breaks into my home and steals my weapons am i liable
,
someone steals gun from my house and commits crime. am i responsiblle?
,
texas gun law are you responsible if someone else steals it
Click on a term to search for related topics.