Indiana Appeals court rules gun owner isn’t liable after shot from stolen weapon kills teen

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ScottS

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Get REAL, so you leave your car running with the keys in it unlocked in your driveway, at the convenience store? YES, it's YOUR fault for being negligent. You leave a loaded pistol on the front seat of your unlocked vehicle and you don't think that's negligent? Wow, not big on personal responsibility I see. Do I leave my pistol on the table when my 2yr old Grandson is running around? NO! And you guys wonder why liberals pass nanny Laws, perfect example right here.

Holy shit, is that the pot calling the kettle black.

I thought we didn’t do “victim blaming.” The guy was victim of theft.

“He left his gun on his seat, and it was stolen. He had it coming.”

“She wore a tight, short skirt to a bar, and she got raped. She had it coming.”

See how that works?
 

Devils Paintbrush

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In a perfect world, no one dies before they are 100, and everyone drives a porsche that never gets into an accident. In a perfect world people don't steal your things.

I grew up in the midwest. It is not practical to apply Massachusetts sensibilities (and I use that term loosely) when discussing concepts of gun crime in other states.

I think justice is done when a bank robber gets shot in the process of committing a crime, because that person chose their fate by robbing a bank (committing a crime). An individual makes a choice when they do things that have consequences. Kid still stole a weapon from a car.

Unfortunately he killed someone else. Never would have happened if he left it in the car, it was not his property.

There are a million scenarios for why the weapon was left in the car and probably happens more often than you think with no consequences . A weapon doesn't have legs and can't fire on its own.
 
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Okay - You call a guy by a diminutive who you don't know which is an insult in just about every culture and then insult him again by calling him a liberal within a sarcastic post about insults.

I think asshat is quite the descriptive and desrving moniker.

What's an asshat tough guy? Diminutive? . You want to get down in the dirt I'm your guy. Now back to the point, leaving a weapon unattended out in the open in a unlocked car is irresponsible and plain stupid. Some of you posters seem to live in the shoulda, woulda, coulda world. I live in the real world, a firearm is a dangerous weapon and it's the owners responsibility to ensure he/she has total control of it at all times. Obviously none of you anti's have been in the Military or you would know what happens to you when you don't have control of your weapon. And YES, if you don't secure your valuables YOU have no one to blame but yourself, common sense.
 
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Holy shit, is that the pot calling the kettle black.

I thought we didn’t do “victim blaming.” The guy was victim of theft.

“He left his gun on his seat, and it was stolen. He had it coming.”

“She wore a tight, short skirt to a bar, and she got raped. She had it coming.”

See how that works?
Yes, I see how that works. Take responsibility for your actions like an ADULT.
 
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The facts in this case strongly resemble situations where a court
would have no qualms whatsoever about finding the defendant liable:


If it weren't for the statute deliberately punching a hole
in liability law for stolen guns,
I wouldn't have been the least bit surprised
if the lawsuit had succeeded against the gun owner.

If the plaintiff appeals to the state supreme court,
the defendant had better pray that the highest court
shares the lower court's respect for the will of the legislature.

And all the other gun owners in Indiana had better pray that
the statute doesn't get repealed because of this guy's negligence.


church-lady-satan.jpg

Yeah, seems that this law is very broad in its protection, which may or may not be good.

In this case, I am inclined to feel that a 15 year old, while still a minor, is old enough to be expected to know that theft is wrong and that guns are dangerous. An attractive nuisance claim would be an uphill battle because 15 isn't really in the realm of "kids are too dumb to know better". But the question would be there and it might not be an open and shut case like this.

I could also easily see leaving a loaded gun in plain sight, unsecured, being an attractive nuisance in certain circumstances. This case would be much more controversial if the little thieves were much younger. Does an 8 year old really have the mens rea to be a thief? One can image a young enough child being somewhat blameless for being too stupid to leave a gun alone.
 
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In a perfect world, no one dies before they are 100, and everyone drives a porsche that never gets into an accident. In a perfect world people don't steal your things.

I grew up in the midwest. It is not practical to apply Massachusetts sensibilities (and I use that term loosely) when discussing concepts of gun crime in other states.

I think justice is done when a bank robber gets shot in the process of committing a crime, because that person chose their fate by robbing a bank (committing a crime). An individual makes a choice when they do things that have consequences. Kid still stole a weapon from a car.

Unfortunately he killed someone else. Never would have happened if he left it in the car, it was not his property.

There are a million scenarios for why the weapon was left in the car and probably happens more often than you think with no consequences . A weapon doesn't have legs and can't fire on its own.
In plain sight and in an unlocked car is irresponsible to say the least.
:rolleyes:o_O
Who's the criminal?
Didn't say he was a CRIMINAL, I said he was irresponsible and stupid.
 

Dennis in MA

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What's an asshat tough guy? Diminutive? . You want to get down in the dirt I'm your guy. Now back to the point, leaving a weapon unattended out in the open in a unlocked car is irresponsible and plain stupid. Some of you posters seem to live in the shoulda, woulda, coulda world. I live in the real world, a firearm is a dangerous weapon and it's the owners responsibility to ensure he/she has total control of it at all times. Obviously none of you anti's have been in the Military or you would know what happens to you when you don't have control of your weapon. And YES, if you don't secure your valuables YOU have no one to blame but yourself, common sense.

You've never heard the term asshat?? I'm working on a trucker-cap with a patch with the outline of our fair state on it. I'm gonna call it my Masshat. I'll wear it up north. I like Masshat better than Mass Hole. LOL

But how are the guys here anti's??? That's the one that bothers me.

I get your logic. I'd never do it myself, but the judges were 100% right-on on this one. The fact that there is a CHANCE that this guy is guilty of anything - criminal or civil - is crazy.

Now, if you leave your weapon sitting around and a 2yo comes and shoots someone in the Masshat, you are wicked liable. Because a 2yo can't reason all of this. He didn't "steal" the gun, he just picked it up like 2yo's do.

But the facts of the case are:

1. Guy leaves car unlocked. Gun on seat.

2. Perp opens car door, steals gun.

3. Perp SHOOTS SOMEBODY ELSE.

Now, if Perp shot Guy, Guy is SOL. Shoulda secured his weapon and he paid the price. Who's he gonna sue anyhow? Himself? (Well, it HAS happened before.)

But Perp stole the gun and shot someone else. Regardless of if it was in plain sight in an unlocked vehicle or behind 3' of hardened steel, it's still the Perp that did wrong.

We are talking, in this case, if Guy has any liability, civilly, for leaving the gun out. In MA - yes. In whatever state this was (I've forgotten now) - no. No duty to lock it up.

Was he stupid?? YES! None of us disagree.

Is he criminally or civilly liable - NO!
 

strangenh

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Well, there is an intervening criminal act and a third party injured as a result of that act, an act that isn't in the course of directly acting on the attractive nuisance. I see where you're going with it, but this case was pushing the doctrine's normal envelope. So the idea that an item that isn't protected form theft, once stolen, carries an infinite liability chain behind it... that's not how torts work with an "attractive nuisance" - the intervening criminal act is the proximate cause. Had the person taking the gun injured themselves in the process, that could fall under the doctrine. Think of it this way, if your pool is not fenced, and someone beats someone unconscious and drowns them in it, would the attractive nuisance doctrine apply? (Spoiler: No).

Perhaps you're conflating it with the core notion of duty to act in a reasonable manner. Time, place, circumstance would dictate that. For example, if there has been a rash of vehicle break-ins in that area targeting valuables left in plain view, and the owner was notified about them, then one could make that argument; but it would apply - again - to consequences directly in the course. (Classic example, landlord not responsible for a resident being mugged even if the light at the entry is out... unless notified the light is out and it is well-known to be a risky area for that sort of attack. But neither the landlord nor the mugging victim would be liable for the downstream use of (say) the mugging victim's now-stolen handgun in a later crime.)

If the gun owner knows there is a specific bad actor and leaves the gun available to them, that would be a different story.

The facts in this case strongly resemble situations where a court
would have no qualms whatsoever about finding the defendant liable:


If it weren't for the statute deliberately punching a hole
in liability law for stolen guns,
I wouldn't have been the least bit surprised
if the lawsuit had succeeded against the gun owner.

If the plaintiff appeals to the state supreme court,
the defendant had better pray that the highest court
shares the lower court's respect for the will of the legislature.

And all the other gun owners in Indiana had better pray that
the statute doesn't get repealed because of this guy's negligence.


church-lady-satan.jpg
 
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commodon

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The guy who left the gun on the seat did a stupid thing but he should not have been held criminally responsible for the actions of another. I agree with the court's decision.

IBTL

Agreed. IMO while it can be construed and even argued the gun owner was irresponsible to leave an unsecured, loaded weapon in plain view on the seat inside an unsecured motor vehicle, the gun owner should not be charged with any crimes committed by the actions of someone else who steals the weapon.

Aside from this, it sounds like the gun owner was charged using the same philosophy some profess should be applied to drug dealers.
 
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and back to my original post/reply that started all the hatred, insults, and vitriol.
"what an idiot, he's lucky he got off."
Never said he should be criminally charged, arrested, sued, etc.
That is all!
 

Dennis in MA

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C'mon. You've had a Robert Conrad "go ahead and knock it off my shoulder" attitude the entire thread. It's OK. Just settle down now. We're all here to have a lively discussion, not take it personally.

"he's lucky he got off" and "not liable in any way" are not congruous statements. If you believe your second statement, the PLAINTIFF should be lucky they didn't get a severe tongue lashing by the 3-judge panel. The defendant was not lucky but 100% in the right in that case.

It's OK that you sighed a sigh of relief. We all did. He wasn't lucky. He was correctly adjudicated. ;)
 

pastera

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What's an asshat tough guy? Diminutive? . You want to get down in the dirt I'm your guy. Now back to the point, leaving a weapon unattended out in the open in a unlocked car is irresponsible and plain stupid. Some of you posters seem to live in the shoulda, woulda, coulda world. I live in the real world, a firearm is a dangerous weapon and it's the owners responsibility to ensure he/she has total control of it at all times. Obviously none of you anti's have been in the Military or you would know what happens to you when you don't have control of your weapon. And YES, if you don't secure your valuables YOU have no one to blame but yourself, common sense.
You don't even understand what I said and you come back swinging and threatening.

No one here is disputing that leaving a gun out in the open is not irresponsible or stupid - what is being said is that creating equivalent culpability between not securing a firearm and shooting a person is BS.
Holding a person criminally liable for a shooting for having their property stolen is ridiculous - what level of responsibility to you attribute to the shooter? Do you hold him harmless because if the firearm was secured he wouldn't be tempted to try to kill someone?
You are creating a collectivist punishment system similar to what happens in the military - one person F's up and everyone gets punishment (or training) regardless of culpability.
The thief is 100% responsible for taking the gun - we aren't talking about toddlers so don't attempt to confuse the question.
The thief is 100% responsible for pulling the trigger.

Military - not that it matters but I did my time as a Guardsman so take that for what it's worth.
Asshat - one who wears one's own ass as a hat. Usually attributed to a self important know it all that aggrivates everyone around them with loudly proclaimed but uninformed opinions.
 

67ray

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We are so used to an 'us vs. them' mentality and suspicious of something that might challenge our rights we are missing the big picture here:

There is no black-and-white, there are no winners here.

A mom lost her teenage son and can never get him back.
A firearms owner became the subject of a lawsuit and must suffer the anxiety of knowing how his firearm was used.
A teenage boy will begin embark on his adult life with the image of shooting his friend.

It's a tragedy for everyone involved. And emotions are many and strong.
 
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