Proper Gun Storage Reduces Your Liability In Florida
It is the right of every resident in Florida to buy and use a firearm. However, in the same way, that legally being able to own a car does not absolve a driver of accidents, the same is true of firearm ownership. When you own a gun, any misuse of that gun, even if it’s accidental, is your fault.
This is even more crucial with guns since, unlike automobiles, guns are weapons specifically designed to harm and even kill. If someone is injured through the accidental use of firearms, the results can be severe or even lethal. The legal consequences for a gun owner can be similarly serious. This is one reason why gun storage is so important.
The Wrong Way
One of the worst things that gun owners can do is improperly store their weapons. Not only can improper storage affect the condition of a firearm when you finally need it, but it may also result in tragedy, such as injury or death. Children are a dangerous combination of observant and curious. Someone that regularly leaves a gun on a coffee table when children are present practically guarantees at some point, children will pick up and play with that gun.
One common argument for improper storage is speed. If a weapon is being used for home defense, then it’s believed it should be accessible at a moment’s notice. This is one reason why placing a gun on a nightstand at night is a common practice. However, even this can lead to danger if a pet or a child should stumble across the weapon.
If you own a firearm, but someone else uses it, especially in an accidental discharge, such as one child shooting another, it doesn’t matter that you didn’t fire the gun. As the gun owner, you are legally responsible for any injuries on your property if the weapon wasn’t used in a legitimate self-defensive measure.
This means that even in the event of a pure accident, such as children playing with the weapon and accidentally firing it, the parents of the injured child can—and probably will—take you to court. Premises liability is a legal obligation of all property owners to ensure that visitors are in a reasonably safe environment. Leaving a gun easily accessible to children is considered negligence, which opens you to a lawsuit for personal injury or even wrongful death if fatalities are involved in the accident.
Do It Right
If guns are to be displayed, make sure the cabinet is locked correctly, as a display gun is an irresistible lure to children. If a firearm is meant for home defense and easy accessibility is a priority, there are still other options besides leaving it on a nightstand. Gun vaults can be easily accessed even at night, with some made explicitly for quick access, including three and four-digit codes.
If you or someone you know is injured by the accidental discharge of a gun in someone’s home, seek out an experienced firearm accident attorney and find out what kind of compensation you may be owed for someone else’s negligence.