The following is a proposal to explicitly close the gaps in the existing law as goes the criminal accountability to which one may be held as goes maintaining one's firearms. In particular, the lacuna associated with the legal doctrine of proximate cause, the point being to eliminate the subjectivity of and accountability gaps/"loopholes" in the proximate cause doctrine. Valentine v. On Target, Inc.: It is Time to Hold Gun Dealers Accountable for the Negligent Storage of Firearms The Second Amendment Right to be Negligent Tort Claims Against Gun Manufacturers for Crime-Related Injuries: Defining a Suitable Role for the Tort System in Regulating the Firearms Industry Proposed: The person identified as the current registered lawful owner of a firearm shall be held strictly liable for "gun accountability gross negligence" (GAGN) as a result of crimes having been committed using their firearm. Their liability will be criminal. The "reasonable man/person" principle, as it applies to criminal gross negligence, will also apply to this statute. The Qualities of the Reasonable Man in Negligence Cases (legal discussion) The “Reasonable Man” and other legal standards (logic discussion) In order to be deemed to have been "reasonable," one need not go to great extremes; simply taking "reasonable" measures to secure one's firearms is sufficient to meet the "reasonable person standard." Storing one's firearm so that merely opening a door/drawer and looking around will make the firearm's presence available to an interloper, thus merely behind a door does not pass the "reasonable care" requirement, but locking a stationary storage unit so that an interloper must use extraordinary means -- break into the "durable," (hard to penetrate or remove) specific storage space within a locked building -- to obtain access to the firearm does constitute "reasonable care." For example: Firearm stored in a non-commercial vehicle that is not expressly used to transport firearms does not at all meet the reasonableness standard. Firearm in one's home in an unlocked closet/cabinet/drawer does not meet the reasonableness standard. Firearm in one's home in a locked and not readily portable container (closet/cabinet/drawer) meets the reasonableness standard. Why the difference between a container in a building and one in a vehicle? Well, for one thing, when one breaks into a vehicle, one can drive away with the whole vehicle and all its contents. It's reasonable for one to know that is a very real possibility and thus not store one's gun(s) in a vehicle. The state's burden of proof as goes the GAGN charge will be that concomitant with strict liability; that is, the state must show (1) who the current owner is and (2) that the current owner's firearm was indeed used to commit certain classes of crime -- rape, murder, attempted murder, battery, robbery, assault, attempted assault, breaking and entering, and vandalism, along with conspiracy to commit any of those. The incarceration penalties to which currently registered owners will be held culpable will be one half of the maximum sentence allowed were they the actual perpetrator of the crime actually committed using their firearm. Currently registered owners can be held culpable for both the GAGN crime and as an accessory to the the actual gun offense if the current owner is in the presence of the another party who uses the owner's gun to commit the crime. The incarceration penalty for the gross negligence charge cannot be reduced or otherwise truncated, suspended, etc., and the gross negligence incarceration penalty (each count of it) must be served in a sequential rather than concurrent manner. In other words, it always extends the overall length of time one must spend incarcerated. For example: Currently registered gun owner found guilty of 1 count of gun accountability gross negligence + 2 count of accessory to murder will be incarcerated for the accessory offenses, and upon completing the time for those crimes, commence to do time for the GAGN. Minors' Exception: In instances where minors obtain a firearm and with it inflict harm on themselves or others, the incarceration sentence will be the full maximum allowed by law were the owner also the perpetrator of the act the minor committed. Corporations: If the firearm owner is a corporation, the parent and relevant subsidiary organization(s) CEO(s), COO(s), and president (or substantively comparable executive principals) in both the parent and applicable subsidiary(s) will be held jointly and individually criminally culpable for GAGN. The individual(s) directly responsible for maintaining the security of the firearm(s) used unlawfully will also be held criminally culpable for GAGN. The fines current owners will have levided be: Private citizens: No fines will be levied. Businesses and other organizations: If the firearm in question was, at the time of the crime's commission, registered to a business or other organizations, the fine will be $1M per injury and $10M per death that the business' firearm was used to make happen. Fines are due immediately upon determination of the firearm's ownership. Upon becoming 30 days past due, unpaid fines accrue compound penalty interest at the rate of 1% per month. The fines stipulated above cannot be reduced; however, at a judge or jury's discretion, they can be increased. Loss/Theft Exclusion: Individuals who and organizations that report their firearms as lost or stolen will not be held culpable, provided they (1) file the report, or can show documentation of having notified law enforcement officers of the weapon's loss/theft, prior to the crime's commission. and (2) allow, without a search warrant, law enforcement officers to examine the property to which they hold title/lease and from which they claim their gun was stolen or lost. How the search requirement works: If one claims the gun was stolen from, say, one's vehicle, one must grant search of the vehicle. If one claims theft from real property, one must grant warrantless search of the building and all attached grounds from which one claims the firearm was stolen. Law enforcement can execute the search (or not), as they see fit, dusting for fingerprints and/or using other techniques to gather evidence/information about thief and the invasion of the area/property where the theft occurred. In order to qualify for this exclusion and if a gun owner lacks title to the property from which they allege the gun was lost/stolen, the owner must in writing solicit the property owner's authorization for a warrantless search. Barring that, the owner can report the item lost from any property to which s/he holds title or lease and have the search requirement waived. Individuals and organizations who, in any given three year period, report as lost or stolen more than one firearm shall have their right to fabricate, transport, own, possess and/or purchase firearms suspended for five years after which their rights are automatically restored. Assault Exclusion: Firearm owners who are incapacitated by another individual who, in turn, absconds with the owner's firearm(s) and uses it to commit a noted crime, will not be held accountable for GAGN, provided the assaulted owner files an affidavit attesting to who incapacitated them and that there was no other person who could reasonably reported the theft on their behalf. Estate Transfers of Title: Upon a registered gun owner's death, title to their firearms passes immediately in accordance with either the decedent's will (filed with the court) or the provisions of state law, whichever prevails at the time of death. Title may not pass to persons and/or organizations who/that are ineligible to own firearms. Registry Usage: Access to and use/distribution of registrant information is permitted only in instances of a firearm's having been used unlawfully. In such instances, information pertaining only to the firearm used may be accessed and/or distributed. The registry will not be accessible by the general public. Thread Question: If you don't like the above proposed legislation, what would you want in exchange for acquiescing to the proposal's terms?