Am I legally responsible for my stolen gun? 9 Answers as of March 29, 2012

My 14 year grandson who lives with me stole my gun. The gun was loaded and had a metal/locking trigger lock on it. The gun was stored out of sight. Apparently. he knew I had a gun in my room. My bedroom where the gun was kept was also locked with only key access. I have the only key. He broke into my room. The key for the trigger lock was also hidden in that same room. My question is am I responsible in any legal way?

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Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
It can be a crime to leave a gun in a way that a minor can gain possession of it. It does not sound that you did anything wrong from your description.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/29/2012
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
Yes, criminally and civilly, for damages or injury caused by any failure to store it safely where it can not be found and misused. But, you have described reasonable storage efforts that amount to defenses to any claims against you. If you are questioned, threatened, arrested or charged with any crime related to this, what can you do? Hire an attorney, unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. No amount of free 'tips and hints' from here or anywhere else are going to effectively help you in your defense, other than the advice to exercise the 5th Amendment RIGHT to SHUT UP and do NOT talk to police or ANYONE about the details of the case except through an attorney. That includes on this or any other web site or public forum. Most police and prosecutors will happily tell you that 95% of people convict themselves by trying to be 'helpful and cooperative', either during initial contact, questioning, interview or interrogation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/5/2012
The Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache
The Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache | Stephanie Arrache
Did he use it and hurt someone? And are you asking if you can get arrested and have criminal charges against you or if you can be civilly liable for any injury caused? There will be an investigation into how/where it was stored and how he got it if he did use it. Criminal charges could be filed. You should consult an attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/5/2012
Attorney at Law | Ernest Krause
Did you lawfully possess the gun? If so, you should be OK regarding the actual theft. BUT REPORT THE THEFT TO THE POLICE RIGHT AWAY. The fact you know about the theft requires you to stop the grandson from harming anyone. You will be in trouble if you do not report the theft immediately.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/5/2012
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
From your facts other than having the gun loaded you took reasonable precautions to insure that the gun was safely out of the possession of others. You would not be held responsible criminally for the action of your fourteen year-old. Civilly you could be sued by a person that may sustain damage from the use of the gun.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/5/2012
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    You could be. If you stored your gun in a negligent manner such as not keeping it in a safe or knowing that your grandson had the ability to get into the safe and that he had a propensity to do so, you could be liable for anything that happens with that stolen gun. I would report it to the police agency immediately.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/5/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Based on your representations, I do not think so.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/5/2012
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    You could be civilly liable for negligence if anything happened as a result of him taking the gun.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/5/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Of course you are. Just look at what happened to the parents of the 2 kids who perpetrated Columbine.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/5/2012
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