Skip to main content

View Diary: The Gun Responsibility Act of 2013 (79 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Agreed, but it should be "cradle to grave" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hey338Too, mwm341

    The law should require that someone is ALWAYS liable for anything done with the gun, from the moment it is manufactured until the moment it is melted down.

    At first, the manufacturer is liable, until they legally transfer it to a distribution.

    Then they are liable until they legally transfer it to a retailer.

    Etc.

    And the civil liability should extend backwards to previous owners if the final owners can't cover any fines or judgements.  This insures that people don't transfer ownership to some random street person and then "borrow" the gun back, thus avoiding liability.   If you sell a gun to someone, you need to make damn sure they have insurance, are responsible, etc.

    •  That's an absurd rule. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, theboz, debedb, FrankRose, annecros

      If I own a gun, decide I don't want it anymore, and try to sell it to someone responsibly, I'm on the hook if they're judgment proof?  

    •  JMcD - that's absurd (6+ / 0-)

      If you legally sell a gun to another party, and follow the law regarding the transfer of ownership, there is no theory in the law where some contingent liability would stay with the seller.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:17:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  then the transfer would need to be stricter (0+ / 0-)

        You could require the owner to prove they had pre-paid lifetime insurance before ownership could be transferred to them.

        It's completely unacceptable to allow people to sell guns to others who are not provably able to cover the cost to society of their guns.  If someone has a gun and really wants to get rid of it, but doesn't want the liability associated with selling it to a meth-head, let them melt it down.

        •  JMcD - it's an interesting conversation (0+ / 0-)

          but there will not even be a national gun registry bill that could make it through the 113th Congress. The idea of liability insurance is an interesting one, but we are many years away from legislative support for the concept. In addition, there are the legal issues of using taxes, fees, and insurance to restrict access. Those won't do well under Heller.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:12:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  JMcD - should you need to have lifetime (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annecros

          auto insurance before you can buy a car?

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:14:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  no, because your right to a car can be terminated (0+ / 0-)

            if you fail to keep up your insurance payments.

            If you want to use cars as the model, then

            1. You need to pass a gun safety course before being licensed to use a gun.

            2. You need to show that you don't have medical defects that would make you dangerous with a gun before you're allowed to use one.

            3.  You need to show proof of insurance for a gun that you own or it can be confiscated.

            Which would also work for me.

            The bottom line is that I should not have to pay for your negligence.  What is so hard to grasp about that?

            •  Why don't we require a minimum of $5 million (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              annecros

              of liability insurance to register a car? The current minimums do not require negligent drivers to pay for their negligence. In fact we have many uninsured drivers, with no assets, who cause damage and death and escape any civil liability. Today gun owners who are negligent in the use of their firearms have the same civil liability as car drivers. Shouldn't the liability insurance be the same? Many gun owners have insurance and the NRA is actually the top provider.

              I favor more rigorous background checks and mandatory safety training for all new gun owners. What I don't think is constitutional, under Heller, is using the cost of liability insurance to deter gun ownership.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:42:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  because cars are are economic necessary (0+ / 0-)

                Making the liability insurance higher would put people out of work since they wouldn't have transportation.  Which would add more cost to society than would be collected from the insurance payouts if the minimum was higher.

                No such argument can be made for guns -- they are entirely discretionary.

                If you don't want the liability, DON'T BUY ONE.  You'll be out absolutely nothing.  Sheesh.

            •  "medical defects" (0+ / 0-)

              ????????

              mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

              by wewantthetruth on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:50:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  blindness, schizophrenia, ... (0+ / 0-)

                There are many things that could be wrong with your body that would make it a bad idea for you to have a gun.

                Just as there are many things that make it a bad idea to give some people a driver's license or allow them to do certain jobs.

    •  Clearly defined, registered, legal transfers (5+ / 0-)

      must terminate liability. If not, what is your justification for vetting buyers and registering the firearms in the first place?

      As far as I'm aware, "cradle to grave" is a concept applied only to hazardous waste, not to any consumer product, even dangerous ones.

      It would be more intellectually honest simply to propose making civilian possession of firearms illegal, and probably no more difficult to accomplish.

      •  to avoid "sham" transactions (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mwm341

        If the seller can remove all liability, then they have zero motivation to ensure that the legal sale will ensure that future victims can be compensated.  In fact, they would be motivated to sell the gun to a random street person then "borrow" it back, thus avoiding ownership liability.

        The owner creates the hazard and the liability when they acquire the gun.   It's absolutely unacceptable for them to dump that liability onto me and others in society by signing the gun over to a judgement proof person.

        If you want to be sure you've discharged your liability, just ensure that the new owner has posted a bond to cover any future liability.  Or melt the gun down.  Your choice.

        But I'll be damned if I'll continue to pay for your negligence.

        •  If guns are registered and transactions recorded (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wewantthetruth

          you have already eliminated any possibility of sham transactions. This, together with requiring all buyers to be approved through NCIC pretty much eliminates your scenario.

          All that is needed for this to work properly is a real registration database with unfettered access by all law enforcement professionals, rather than our current deliberately crippled system.

          Proposals of high bonds, huge insurance amounts, etc. do one thing and one thing only: ensure that only wealthy people own firearms. Among the many reasons why this is a bad idea is that you really screw over one small group of people who can be said to really "need" firearms - subsistence hunters like some of the Inuit in Alaska.

          I'll also note that no other country, even among those with otherwise very restrictive laws, has seen fit to do what you propose.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site