Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

My five-year-old grandson's father keeps a loaded pistol in an unlocked drawer in his bedside table. What recourse does my daughter have to change that?

Asked by Dutchess_III (43226points) July 18th, 2010

She has an attorney on a different matter regarding him, and she mentioned it to the attorney. The attorney said that she had an absolute right to ask that the guy be secured, but what happens if he doesn’t do it? Can a judge order him to secure the gun, and how can we know if he follows that order or not? Is this something the SRS could check on every so often?

It’s really scary.

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26 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I would ask that the gun be secured as a condition of the five-year-old visiting him.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Call child services, simple as that. It’s something they’ll look into, especially if the father doesn’t own the gun legally. But even if he does own it legally, leaving it unlocked and accessible would absolutely be considered irresponsible and dangerous parenting. And chances are, yes, a judge could force him to secure it.

dpworkin's avatar

CPS will take care of it in a blink of an eye. If it were me, I’d go to the local police department, too.

wilma's avatar

I agree with the above. This sounds very irresponsible.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@marinelife Aw, he had money for an attorney a couple of years ago, and went after my daughter. They sent the original hearing notice to an address that she didn’t live at and had NEVER lived at, and was never comparable to any address she had lived at, so she wasn’t present at the hearing. She was pretty much helpless, and he secured residential custody. After fighting and negotiating she now has her son 48% of the time, but the father refuses to budge from that as it allows him to clock her for child support. So, he’s in control, and he’s the one who can withhold visitation, not her.

Thanks guys….we’ll talk to the lawyer too. I would think it would be a child endangerment charge….

dpworkin's avatar

Custody and visitation issues are never closed. She needs to hire a guardian ad litem. The mere fact of the loaded, unprotected gun will change the custody arrangement in any Family Court. She should ask for an emergency injunction tomorrow.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@dpworkin I’ll ask her attorney about that. Thanks.

judochop's avatar

Unfortunately all you can do is ask him to secure it. It is not illegal as of yet to do things like, keep loaded guns in your home even if young children are around. Smoke any type of legal tobacco products in your home around children or others of any age. Clean with bleach and ammonia, etc.
Stupid people are allowed to have kids just as much as the smart ones.
I believe it was Keanu Reeves said it best in the movie Parenthood; ‘You need a license to fish and hunt, you need a license to drive but they will let any asshole be a father.”

ipso's avatar

The father’s alleged actions are dangerous.

Unfortunately child services, nor the police, will be able to take the word of a disgruntled mother or grandmother over a presumably law abiding father. You’ll have to prove the fact.

Have the wife buy the man a nice combo trigger lock and hand it to him in good mood and sincerely.

Monitor (or preclude) the boys intake of modern entertainment’s idiotic vision of gun use.

Have the mother talk to the father about taking the child to hunter safety class to make sure he is educated.

By FAR the best education I had when young was going hunting and seeing a dead duck at my grandfathers feet. It was dead.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s not just that it’s loaded. It’s easily accessible to my grandson.
@ipso If we called CPS, wouldn’t they have the right to go in and check?

jerv's avatar

As I said elsewhere, I support the use of quick acting gun safes that allow for near-instant access for authorized users (only) but I would also recommend that the kid be taught a few things about guns. Many people of all ages still think that guns are toys and refuse to accept that death is serious business or that improperly handled firearms can kill.
I grew up with guns all around yet I never blew my head off or shot anyone else since I knew damn well not to play with guns, and that I was too small/weak to handle the “kick” of a firearm safely until I was bigger/stronger. Many people nowadays stil think that it’s all fantasy games until little Billy gets a 9mm bindi.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

It is a sad reflection on American’s ludicrous obsession with guns based on a gross misinterpretation of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Keeping a loaded pistol in an unlocked drawer has little to do with maintaining a well regulated militia.

Anyone not in a military unit has no reason to Keep and bear Arms.

I know gun lovers will disagree! The high rate of deaths by firearms proves my point, especially those from domestic disputes, and gang violence.

jerv's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence NH has loose gun laws and, last I checked, had a lower rate of firearm-related violent crimes than Japan where firearms are practically forbidden. If you still refute the old adage, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” then explain that!

I think that the real problem is our society, and you can’t really legislate the stupidity or violence out of people. What we need isn’t more laws, but social reform.

Cruiser's avatar

Have her remove the gun from the house immediately until a proper lock and or more secure storage of the firearm can be arranged. Not smart at all!

Dutchess_III's avatar

She can’t remove it from his house @Cruiser. She doesn’t live there. He and his wife (My daughter met him before they met) live there.

perspicacious's avatar

She can take the gun to the police. If hubby puts another one in the drawer, take that one to the police. I would not allow it in my house with kids, period.

jerv's avatar

@perspicacious You support theft? Sorry, but that is what you are saying, like it or not. And, depending on the value of the gun and the jurisdiction, that may be a large enough theft to qualify as a felony. Not to mention the matter of a permit; possision of a weapon that isn’t registered to you is a big no-no.

There is a right way and a wrong way to do things, and that is WRONG!

perspicacious's avatar

@jerv They are married; they both own the gun and they both possess the property.

jerv's avatar

@perspicacious Not always. My wife has zero claim to my car. My money. my name (only) on the title and registration… though that also meant that I couldn’t touch her old 626 either.

Or are you saying that he has the right to walk in and take anything he wants and it’s 100% legal?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Gadzooks, if he is in CA and has a trigger lock I don’t think there is much anyone can do, and in lieu of the High Court’s ruling that American can own guns….good luck with that.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@perspicacious I don’t think they’re married, anyway. She only has her son 48% of the time, which indicates shared custody, which in turn indicates divorce. However, @jerv is right, anyway. Whether or not they’re still married doesn’t change anything. If the father owns the gun legally (permit), but the wife does not have a permit, she can not just take the gun. Not only would it be theft, but she could also be charged with carrying a concealed weapon illegally. Then she would lose what custody of the child she does have. In this case, it is up to police to obtain the gun, if the judge orders them to seize it.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Lax gun laws just create the opportunity for stupid or irresponsible to kill people with guns. Guns are very effective tools for killing people. Have you noticed that people with anger control issued, drinking or drug problems, antisocial personalities seem to use guns more often than the mature, responsible or sober people to kill others.

The trouble is that a gun culture puts guns into the hands of the good and the bad.
The resistance to any reasonable gun regulation overpowers any moves toward good sense and moderation. Compare the Canadian and American statistics on gun-related deaths and decide for yourself.

The United States is so much higher than other countries, it’s amazing. In 2004 there were 5 gun deaths in New Zealand, 37 in Sweden, 56 in Australia, 73 in England, 184 in Canada and 11,344 murders in the United States. It’s more than any other industrialized country. In the USA, you have a thirty, thirty-two murders everyday. Britain does not get that in a year either.

Even controlling for population, the figures are still outrageously higher than other Western countries.


Dutchess_III's avatar

@DrasticDreamer Thank you for reading all of the posts!
No, they aren’t married. If they were I would have worded the question differently.

jerv's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence That is a nationwide average whereas gun laws here uneven, as is the crime rate. The rate per 100,000 of firearms-related deaths varies widely , and you should take note that the place with far and away the highest rate is someplace where handguns are banned. I find that very interesting.—Actually, I believe the figures have dropped
Of course, I would never expect you to believe this but it is only human nature to only find the truth that you are seeking rather than looking at both sides and making a rational decision. I also do not expect you to pay any heed to this:

“In 2000, there were 28,663 firearm deaths in the United States, including 16,586 (58%) suicides, 11,071 (39%) homicides (including 270 deaths due to legal intervention), and 1,006 (4%) undetermined/ unintentional firearm deaths.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2002) National Vital Statistics Report Volume 50, No. 16, September 16, 2002, p. 69.

Hmmm… most of the firearms deaths are suicides?! That doesn’t fit the agenda!

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Most suicidal people without easy access to means of killing themselves can recover from depression and live productive lives.

Depressed people who shoot themselves with readily available guns do not recover.

Anything wrong with this logic?

jerv's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence Aside from the fact that there are other ways to kill yourself that are just as effective and convenient, no. I mean, it’s not like we have traffic, cliffs, bridges, razor blades, or a proliferation of hard-core meds/drugs out there.

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