Bennie Hargrove Bill aims to penalize gun owners who don't secure firearms

Lots of problems here (as usual). So much talk about the tragedy, ginning up emotions, but little about the proposed law.

What immediately jumped out at me was this is another “don’t let a good tragedy go to waste” tactic to get support for a gun control bill.

Police said Bennie was shot and killed by a fellow student, who allegedly took his father’s unsecured firearm to school.

So they’re pushing a new law on the basis of something that hasn’t been proven, only alleged, but by the time it gets through the courts, the current legislative session will be over, and there won’t be nearly as much time for sponsors to self-promote their misplaced gun control achievements before November’s elections.

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I get your point about jumping the facts. Can you follow this and let us know what actually happened. How Could this have been prevented.
I’m still seeing commercials about Sandy Hook. All the facts came out about that and how the system and people failed, they are not going to stop.
PS: this kid will not be charged as an adult, that’s another big problem
because their is no consequences for their actions, free ride.

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I’ll make it a point to follow. As for avoiding this tragedy, I’m all for age appropriate gun safety education for children. That would certainly cover a broader range of issues than the lazy approach of telling people they have to lock up their guns.


Hey Blacky, as usual, CT is ahead of the game.
I’d suggest training and familiarization like when we were young, but the days of common sense seem long gone. Legislature still trying to “fix stupid.”
Cripes, I wasn’t much of a gun person in my youth, but still had enough exposure to get NRA certification as a safe hunter by age 12. Education, not “guns are bad” like Blumenthal and Murphy preach.


I guess the bigger question is why are these juveniles so messed up or what ever is the right name for them. What caused these kids to go wacko. That’s what we should be trying to change and understand instead of treating a symptom and passing more laws without even enforcing laws that are already in place.
Enjoy your firearms while you can.


It’s like Adam, Eve, and the apple. Don’t touch means trouble. Education and familiarization eliminates the taboo aspect of things, and yields common sense, whether it’s alcohol, fast cars/bikes, firearms or anything else offering risk…in most cases.


So, some prescribed program of gun safety education for all children? Even the ones who will grow up to insist they not be required to demonstrate proficiency as adults? Who exactly will be proposing and administering that?

Doesn’t this type episode demonstrate that “responsible gun owners should teach their kids” is not sufficient to prevent mishaps with unsecured firearms? Or automobiles…or lawnmowers… What responsibility should an adult be expected to bear for acts of a minor in their custody? What responsibility should they have to secure dangerous implements from misuse?

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Whoa there… Did I say anything about a “prescribed program?” No, I did not. I said I was for age appropriate gun safety education. I’m also for children learning about large bodies of water, the dangers of fire, and basic food safety, though I don’t expect them to demonstrate proficiency as lifeguards, firefighters, or chefs.

If someone keeps guns in the house, they’re responsible for their children knowing not to handle them when they are not old enough to do so, and how to handle them when they are, just as they are responsible for their children knowing not to run into traffic. This is how my wife grew up, and by the time she was three or four was well aware of her father’s guns, and to not handle them. Nor would she ever have thought to take one to school to show it off.

I won’t comment on this “type” of episode, because each episode is unique in its own context. Do we know if the father of the boy who allegedly accessed an unsecured gun taught his son about gun safety? Of course not. We do know my father-in-law’s teaching was quite sufficient.

This topic has come up before, and I’m sure it will come up again, just as various gun control efforts keep repeating. Legislating that firearms must be “secured” leads down a slippery slope dependent upon a likely shifting definition of that word. When “secured” becomes "locked in a safe… with the magazine removed… emptied… and stored in a different room, we have lost our right to self defense, and might as well invite those who would harm us, our families, our children, into our homes to do so.


OK, I’ll touch the 3rd rail. If someone else’s kid got their hands on a firearm, brought it to school, and shot one of my children (even if accidentally), then yes, I would want consequences. Probably civil, perhaps criminal. And if the situation were reversed, I expect I would need a very good attorney.

That said, no, I don’t believe the state will do a good job prescribing how firearms must be stored. Every situation is unique, and there are too many variables to pass an effective one-size-fits-all storage law that fits every situation.

And besides that, we still have the 4th Amendment (although more and more people seem opposed to the Bill of Rights). The state can’t invite themselves in to inspect my firearms without a valid reason, so any law regarding firearm storage can only take effect after a crime has been committed. They aren’t preventative laws; they won’t stop another tragedy.

This is the equivalent of “driving too fast for conditions.” It’s a vague idea that gives the LEO a tool to use when you drive off the road.


Except in the case of red flag laws that allow for anonymous and vague claims of being a danger to oneself or others.

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Yes, but of course red flag laws don’t inspect how your firearms are stored, they just come in and outright take your firearms.

I’m not aware of any laws that have passed which grant carte blanche permission for a state or local agency to invite themselves to my home and inspect how I store and secure my firearms. I’m sure there are draft bills out there which would see the light if day if it weren’t for that pesky Bill of Rights.


You’re right, of course, that’s how red flag laws function currently. But I don’t think it’s a stretch to imagine an effort to broaden them to include search as well as seizure. The fact that someone may not be securing their firearms becomes the red flag.


Especially when you couple it with issues of child protection. A spiteful neighbor could already call Child Protection and they’re bound by law to follow up on that report. It wouldn’t take much for them to assume the role of firearm inspector.

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It’s similar with smoke detectors. The Fire Marshal generally has the authority to make unwarranted entries into your home to ensure those detectors are in place and working.

I can imagine some over zealous bureaucrats squeezing their nosy desires into a new law to make those entries legal, or mandatory, for compliance with “gun storage” statutes.

Just saying.


I know. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:
So am I.

My point is — how is “age appropriate gun safety education” any less mushy or more meaningful than “safe gun storage”? How does either one mean anything without an official definition or contested case? How is one more or less infringe-y than the other?

How is society (which is supposed to mind its own beeswax before the incident) to respond after the fact when a minor — who it turns out:

  • is not properly educated, or
  • is not mature enough for the lessons, or
  • is not authorized access to a firearm (or other weapon or dangerous object), but
  • nevertheless acquires the object, and misuses it to cause harm?

Shrug and move on? Thoughts and prayers? Pile consequence upon the youthful offender? Apportion responsibility between actor and guardian?

Most of the “gun storage” legislation I have looked at simply does not regulate or require any kind of storage at all. The bills and laws I’ve read essentially assign express liability to the adult responsible for the minor committing the harm. The so-called storage “requirement” is actually a storage defense available to the responsible adult — if the gun was secured against unauthorized use, then the negligence is avoided.

If the gun is never misused, then there is no offense — doesn’t matter whether the misuse was avoided by exhaustive training, smart and mature kids, restricted access, or just plain luck.

Obviously, a prosecutor can attempt whatever argument they want about the adequacy of this method or that method — and I do not doubt that there might be more onerous proposals afoot.

I just think maintaining control of one’s firearms may not be automatically :x: :x: :x: if society continues to consider an adult responsible for acts of a minor.

Just another “feel good” law passed for political sound bites. It will do nothing to “save even one child”. It will only infringe on law abiding gun owners and add onerous restrictions.
It’s all after the fact. :roll_eyes:

New Mexico HB 9, UNLAWFUL ACCESS TO FIREARM BY MINOR, died, API (action postponed indefinitely).

Another bill, HB 156, POSSESSION OF LARGE CAPACITY GUN MAGAZINE, making it “unlawful to possess, use, manufacture, import, purchase, sell, loan, borrow or transfer a large capacity [greater than 15 rounds] magazine within the state,” and a fourth degree felony also died, API. The Committee for Consumer & Public Affairs voted 5-0 to table the bill.


I firmly believe that all responsible firearm owners should have a good way of securing their firearms. I also believe there should be consequences if someone didn’t secure their firearms properly and it got into the wrong hands and a tragedy did happen.


Personally I think we should outlaw progressives. Seems like that would solve 99.999% of our problems, gun crimes included.

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