Armed and Dangerous: Tort Liability for the Negligent Storage of Firearms

57 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2010 Last revised: 15 Oct 2012

Andrew Jay McClurg

University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

Date Written: June 25, 2010

Abstract

Overwhelming evidence shows that high percentages of American gun owners negligently store their firearms, leaving them easily accessible to unauthorized, dangerous users. Public health studies show that millions of guns are kept loaded and unlocked. More than 50 percent of all handguns are stored unlocked. Ammunition is stored unlocked in between 30–40 percent of gun-owning households. Millions of children live in homes with loaded, unlocked firearms.

The author has argued in other articles for safe gun storage laws as a way to reduce accidental shootings, adolescent suicides, and intentional third-party shootings tied to stolen guns. This article makes a case that unsafe firearm storage constitutes an unreasonable risk and is negligent conduct under universally accepted principles of tort law.

Suggested Citation

McClurg, Andrew Jay, Armed and Dangerous: Tort Liability for the Negligent Storage of Firearms (June 25, 2010). Connecticut Law Review, Vol. 32, p. 1189, 2000; University of Memphis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 29. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1630529

Andrew Jay McClurg (Contact Author)

University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law ( email )

1 Front Street
Memphis, TN 38103
United States

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