Can Parents Be Charged for Failing to Keep Their Guns Locked Up?

Can Parents Be Charged for Failing to Keep Their Guns Locked Up?

A sign asking for more peace and fewer guns was part of a makeshift memorial outside Sante Fe High School on Sunday. The authorities in Texas were quick to identify the owner of the pistol and shotgun used to kill 10 people at Santa Fe High School on Friday — they had been bought legally by the suspect’s father, the police said. Less clear was how the suspected gunman, Dimitrios Pagourtzis , came to possess the weapons, raising questions about whether anyone else could be held responsible for the massacre. Texas is one of 14 states with a “negligent storage law,” which can make gun-owning parents criminally liable for crimes committed with their firearms by their children. In the case of last week’s massacre, though, the suspect’s father appears to be immune from prosecution under that law. That is because the Texas law defines a child as 16 or younger, and the suspect is 17. Here is a look at how these laws are applied in Texas and around the nation. What are officials in Texas saying? The authorities have not said whether the guns used in the Santa Fe High shooting had been locked away, or whether the suspect’s father was aware that his son had access to them. But state officials have spoken in general about the need for parents to secure their weapons. “ If you’re a parent and you own guns, lock your guns safely away, so your children should not be able, or anyone […]

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