b322da wrote: ScooterSissy wrote: sbrawley wrote:
Wouldn't a rational law-abiding citizen report a stolen firearm the moment they realize it stolen?
Seems to me that the only ones who wouldn't, would be the criminals themselves, therefore, making this bill utterly pointless.
Unfortunately, the bill doesn't address "the moment they realize it stolen". The bill states an offense occurs if the owner "...fails to report the loss or theft to a peace officer or law enforcement agency on or before the 48th hour after the time the person knew or reasonably should have known
the firearm was lost or stolen."
Who do you want to decide, for you
, at what point you should have "reasonably" known a gun was lost?
I found a gun laying in the street, with a broken holster, in my neighborhood once. I'm about 99% sure some poor guy put it on top of his car meaning to put it in
his car, only to have it fall off as a drove away. I don't know if he (or she) might have been driving to the grocery store, or might have been going to on a 500 mile trip down south. Who would get to decide at what point it is "reasonable" for him to have realized he's lost his gun?
Juries are called on to answer questions like this every single day, legislators use such language endlessly, and judges are adept at explaining to juries what is meant by expressions like "reasonably should have known." Raising such a smokescreen simply avoids the real question and arguably adds nothing of any great significance to the debate. We must keep our eyes on the ball.
I would suspect that you would not find a consensus even among this
group as to what is a "reasonable time" to notice a missing gun. Personally, I would know pretty quickly, because either I'd see that my safe (next to my bed) was broken into, my vehicle was broken into, or it was missing from my hip. However, I have a single pistol to keep up with; I suspect someone that has dozens, and occasionally loans them others could easily have a gun misplaced for a much longer period of time without noticing.
That said, your point is taken. It's not the wording of the law, it's the very concept. There no justifiable reason to criminalize not reporting a lost or stolen weapon. The "reasonable" time frame should be whatever the owner considers reasonable, just as it is with any other possession. Lots of "good ideas" and "good practices" that don't need to be made into laws. Reporting a gun stolen or lost will do nothing to protect the public at large, and place an unneeded burden on the person who lost the gun (or had it stolen).