Thursday, July 10, 2014

Biblical Law and Trigger Locks (Larry Pratt)

Responsibility rightly includes being liable for monetary damages if a firearm is left in a grossly negligent fashion so that an ignorant child gets the gun and misuses it. The solution is not to require that trigger locks be used on a gun to avoid being subject to such a law suit. Some might argue that this is nothing more than an application of the Biblical requirement that a railing be placed around the flat rooftop of a house where people might congregate. But trigger locks are to be used with unloaded guns which would be the same as requiring a railing around a pitched roof where people do not congregate.

Surely in protecting against accidents we cannot end up making ourselves more vulnerable to criminal attack, which is what a trigger lock does if it is in use on the firearm intended for self protection.

The firearm that is kept for self defense should be available in an emergency. Rooftop railings have no correspondence to the need for instant access to a gun. On the other hand, guns that are not intended for immediate use should be kept secured as a reasonable precaution. But to make the owner criminally or monetarily liable for another's misuse violates a basic commandment of Scripture: "the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself" (Ezekiel 18:20b).

Larry Pratt, "What Does the Bible Say About Gun Control?," Gun Owners of America (Springfield, VA: August 1, 1999). Retrieved July 10, 2014 from

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