This Bill failed the 2019 Legislative Session
U.C.A. 53-5a-103.5. Liability of firearm custodian.
Let's start off with an off-topic question:
If you allow one of your friends to borrow your car and they got in an accident because of texting and driving or otherwise being distracted. Should you be held accountable along with your friend or just your friend you caused the accident?
You probably just said, "them", meaning your friend.
Back to this Bill. It's common sense (and currently illegal) that a person should be charged with a crime if they provide a firearm to someone when they know the person is going to commit a crime using the firearm. What if you let a friend borrow a firearm to go hunting or target shooting? Are you liable if your "friend" commits a crime or causes an injury or damage to property? Most people would say "NO".
This Bill would create a new term which means by you owning or possessing a firearm makes you a "firearm custodian." It also makes the civil liability on the owner of a firearm saying, aA firearm custodian is strictly liable for personal injury or property damage proximately caused by the discharge of the firearm custodian's firearm if the discharge results from conduct that constitutes a felony, regardless of whether the individual who engages in the conduct is charged with a felony.
This means that if you let someone borrow your firearm for any reason, even without any knowledge or hint that they were going to use it illegally or irresponsibly, YOU are liable and could be sued because of how they used the firearm.
As a "firearm custodian", you would not be liable for personal injury or property damage if:
• The individual causing the discharge takes the firearm custodian's firearm without the firearm custodian's permission and the firearm custodian reports the theft to the police before the discharge, and
• Fails to discover and report the theft despite the firearm custodian's exercise of reasonable care in storing and securing the firearm, or
• Is not reasonably able to report the theft before the discharge occurs, or
• The discharge occurs in self-defense or is otherwise legally justified.
We Oppose This Bill