Lawmaker wants to hold owners responsible for stolen guns

State Rep. Barbara Norton
State Rep. Barbara Norton

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Shreveport lawmaker wants to hold gun owners responsible for crime committed by their unsecured and stolen firearms.

Democratic representative Barbara Norton wants to force gun owners to secure their guns either with trigger locks or in a gun safe or cabinet.

"If you have a gun and that gun is not locked up and it is your responsibility, the law says that you have to have that gun locked up, well why would you not be held accountable?" asked Norton.  "You are not following the law."

Representative Norton says it's up to the Louisiana Legislature to make the laws and police and sheriff's departments to find a way to enforce them. Norton says she doesn't want agencies going door to door to see if a person has their firearms secured, but she does say that is a burglary and robbery occurs, investigators should use that occasion to punish the gun owner who failed to secure their firearms.

"At the end of the day, I believe that if someone leaves their guns unattended and someone breaks in your home and they trace that back to that person who owns that gun, well, they are going to know without a doubt if that gun was locked up or if that gun was laying around because if it was locked up, they are going to have to break into the cabinet, if it was a box, they are going to have to break into that box, so the law will know if that gun was in a safe place or if that gun wasn't in a safe place," Norton said.

Representative Norton says her bill is about protecting children in the wake of the recent mass shooting in Connecticut where children were murdered in their elementary school.

Gun advocates laughed at the reading of Norton's bill.

One man who owns firearms called the proposed bill "baloney."

Norton's bill will first have to get through committee.

The legislative session starts April 8th.

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