logoFRGOThis page archives and summarizes news stories about what we at PAGV call “Formerly Responsible Gun Owners,” or FRGOs. There is a widespread belief among gun rights activists that guns are only dangerous in the hands of criminals or mentally ill people — if we can simply keep guns away from “those” individuals, there’s no need to regulate gun ownership for responsible, law-abiding citizens.

There is a flaw in this belief, though. The spectrum of responsibility among gun-owners isn’t the simple binary of “good guys” and “bad guys.” All humans are human. There are moments when they lose their temper, when they do something foolish, when they misjudge a situation, when they sink into depression, when they drink too much or when they simply act without appropriate caution. No person is entirely immune to this kind of behavior. This does not mean that guns should be completely banned. PAGV supports second amendment rights. PAGV also believes, however, that recognizing the inherent risks in gun ownership — and the graduated risks associated with various types of firearms and various habits, behaviors and attitudes toward firearms — are first steps toward reducing gun violence. It’s dangerous hubris to think that, because you are a “responsible, law-abiding citizen,” you could never do wrong.

In the stories below, none of the gun owners had a previous criminal conviction. None had been adjudicated mentally ill by a court of law and thus prohibited from owning a firearm. Some of these people are generally responsible, law-abiding citizens who made a mistake with serious consequences. Some might have behaved recklessly before, but had merely been lucky until their luck ran out. All of them might have been presumed to be “responsible gun owners” up until the moment they weren’t.

In some cases, the people described here are facing criminal charges and are, of course, presumed innocent until proven guilty. We are relating the stories as they were reported in the media.

A police officer’s wife, who is also a concealed carry permit holder and nurse, has shot her husband’s mistress. She saw a light on in the family boat and went to investigate with her gun drawn.

Read the full story here.

A local radio host,  Blake Seylhouwer, shot his wife. He claims it was an accident,but the police disagree. His wife has filed a protection order.

Read the full story here

In East Los Angeles, a man snapped a photo of a local police officer pointing a gun at another person while driving. The officer was off duty at the time.

Read the full story here. 

A Kingsport woman was video conferencing with her daughter when she shot her husband. Specifically, she was showing off the family’s new Ruger LCR .38-caliber revolver and laser sight. During the demonstration the gun discharged and her husband was shot.

Read the full story here.

Oscar Aguilar, 21, was killed after the gun he was holding went off. Aguilar was borrowing the gun from a friend to take a selfie.

Read the full story here.

 

Firearms instructor in Texas was teaching his children how to clean a 9mm handgun. He accidentally left a bullet in the chamber and shot himself in the hand. The children were not shot.

Read the full story here.

An Indianapolis man was accused of brandishing a gun at children at a daycare next door to his house. The man admitted to having his gun out, but claims to have been cleaning it.

Read more here.

Two police officers who were living together shot each other in a domestic dispute. One was killed and the other was left in critical condition.

 

Read more here.

A homeowner in Billings, Montana heard some noises in his garage, so he got his gun and shot a young man who was talking on his cell phone. As it turns out, the man on his cell phone in the garage was a seminary student whom the homeowner had invited to stay in the house. No charges have been filed, and police are describing the shooting as “accidental.”

Read more here.

Parents called 911 at least 22 times to report that a man with a gun was stalking their children’s baseball game. Police determined that the man had a permit for the gun, and that under Georgia state law, they could not arrest him nor force him to leave. So the parents cancelled the game and they all left with their children. Asked by local media for a comment, the county sheriff said “bad behavior will not be tolerated,” but it seems that aggressive, disruptive behavior by gun owners will indeed be tolerated and protected by Georgia law.

Read more here.