are gun owners liable under utah law for supplying guns to others who injure themselves or others?
Under Utah law, gun owners may he held liable for supplying their guns to others who injure themselves or others. In Herland v. Izatt, the Utah Supreme Court held affirmed that such a “duty of care [exists] in th[e] general category of cases . . . of gun owners who are negligent in supplying their guns to others who then injure themselves or third parties.” The Court ruled that the duty of care is violated whenever the defendant gun owner “(1) directly suppl[ied] or hand[ed] a gun to another, (2) plac[ed] the gun within reach of another, or (3) consent[ed] (either explicitly or implicitly) to the use of the gun by another.”
In other words, a gun owner may be held liable in a civil case for money damages for supplying his or her gun to others who either injure themselves or others. The gun owner is liable if he or she directly supplied the gun; placed the gun within reach; or explicitly or implicitly consented to use of the gun.
For instance, in a recent case, on January 13, 2022, four teenagers are believed to have shot three Hunter High School football players (killing two, and injuring one). The four teens have been apprehended and are booked into custody in West Valley, Utah in connection with the shooting. The gun was recovered, but the identity of the owner has yet to be determined. See the full story here 2 Hunter High football players killed, 1 injured in West Valley shooting | KSL.com
The owners of the guns may face potential liability if any of the above-referenced factors are established. Similarly, the owners of any vehicles involved in the shooting may likewise face liability.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a gun in Utah, call Shane Gosdis immediately. He has significant experience litigating gun liability cases in Utah, including a gang land style shooting at a Walmart in West Valley, Utah. He gets results for his injured clients. Call 385-429-9960 or text 801-200-1578 to schedule a free consultation today.