Gun owner not liable after stolen weapon kills teen, appeals court rules

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a gun owner who left a loaded handgun on the seat of an unlocked truck isn’t liable for a deadly outcome after the weapon was stolen.

Court records say 16-year-old Matthew Kendall of Huntingburg died July 22, 2016, after he was shot in the head with a handgun that was taken that day by a 15-year-old boy who was showing the weapon to Kendall when it discharged. Kendall’s mother sued the gun’s owner for negligence.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports that the Dubois Circuit Court and a unanimous three-judge Court of Appeals panel said Indiana law immunizes gun owners from civil liability for any subsequent use of their stolen firearms. The Indiana Supreme Court could be asked to consider the case.

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