need advice on potentially asking Dad to remove guns from home

Discussion in 'Legal and Activism' started by conflicted, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. conflicted

    conflicted New Member

    Hello-I would genuinely appreciate any advice you may give me. I am a female, 40 years old who grew up with handguns in the house. I used to reload bullets for my Dad and we would go to the range together for fun. I have very fond memories of these times with my Dad. My Dad always had/has as many as 12 handguns in the house with several of them loaded. He taught my sister and I proper gun handling and could trust us to give them the respect they deserved. We NEVER felt worried having guns in the house. Sadly, that has all changed.

    My Dad is only late 60's but has suffered some severe health issues that make him foggy and confused at times. He is also on a lot of medication both anxiety and sleeping medicine that further compromises his clarity at times. My 6 month old daughter and I live with he and my Mom. I also have an 8 year old nephew who has Autism and some mental health issues who is facinated by guns in a way that makes all of us uncomfortable. He has dark thoughts and can be mentally unstable. Not the kind of kid you trust with guns. Long before my Dad's health issues ,we asked him to either lock all his guns up or get rid of them for fear that my nephew would have access to them. He ignores us. This coupled with the fact that my Dad is not the man he used to be, make me, my Mom and my sister very uncomfortable with him having loaded guns.

    We don't know what to do though, as he LOVES his guns and would be very upset. If we make him get rid of them. We keep asking ourselves if we are overeacting, but remind each other that we have NEVER in the past 30 years ever felt worried, uncomfortable, etc with his guns. Now we do. He keeps a few loaded guns around for personal safety (although we live in a pretty safe area) and also carries guns with him when he is out and about, although he doesn't have a conceal to carry license. In fact, he decided a few weeks ago that he was going to take a conceal to carry class and got asked to leave, as he was overmedicated and was spilling his bullets and god knows what else. We couldn't really get a straight answer from him.

    Please offer any advice or words of wisdom as we are really struggling with what to do.
  2. doctherock

    doctherock New Member

    No easy answer here as you live under his roof. As for your son that is another issue all together. Not to sound assanine but I was thrown a beating or two and learned the pain involved with doing something wrong. It worked for me. My son has some issues and i just safety the loaded guns. He has learned through negative stimulus not to do dumb stuff and it works. Sorry about your dads health and mind. That will be a hard road taking his guns. You may meet with violent outbursts just for suggesting removing his guns.

  3. JonM

    JonM Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    personally i would snek em out of the house a few at a time and have a smith remove the firing pins. then he can have his guns and he cant hurt himself or anyone else.
  4. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

    And then if someone breaks into your house with a gun your Dad can confront them with a gun that doesn't work!!

    Great Idea!

    Erin, you have to talk with him. Have his Doctor talk with him. You have to make sure the guns are secured. You have to instill into your children and nephew the damage guns are capable of.

    Doc hit it on the head when he said there are no easy answers to your problem. Next, try getting him to stop driving!

    Almost forgot....Welcome to the FTF!!

    IGETEVEN New Member

    Welcome to the forum conflicted. It sounds like you have a very complexing and a potentially serious safety accident waiting to happen. Three things come immediately to mind...gun safe, medical evaluation and possibly an attorney for legal advice.

    Is your father a veteran by chance?
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  6. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

    I personally don't like giving someone advice about how to take away a part of a person that is obviously so important to them. Especially when we're only hearing your side of the story. You do live under his roof and as such HIS RULES. If you don't feel safe leave.

    If your father is a threat to himself or others then that is truly a sad situation, and my heart goes out to him, and to your family for having to watch him loose something that is part of who he is. On the other hand, unless he is getting dementia and pointing guns at people, how is his loaded guns any more dangerous than they ever were?

    Honestly, there should be a law against getting old. The saddest thing I've ever seen is was watching my father (my hero) loose abilities and self worth/self respect. Hard working proud men deserve more than that. They deserve us to bend over back wards to do EVERYTHING in our power to help them maintain their normal life for as long as they can!
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  7. Jo da Plumbr

    Jo da Plumbr New Member

    You might try to sell him on the idea of a safe. At least locked up your son would not have access.

    The idea also comes to mind that if the local police caught him carrying without a permit He would likely lose the right to own guns. Of course that would be a very dirty trick to pull... which is probably why it came to my mind.

    Good luck.
  8. conflicted

    conflicted New Member

    Thanks everyone. Some points of clarification. We deeply love my Dad and want to help him maintain as much dignity as possible, or else I wouldn't be posting here. The "his house/his rules" thing really doesn't apply here. My Mom was always the primary breadwinner and I live here to Help them. I have a great job and help them with their bills. My Mom is really the decision maker in this instance and she helped me write the post and is concerned about safety. As far as him not being any more dangerous than he has ever been, I guess my fear is that he would awaken at night to a noise and go investigate (as he often does) with his gun and instead of an intruder it's one of us..or god forbid my daughter when she is old enough to walk. He is unclear at times about his surroundings esp in the middle of the night, and I worry more about an accident than him intentionally doing anything. He is not a veteran. We have talked about a gun safe, but if he won't keep his guns in there and continues to bring them out how will this help? I agree, watching your parents get older is heart wrenching. And yes, driving is the next topic of conversation and that will be equally as hard.
    Thanks again,
  9. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

    The family priest, a close family friend (that he trusts), again; his Doctor can help. His Doctor in particular can help with the meds and in getting them balanced so that he can at least discuss the issue somewhat clear headed.

    I feel for you, but only dumb luck will yield any valuable advise here, we all flunked our medical exams.

    I wish you and your family the best in dealing with this issue, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
  10. 556plinker

    556plinker New Member

    That's a sad situation to see a loved one deteriorate before your eyes. THe safety issue must be addressed regardless of his feelings. A cheaper model safe should be an immediate consideration. If security is an issue for your family I would suggest getting an instant access safe for you being that you are comfortable with a firearm should you need to protect your family. Compare his feelings against the potential trauma of burying a loved one and make your decision.
  11. Ohio_Survivor

    Ohio_Survivor New Member

    Tough situation. I think I would be giving dad a nice gun safe for his birthday, Christmas, or other special occasion . . . not so much as a "you need this," but "you deserve this" kind of gift. Then, you could discreetly start helping police the house to make sure the guns are properly secured.

    If it gets to the point it is just not safe with him having access to firearms, then you may have to make some tough decisions about having him declared incompetent by a judge, and either remove the guns from the house, or lock them up so he can't get to them. This is a difficult decision to make, but an easier one than the decisions you might have to make in picking out a casket or two for loved ones killed because of his mental incapacity.

    Good luck.

  12. Car54

    Car54 New Member

    My Dad passed away from Alzheimers and it was difficult for us to remove the things he valued but in the long run we were protecting him and others. For instance he was going to the doctor one day and ended up almost 20 miles past the office, another time he ran a red light and was broadsided. Fortunately no one was injured but it was at that point we made a decision to take the car and his keys. His guns were locked in a safe so we found the key and took that too. He argued and yelled but it was for the best.

    Getting to the point, as the disease progressed he became violent with the in home care givers we had hired on a 24/7 basis. He had never been this way, but yet he was cursing, kicking and swinging at the ladies who were there to help him. I'm glad that guns were not available during this stage of the disease. Finally, we ended up taking him to a nursing home where a few months later he died.

    Bottom line, you have to find out what you Dad is being treated for and find out what the downside or side effects can or will be. If he is medicated and has medical problems, I would get the family together and tell him what you are going to do and why. Prepare yourself for the anger that is sure to come but stand firm and attempt to reason with him, and remember that anyone within the home or around it can potentially be harmed by him during a moment of medicated confusion.

    I wish you luck, it won't be easy.
  13. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    No easy answer for this one. First, some of us here are on the shady side of 60- but there is 60, and there is 60. My lady has a CNS degenerative disease that causes mental changes somewhat akin to Alzheimer's- and we have to recognize when the time comes that you can no longer do what you used to do- and NOBODY likes that.

    The problem is, there is rarely a condition white and a condition black- it is the freakin' shades of GREY that will drive you up the wall.

    Your Dad's meds MAY need adjusting. His mindset may need adjusting. However, there is a real problem with taking advice on sex, money, or guns from anyone that you have changed their diaper! :)

    I canot judge your Dad's state of mind, mental condition, etc at long range. I DO strongly urge you to discuss this with his Doc. Do NOT expect a happy, peaceful acceptance. Realistically, it MAY be that you will need to do what is needed to keep your kids safe- that MAY mean that you and kids live in a different place.

    Prayers and best wishes for all of your family.

  14. skullcrusher

    skullcrusher New Member

    First, I feel for you as dealing with the deterioration of loved ones is difficult. I commend you for seeking some advice and thoughts of others. Welcome to the community.

    Lot's of good ideas and opinions here.

    I like the safe idea. Buy him one and tell him it is to keep them safe in case of a robbery when nobody is home and to keep your nephew from getting at them. Once installed, make sure you have the combination and he does as well. If he is in a confused state and tries to access them, he probably won't be able to work the combination, or give him the combination one number off. If he tries to get at them and can't work the lock, then you or your mother can help and open it if he is clear minded. For home safety, get a biometric safe and store one that you and your mother can open.

    Still, he deserves being told about your family's concerns about his meds and the side effects. Let him know he did well by teaching you how to handle the handguns and that he is your hero. Love is a powerful drug of its own.

    Start thinking about a power of attorney as well. Removing his property from the house/and or selling it could lead to some serious legal issues for everyone involved.

    These are just my opinions and intial thoughts, so take them all with a grain of salt. Hang in there and let us know know what you decide. :)
  15. wmille01

    wmille01 New Member

    I'm pretty much all for the gun safe idea, if he forgets a lot of things he might not remember the code so it kind of works in your favor if you and your mom remember it you can pretty much control him in the gun area at least.

    I know this makes me sound like a mean bass tard but this is what I do for a living (controlling people). If you do, don't so something stupid like writting it down some place obviouse.

    Worst comes to worst and he gets to the point that he is having flash backs from the army or something like that you have control over his guns, hand to hand combat is all up to you or the police. We had the same issues when I worked at a old folks home as security, I love what vets do and have done but I hate what they had to go through for this country.
  16. orangello

    orangello New Member

    I wish you the best of luck in dealing with that situation.

    Personally, I hope i don't live long enough to be in his shoes.

    Edit* Constructively, do you think you could convince him to take them somewhere for "repairs"?
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
  17. dog2000tj

    dog2000tj New Member

    I'm sorry to hear about your father, it is a very tough thing to watch a parent waste away :(

    As for the issue with the guns, if you feel there is a danger than I would remove them or at the least make them inoperable. I am seeing first hand the confusion and paranoia from Alzheimer and it could be a very dangerous situation with guns in the mix.

    Good luck to you and prayers offered :)
  18. mrm14

    mrm14 Active Member

    My dad is 98 Y.O. now. When he was 92 he had a major storke. It took a couple of years for him to recover enough to go home or actually a house in a better place than he was living at. He lives pretty much on his own as he wishes. The gun thing had become a problem for my brothers and I. I ended up taking them away, one of the things most difficult in my life, and take the sh!t he gave me for about but not quite a year. Now he knows they're safe and will be kept in the family and has finally forgiven me.

    I don't know if this will help if you decide to take them away but be prepaired to take a ration of sh!t from him for a good deal of time. Sometimes you just have to be mentally strong to do the right thing.
  19. eaglesnester

    eaglesnester New Member

    my dad and his firearms

    Here is a simple solution for you: Go buy a gun cabnet (safe). Does not have to be expensive but it does need to be secure and lockable. Lock up all his firearms, and give him the keys, keep a spare set. talk to him about your concerns. You may still have to go behind him and ensure the firearms are properly stowed after he has used them.
  20. bkt

    bkt New Member

    Putting myself in your situation, here are some thoughts...

    1. If your dad is potentially capable of reacting violently without knowing who he's reacting to - like if you come in the house at night - and you or anyone else in your family might be hurt or killed, or if he no longer handles firearms safely; or

    2. If you have asked your dad when his head is clear that he get a safe or two for his handguns and he refuses or ignores you even in light of the fact your nephew might get ahold of one of them and inadvertently cause harm to himself or others; or

    3. There are no moments of lucidity when your dad is off medication enough that he can truly understand the seriousness of the situation,

    ...then I'd move the heck out and I wouldn't be paying him any visits! I'm sure you love your dad, but you don't put yourself or others in harm's way like that. It is the responsibility of loved ones to not let a family member who's not all there have access to firearms.

    Indeed, if there are no moments of lucidity, he probably shouldn't be around firearms at all but that's a call you and your family have to make.

    If he's foggy enough that he might make a terrible mistake at home (I assume that was the point of your telling us about how he gets foggy while on his meds) and he carries outside the home then someone innocent could end up dead and your dad could end up in prison. I'd work on that if I were you.

    What I would not do is abdicate responsibility for resolving the problem and call the cops or ask a judge to have his firearms taken from him.