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My mom is 83 years old and keeps 2 loaded hand guns in the house "for protection."How do I deal with this? How can I get them from her? She keeps them hidden away and seems paranoid in general, but she's always been this way. Help!

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This is scary! Do you think you can get rid of the ammunition? While there are some people who can still aim and shoot at 83, a paranoid personality could be a tragedy waiting to happen. If nothing else, you may have to involve law enforcement. I don't know the laws in your state, but they maybe will have suggestions for you. Good luck,
Carol
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So does mine. At least one loaded hand gun in her night stand. She is papanoid as well. I don't even address this subect with her since she is so difficult. I just keep my distance, say about 800 miles worth.
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get your hands on the weapons and get a friend / gunsmith to drop the firing pins out of them. most weapons disassemble readily and without tools for ease of cleaning .ms paranoid aint gonna give up her guns without a fight..
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please excuse my spelling, not enough coffee yet. ;)
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My mother was extremely paranoid at the beginning. . .before meds. My brother-in-law just picked up the pistol and walked out of the house with it. She kept asking for it, but NOBODY wanted her to have the gun. By this point, she was declaired incompentent, so we had the right to take the gun. I suggest that you removed the guns from her presence. I was afraid that if she pulled out an unloaded gun, she would get shot by the police, then, we would have an altogether different problem. Take Away The Guns! ! !
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yea i think carter has the better solution . a disabled gun would still get you shot by the police. my bad..
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I think she is smart. You have not mentioned any mental or physical frailties. If that is the case, then she has the right to defend herself against violent criminals.
Guns are only evil if misused, and the elderly are more vulnerable than others.
Her ability to aim is irrelevant - most gun uses are extreme close range - within 10 feet, so her aim is not going to be a factor - even the blind keep and carry guns for protection!
Again, so long as she is mentally and physically competent, it is her right, and I say, go mom!

If she has not got the mental capacity (and paranoia is not a disqualifier) then you will need to take steps to have the firearms removed. If you do so, be sure to give her another means of self defense! I recommend the wasp spray that shoots a stream up to 20 feet. This is an excellent non lethal self defense tool for any age.
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Assuming she is not competent, you can hide the guns. We hid mom's in her attic. She had not been declared competent, at that time, so we didn't want to take them out of the house. She was not physically able to get up the folding attic stairs.
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SCAAAAARRRRRY!!!!
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My 86 year old mom has a gun. She would take it out of closet every night and load it and unload in the am and put away. One night she shot her bed she said she was trying to see if she could pull the trigger. Makes for a good story as the bed survived. She recently broke her ankle and is not able to get to the gun. She asked for it but I told her no. She now tells everyone I won't let her have the gun and actually seems ok with it or has at least accepted it for now. Sadly I think soon she won't remember she ever had a gun.
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Tell her that the gun is going to get HER shot, and trade her the pepper spray as a better solution -- because it IS a better solution.
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My late dad always had licensed guns in the house; he kept a loaded shotgun under the bed and a loaded pistol in the night stand until he died. He suffered a long, difficult illness before his death. He would periodically declare that he wanted to kill himself by jumping off the Coronado Bridge in San Diego. My brother and I worried that he would use the pistol on himself one day. Not that we would have really blamed him, but we feared the trauma to his very attentive and loving wife. So one day, when we were visiting, we arranged for his wife to take him out of the house and my brother unloaded the gun. By this time he was getting very foggy, so we didn't think he'd be actually checking or cleaning his firearms. Fortunately he passed on in his sleep soon thereafter. I agree with the gentleman above that to disable the weapon is the best course. That way a confrontation is avoided. Good luck and God bless.
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The guns are just a tragedy waiting to happen. I don't know her financial situation, but if possible I would have her invest in some type of alarm. If she needs protection, she would just push a button she wears around her neck. This way family, law enforcement, etc. would be there. Again just a suggestion. Good Luck. HUGS to all of you.
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Well, if she is of sound mind, I guess she has a right to have a gun. :o(
Just make sure you announce yourself when you enter her house. It would be terrible if she mistook you for an intruder. In fact, if you suspect she is showing ANY signs of dementia at all, I would even CALL first before entering!
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P.S. I would NEVER bring small children to visit.
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. . .And is she driving? The variation in mental and physical health after 50 is astounding.

Call her doctor and see if you can go with her to an appointment. Have him evaluate her or send her to be evaluated. Call the DHS people if you think you need immediate help.

If she thinks she needs protection, maybe a Medical Alert sytem would be a good idea.
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You didn't say valleylynn if you and your mom share a home or whether she lives on her own (do you fear that she could accidently shoot you?)...I agree that your mom's competency is the key here as to whether or not she keeps the guns...perhaps she would be willing to give up one of them for now...the wasp spray is a good idea for a replacement....good luck...hugs.
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Do not give her a denuded gun. As someone mentioned, it can get her shot by police. Either take the gun away (assuming incompetence) or take her to the shooting range to make sure she knows how to shoot and can still handle the gun correctly. And take your own gun to the shooting range too. I love susanelease1's attitude. A gun needs to be used and shot by the owner once a year to insure comfort with use of it.
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I was wondering...Is there something in particular that she's afraid of? Things she's seen on the news? Is she obsessive about other things? Or is she just afraid to be alone?
When my Dad moved in with me, I sent his gun collection to my brother in law and nephews. They hunt and have locked gun safes.
I, on the other hand, have a curious ADHD son, and a parade of strange caregivers that come to the house to take care of Dad. Access to firearms is not in their job description.
Dad is very resentful, but its my house. My rules.
Your momma's guns have to go away. If she pointed a gun at anyone, she could be arrested. If she pointed a gun at a cop, the officer could shoot her.
I agree with Ms Bursack that involving local law enforcement is in order. Maybe a visit from a nice friendly neighborhood cop will help her make sensible decisions. At the very least, the police need a record that there might be a potential issue here.
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My father had Lewy Body Dementia ,and he had paranoia severly. He would pack a 9 mil hand gun. What we done was have a man take out the FIRING PIN . He refused to give the guns up so that was our only choice. He never knew it either. We then felt somewhat relieved.,while he felt secure. You may want to look into doing that .Hope this helps.
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josue1223 Aug 2018
if the cops see him armed they will shoot him no questions asked cops are trained to kill and trained to shoot on sight if someone's armed if they see him armed and they don't know that he has Lewy Body Dementia do you think that will end well think about it
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When I visited my relatives in Sweden, they asked me, " Do you have a gun?" " We heard that Americans have guns in their homes." I had to explain ( in English), that "no", ' I do not have a gun, but many American do for various reasons.". As you know they think that we are really wierd about this.
Take the gun away or take away the ammo, and let it go at that.
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Has your Mom been diagnosed with any type of dementia? If that's the case, I would suggest removing the guns at some point when she's not around, unloading them, and locking them in a small safe or lock box. This way they can be left at her home and if she asks about them, you can tell her they've been locked up for safekeeping. You can even give her a key and tell her its for the box (even though its not). This might make her feel she's still in charge. If she does not have dementia then I'm not sure I would worry about it too much. Most people are paranoid in way one or another. If she's made it to 83 years of age with her guns she'll probably be OK.
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I found a butcher knife in my mom's bed the last time I was making it up for her. She is also very paranoid!! Why are thy so fearful all the time?
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If she has any mental capacity issues, you can't take the risks of your mom having loaded guns. If you have knowledge that she has cognitive impairment issues and she shoots someone, there is a potential for a law suit. Ask her doctor to a mental evaluation. I like what Carol Bursack said, call law enforcement for advice.
You say she's paranoid and has been all of her life, but you don't say if this is a mental illness issue.
Has her home been burglarized? Has she been a victim of a crime in the past? Has someone threatened her? Is there crime in her neighborhood?
Until her competency status is reviewed by a physician and psychologist, I would disable the guns.
If there are grandchildren coming into her home, that's another concern.
Does she have licenses for both guns?
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I agree with those saying she should not have access to guns at 83. The danger she poses to herself and others outweighs the danger from criminals. They would take the gun away from her and use it on her.

Are there grandchildren that might find them? You might make that the safety issue for her and suggest she lock them away in a cabinet. Then maybe you can hide or take the key.
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My husband is 87 with alzheimers. We live in the country and have always had guns for protection. Sometimes he doesn't know where he is and occasionally doesn't recognize me. I am afraid that at one of those times he might shoot me thinking I'm a burglar, or shoot someone else in the house. I haven't seen an attorney but have been told that if he shoots someone, I am the one without the alzheimers, so I would be legally responsible. And morally, of course. I got rid of the serious gun and have hidden my small revolver where he can't find it. I have enough problems without gun problems and won't take a chance.

garza
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You're probably thinking that, since the primary condition is depression, she might use them on herself. .... I wouldn't, however, say this out loud. The last thing you want to do is put ideas in her head.

See what you can do to alleviate her depression in a natural way, paying particular attention to comments that can be construed as suicidal. If she does utter some, use persuasion to find out if she has a plan of some sort. That being the case, contact law enforcement.

In the meantime, and now that the weather has warmed up a bit, step up family activities. Keep her busy; see if you can get a couple of hearty laughs out of her. The she has a right to own a gun; and she also has a right to pursue happiness. Make sure she does.
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My mom had my dads gun claiming for protection. We had tried to take custody of it many times and she refused. She accused us many times of stealing it when she had misplaced (constantly trying to hide it). We had same fears that she would mistake someone for a stranger or shoot police, so we finally just took it once when she was away from the home. It is for everyone's safety. It's been a couple months and I'm waiting for her to accuse me of the gun theft again, I might just own up to it! She's 90.
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My MIL is 85 and instead of "taking away" her guns... we loaded them with "Blanks" a few years ago. If the gun were to be fired, it sounds just like a gun but, there are not bullets coming out of the chamber. That way no one gets hurt and she still keeps her dignity and feels protected.
All you have to do is tell her that you need to borrow the guns to be cleaned. The guns should be cleaned and oiled every 3-6 months anyway, to keep them in good working order. Once you have the weapon/s take them to a gun shop and ask them to load them with blanks. She wont know the difference.
Good Luck!!
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I sincerely hope that you don't involve law enforcement in this family issue.


If the link doesn't show up, Google Patricia Konie to find out about this incident.
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