This post is NOT about general gun rights or concealed permits. It is about when to say, "This is no longer safe."
I'm acquainted with an elderly man who owns several guns and has a concealed carry permit. He bonds with family members over weapons and safes and target practice for recreation. These guns are not used to hunt to provide food for the family.
When he first started collecting, he made sure they were put away in the gun safe and that the gun safe was locked and everyone was safe.
Things have changed.
He has had dementia for several years, and it is progressing. His decline has come with cognitive deficits and he now sometimes forgets to close the safe ... and/or the garage where the safe is ... which means the guns and ammunition are accessible to anyone in the neighborhood -- children, criminals, depressed people, whoever. He has frequent visitors to his home, including children, one of whom is very curious and has cognitive delays.
In the last few months, he has unknowingly misplaced at least two of his weapons, which were located by family members who share his home. One was a loaded handgun, found on the floor of the garage. The other was a rifle. He didn't miss the loaded handgun for a couple of days and still has no idea the rifle is not in the safe (although he misplaced it and then went out of town and is not home yet).
This person has expressed his own concern when he has learned that people with mental illness have owned guns, but if anyone suggests that his gun ownership might not be safe anymore, he perceives that as an attack on him as a person. Not on the disease that is taking over his brain. He very much has emotional ties to his perception of himself as a safe gun owner and cannot view this problem from a rational perspective.
This is beyond gun rights: This is a safety and liability issue. It is worse than if a gun owner doesn't have a safe -- he counts on the fact that everything is locked up, but he is not really locking them up. If someone were to come across that open safe and steal one (or all) of the weapons registered to his name and later use that weapon to commit a crime, he would have some liability. So would his wife. One of the small children who visits his home could unintentionally kill themselves or someone else.
If this was your father, brother, uncle, grandpa, friend, when would you say enough is enough? And how would you facilitate the change and still allow him to have his dignity?