Not a home break-in, police say
By Guy Page
Many Vermont Daily Chronicle readers have wondered what the two youths were doing inside Joshua Kruml’s Fair Haven home when they took the firearm that resulted in Kruml’s arrest for negligent firearms storage. Several commenters said they thought that a locked door constitutes safe gun storage.
VDC contacted investigating officer Corporal Edward Hunter today and asked if they had broken into the house, or if they lived in the house. His answer: neither. The two juveniles were “just visiting,” he said.
Kruml could face up to a year in jail if convicted of negligent firearms storage, the crime for which he was arrested November 2. Fair Haven police say that on October 1, a firearm was reported stolen from the home of Kruml, age 46. A few days later, the firearm was recovered and two juveniles were charged.
Kruml was arrested after police determined he had failed to properly store the weapon as required by state law. “Police learned Kruml allegedly left the firearm on a shelf with open access to the juveniles, which allowed them to steal the weapon,” Cpl. Edward Hunter, the investigating officer, wrote in a police report.
Kruml was arrested and issued a citation to appear in Rutland District court to answer the charge.
The law states that “a person who stores or keeps a firearm within any premises that are under the person’s custody or control, and who knows or reasonably should know that a child or prohibited person is likely to gain access to the firearm, shall be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both, if a child or prohibited person gains access to the firearm and uses it in the commission of a crime or displays it in a threatening manner.”
Had the gun been used to injure or kill someone, Kruml would have been liable to up to five years and/or a $5,000 fine, which could lead to being “imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than $5,000.00, or both, if a child or prohibited person gains access to the firearm and uses it to cause death or serious bodily injury to any person.”