Gun owners may be held liable for failing to store their firearms safely, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled yesterday. The Indianapolis Star said the court unanimously a trial court’s dismissal of a 1999 lawsuit against the owners of a handgun used to kill a sheriff’s deputy. The officer was killed in a 1997 shootout with a convict. The victim’s family sued parents of the assailant on the ground that they knew their drug-addicted son was fleeing from police but did not safeguard his gun. “Indiana gun owners are guaranteed the right to bear arms,” wrote Chief Justice Randall Shepard, “but this right does not entitle owners to impose on their fellow citizens all the external human and economic costs associated with their ownership.” The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence says that more than 250,000 firearms are stolen each year. Stolen firearms are used in 35 percent of crimes involving guns.