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The two men have crashed down the stairs to the basement. The gun lies/sits between them on the floor.

Are both 'lies' and 'sits' OK here?

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  • I prefer using sit/stand to describe objects which are upright like a stand, bike, bookshelf. Anything else which is flat in a horizontal position, I use lie.
    – Ammu
    Mar 19 '21 at 22:18
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Both possible. Both idiomatic.
Literally, a gun is more likely to lie (on its side) on the ground. Somewhat passively.
Stylistically, if it sits between two people, it is 'sitting up' and ready for action. Something might be about to happen.

Where might a gun naturally sit? On a shelf, on a cushion, in your hand, in your pocket.

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Both give a similar impression, but I prefer "lie" since the gun will tend to be flat on the ground, rather like a person who is lying down.

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