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Thread: Accidentally hit a car with a BB gun, get two felonies!

  1. #1
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    Accidentally hit a car with a BB gun, get two felonies!

    http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes...n-charges.html

    ...and fired his BB gun at an abandoned house across the street. In doing so, he accidentally hit a passing car.

    Cherry immediately call the sheriff’s department and offered to pay for the damage to the car. The deputy sheriff took a report but said he wasn’t going to press charges and neither was the driver.

    Instead, Sam’s parents took responsibility, paid for the damages and administered parental justice.

    Sam got punished. They took away his BB gun and made him do community service at their local church.

    “We wanted to teach him responsibility so he’s been cleaning up around the church and polishing pews to repay the $350 it cost to repair the car,” Robbins told Fox News.

    But their world got rocked when the received a letter from the Department of Juvenile Justice summoning the family to court.

    “They told us that they considered it to be a violent felony — discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle,” Robbins said. “It was crazy. We completely disagreed with the charges.”
    I really don't have words for my disgust regarding this. Especially to say that there wouldn't be charges and then to turn around and try to charge him.

    EDIT: The charges were dropped, but still, to charge a 7 year old with two felonies over a BB gun is just...I don't have the words for it.
    Last edited by Aknazer; 04-08-2013 at 11:44 AM.

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    It is important to note that the story says that the charges have been dropped. That doesn't excuse the error of charging him in the first place.

    My question is what does NC define as a "firearm"?!?

    Folks from NC need to raise holy hell until a BB gun cannot be considered a firearm!

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    Regular Member dudeman351's Avatar
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    Call me a tin foil hatter if you want. But its part of the grand scheme of things. Make as many people as you can a felon and you get ex facto gun control.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articl...kopel#comments

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dudeman351 View Post
    Call me a tin foil hatter if you want. But its part of the grand scheme of things. Make as many people as you can a felon and you get ex facto gun control.
    Why specifically gun control?

    Once they're felons, you have any kind of control you want. They can't vote, you can pass any laws you want. Guns are the least of their worries then.

    Broaden your horizons.
    Last edited by marshaul; 04-08-2013 at 11:51 AM.

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    Regular Member carolina guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    It is important to note that the story says that the charges have been dropped. That doesn't excuse the error of charging him in the first place.

    My question is what does NC define as a "firearm"?!?

    Folks from NC need to raise holy hell until a BB gun cannot be considered a firearm!
    I think that is the reporter getting the story wrong...but "Firearms" are defined differently depending on where the term is referenced in the law... NCGS Ch. 14

    My quick reading only found this:

    § 14‑34.1. Discharging certain barreled weapons or a firearm into occupied property.(a) Any person who willfully or wantonly discharges or attempts to discharge any firearm or barreled weapon capable of discharging shot, bullets, pellets, or other missiles at a muzzle velocity of at least 600 feet per second into any building, structure, vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or other conveyance, device, equipment, erection, or enclosure while it is occupied is guilty of a Class E felony.(b) A person who willfully or wantonly discharges a weapon described in subsection (a) of this section into an occupied dwelling or into any occupied vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or other conveyance that is in operation is guilty of a Class D felony.(c) If a person violates this section and the violation results in serious bodily injury to any person, the person is guilty of a Class C felony. (1969, c. 341; c. 869, s. 7; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1; c. 179, s. 14; c. 755; 1993, c. 539, s. 1141; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 2005‑461, s. 1.)
    So, first question would be how powerful the BB gun was that the 7yo was using...and the second is how the DA figured that he was going to prove that the kid "willfully and wantonly" shot the car instead of missing the abandoned house by failing to notice the car running into the field of fire.
    Last edited by carolina guy; 04-08-2013 at 12:43 PM.
    If something is wrong for ONE person to do to another, it is still wrong if a BILLION people do it.

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    Regular Member carolina guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    Why specifically gun control?

    Once they're felons, you have any kind of control you want. They can't vote, you can pass any laws you want. Guns are the least of their worries then.

    Broaden your horizons.
    Broaden them even further... currently they just ignore the laws and Constitution do what they want anyway, so why worry at all??
    Last edited by carolina guy; 04-08-2013 at 12:41 PM.
    If something is wrong for ONE person to do to another, it is still wrong if a BILLION people do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    It is important to note that the story says that the charges have been dropped. That doesn't excuse the error of charging him in the first place.

    My question is what does NC define as a "firearm"?!?

    Folks from NC need to raise holy hell until a BB gun cannot be considered a firearm!
    NC law states that a BB gun is not a firearm because of the fact it does not use propellant. Such as gun powder. That is probably why they had to drop the charges.

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    Actually, the 600 fps is a good way to determine whether or not a tool is a firearm--and surely eliminates the kind of BB gun that a 7-yo would have.

    States ought to abandon the crazy definitions they have developed over the years for firearms and implement ones that define them by the kind and size of the object they expel and how fast it goes. It would sure simplify the hell outta most laws

    I suspect the cops and the DA thought they'd just "teach this kid a lesson." They just didn't take into account that this is a seven-year-old. What the hell do these guys think is required to teach him a lesson? The parents did a superb job of assessing consequences. I think the government agents believe they know better than any parent how to teach a child. Disgraceful.

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    I would think a firearm should only be classified as a firearm if fire is involved. Which would mean some sort of explosive propellant to fire the projectile. I think this is already expressed by the ATF.

    "The term “firearm” is defined in the Gun Control Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. Section 921(a)(3), to include "(A) any weapon (including a starter gun), which will, or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon…." Based on Section 921(a)(3), air guns, because they use compressed air and not an explosive to expel a projectile, do not constitute firearms under Federal law."

    http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/fire...echnology.html

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    Regular Member carolina guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kunclebuc View Post
    NC law states that a BB gun is not a firearm because of the fact it does not use propellant. Such as gun powder. That is probably why they had to drop the charges.
    Not necessarily true...if it has a barrel and shoots a projectile over 600fps, it qualifies under the section in question, and there are a lot of .177 air rifles that qualify. Not sure what the kid was shooting.
    If something is wrong for ONE person to do to another, it is still wrong if a BILLION people do it.

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    Regular Member carolina guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADobbs1989 View Post
    I would think a firearm should only be classified as a firearm if fire is involved. Which would mean some sort of explosive propellant to fire the projectile. I think this is already expressed by the ATF.

    "The term “firearm” is defined in the Gun Control Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. Section 921(a)(3), to include "(A) any weapon (including a starter gun), which will, or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon…." Based on Section 921(a)(3), air guns, because they use compressed air and not an explosive to expel a projectile, do not constitute firearms under Federal law."

    http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/fire...echnology.html
    Except he was initially charged under NC law, not US law.
    If something is wrong for ONE person to do to another, it is still wrong if a BILLION people do it.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolina guy View Post
    Broaden them even further... currently they just ignore the laws and Constitution do what they want anyway, so why worry at all??
    Yes, but at least then we can drop the façade of legitimacy.

    They'd prefer it if we begged them to make us all felons first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolina guy View Post
    Not necessarily true...if it has a barrel and shoots a projectile over 600fps, it qualifies under the section in question, and there are a lot of .177 air rifles that qualify. Not sure what the kid was shooting.
    If a 7yo was shooting something that fires a pellet at 600fps unsupervised, ya gotta wonder about the parents. I am sure that he wasn't.

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    Regular Member carolina guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    If a 7yo was shooting something that fires a pellet at 600fps unsupervised, ya gotta wonder about the parents. I am sure that he wasn't.
    +1

    When I take my kids out to shoot the bb gun (I think it is about 400fps) I watch them and teach them as if it were a real rifle.

    The other thing that struck me about the article was that they apparently let their kid shoot at the abandoned house across the road...why are they letting the kids damage someone's property?? I am guessing from the article and video that they are not going to win parents of the year anytime soon.
    If something is wrong for ONE person to do to another, it is still wrong if a BILLION people do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carolina guy View Post
    +1

    When I take my kids out to shoot the bb gun (I think it is about 400fps) I watch them and teach them as if it were a real rifle.

    The other thing that struck me about the article was that they apparently let their kid shoot at the abandoned house across the road...why are they letting the kids damage someone's property?? I am guessing from the article and video that they are not going to win parents of the year anytime soon.
    Guess it would depend on the knowledge level of the child. When I was 7 I was allowed to go outside and shoot my bb gun when I pleased. I had grown up shooting guns, getting my hands on a 9mm and 12 gauge between 5 and 6. I knew how to safely use the gun and to not point it in a direction I wasn't willing to shoot it in. Were my parents/grandparents "bad", I don't think so. Apparently they did a pretty good job of teaching gun safety. My kids are 4, 2, and 2 and I bought them a bb gun this year and have started teaching them gun safety, they have also shot my .22, with my help of course. By the time they are 7 I fully expect to be able to trust them to safely use a bb gun without me being up their butt. If it turns out when they are 7 that they aren't using it respectfully then I'll revoke that privilege until they are old enough, even if that means never.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carolina guy View Post
    The other thing that struck me about the article was that they apparently let their kid shoot at the abandoned house across the road...why are they letting the kids damage someone's property?? I am guessing from the article and video that they are not going to win parents of the year anytime soon.
    lol, yeah, that's been pretty much my reaction the whole time.

    I mean, don't get me wrong, even a misdemeanor is way overboard, much less two felonies.

    But at the same time, the kid was doing something he shouldn't (even before he hit the car), and I guarantee you 75% of the posters in this thread would throw him under the bus if he, say, got caught smoking a joint with his friends (at a more reasonable age for that).

    It just seems silly (if not hypocritical) to me to champion law and order BS like a few in this thread do, and then act all surprised when it's turned around on your pet issue.

    So I'm just kind of "meh" here. They dropped the charges anyway. Meanwhile the government is doing far worse to kids for far less, but if it doesn't implicate an enumerated right well who cares, amirite?
    Last edited by marshaul; 04-08-2013 at 05:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    lol, yeah, that's been pretty much my reaction the whole time.

    I mean, don't get me wrong, even a misdemeanor is way overboard, much less two felonies.

    But at the same time, the kid was doing something he shouldn't (even before he hit the car), and I guarantee you 75% of the posters in this thread would throw him under the bus if he, say, got caught smoking a joint with his friends (at a more reasonable age for that).

    It just seems silly (if not hypocritical) to me to champion law and order BS like a few in this thread do, and then act all surprised when it's turned around on your pet issue.

    So I'm just kind of "meh" here. They dropped the charges anyway. Meanwhile the government is doing far worse to kids for far less, but if it doesn't implicate an enumerated right well who cares, amirite?
    No. I hate the "war on drugs" and what it does to people just as much as I think this was retarded. If it isn't hurting someone else or depriving them of their rights (which I'm sure someone could argue is hurting them in some way) then for the most part I don't really care too much what the person does even if I disagree with it.

    EDIT: And to clarify "hurting" someone. Even this is going to depend on the situation. After all the truth "hurts" those that lie, and the things that the WBC say typically hurt already grieving families, but both are protected speech.
    Last edited by Aknazer; 04-08-2013 at 06:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADobbs1989 View Post
    Guess it would depend on the knowledge level of the child. When I was 7 I was allowed to go outside and shoot my bb gun when I pleased. I had grown up shooting guns, getting my hands on a 9mm and 12 gauge between 5 and 6. I knew how to safely use the gun and to not point it in a direction I wasn't willing to shoot it in. Were my parents/grandparents "bad", I don't think so. Apparently they did a pretty good job of teaching gun safety. My kids are 4, 2, and 2 and I bought them a bb gun this year and have started teaching them gun safety, they have also shot my .22, with my help of course. By the time they are 7 I fully expect to be able to trust them to safely use a bb gun without me being up their butt. If it turns out when they are 7 that they aren't using it respectfully then I'll revoke that privilege until they are old enough, even if that means never.
    I'm with you on this one. I was often shooting BB guns unsupervised at the age of 7 as well, and yes my parents knew. They raised me well, and trusted me with the BB gun without adult supervision at that time, and there were never any issues. Although there was one time where my dad made me watch him gut, strip and cook a Robin that I shot and made me eat the whole breast meat. I was throwing up the whole time. I never shot another birdie again after that. It always was and always will be: never shoot a living creature unless you plan to eat it; or unless it's in self defense or defense of another, or if it's an animal wreaking havoc on something, or if something is wrong with it and it needs to be put out of its misery and/or prevented from infecting something/someone else (My dad once shot a rabid coyote that was hanging around our yard frequently).
    “Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry.” ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    The deputy sheriff took a report but said he wasn’t going to press charges and neither was the driver.
    I suspect that a different approach could have been taken to smacked down the Department of Juvenile Justice by hauling the Department of Juvenile Justice into court and explaining, on the record, why they were pressing charges where as the LEA with jurisdiction AND the "victim" were not pressing charges.

    11 years after the violent felonious criminal act the now adult would have a clean slate.

    This is a case of some nitwit bureaucrat, who hates guns and gun owners, trying to get "guns" out of the hands of the citizenry one seven year old at a time.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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