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Thread: reckless discharge of a firearm

  1. #1
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    reckless discharge of a firearm

    posing a question for a friend who was charged...

    Scenario:
    Skeet shooting and homeowner claims rounds were hitting their garage which is located about 300 yrds away.

    Questions:
    First off, I don't shoot shotguns but that range seems pretty damn far to me.

    Second, would local LE be require to conduct ballistics test or something to actually prove this? One person present, who is the homeowner wasn't shooting and was charged as well just for being there.

    If the county isn't seeking jail time are they still entitled to a jury trial?

    Their attorney wants them to cop to a plea but I think he's just being lazy.

    Any insight would be appreciated.

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    Just a few things i thought of

    Assuming they didnt shoot neighboors house
    1. Any proof? I have Millions of #8s in my basement if i go out and throw an ounce against my house the my neoghboor can be chargednwith reckless discharge?

    2. Im not a ballistics expert but would say that at most you could try to match it to an empty shell (powder residue) but doubt it could be matched to gun or trajectory.

    3. I would never plead, heresay with bo evidence baloney

    Again i wojldt shoot the house in the first place but people get upset when they move to the country and find out people own/use guns so i wouldnt put it past them to make a fake call. Even #5s at that range would feel like rain

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyras21 View Post
    posing a question for a friend who was charged...

    Scenario:
    Skeet shooting and homeowner claims rounds were hitting their garage which is located about 300 yrds away.

    Questions:
    First off, I don't shoot shotguns but that range seems pretty damn far to me.

    That's a stretch but it could rain on the house at that range.

    Second, would local LE be require to conduct ballistics test or something to actually prove this? One person present, who is the homeowner wasn't shooting and was charged as well just for being there.

    No, they aren't required to do ballistics tests. Without knowing the circumstances I'd guess the fellow admitted shooting in that direction and the other homeowner acknowledged it was raining on his house.

    If the county isn't seeking jail time are they still entitled to a jury trial?

    You can't get a jury trial in General District Court according to User.

    Their attorney wants them to cop to a plea but I think he's just being lazy.

    It depends on what he wants them to plea to. If it was my house he was shooting at, I'd have put him in the hospital for a while and left the cops out of it. Are you expecting sympathy because your friend is an idiot?

    It could have been worse. He could have been charged with shooting at an occupied dwelling.


    Any insight would be appreciated.

    I just gave you some insight. Raining shot on someones house is stupid, inconsiderate and gives all shooters a bad name.
    ...

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    Regular Member Mr H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyras21 View Post
    posing a question for a friend who was charged...

    Scenario:
    Skeet shooting and homeowner claims rounds were hitting their garage which is located about 300 yrds away.

    Questions:
    First off, I don't shoot shotguns but that range seems pretty damn far to me. Their attorney wants them to cop to a plea but I think he's just being lazy.

    ...

    Any insight would be appreciated.
    I can't help legally, but just one observation.

    I was brought up with the edict of, "Never shoot in the direction of any building, no matter how far."

    I think my Granddaddy may have had something like this in mind.

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    I'm just posting what they were charged with. They admit to skeet shooting but say they were not shooting towards the house. I just put it in that it was 300 yards away because to me, non shotgun shooter, seemed a bit far. Thanks for the feedback.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr H View Post
    I can't help legally, but just one observation.

    I was brought up with the edict of, "Never shoot in the direction of any building, no matter how far."

    I think my Granddaddy may have had something like this in mind.
    I'd like to know what direction that might be. There is a building in every direction, some where. Straight up may qualify, if you don't mind your own shot raining down on you. Even then the space station might be overhead.

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    Was it actually determined that 'something' actually hit the garage? Was there damage to the garage? Shot found on the ground beside it?

    Or were they charged based solely on the homeowners claim, and thier admission that they were shooting?

    If its the former.... as mentioned in previous posts, they are probably getting off easy... if they had've charged him with shooting at an occupied building... Felony. LINK
    If its the latter..... they should get a better lawyer.

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    Regular Member Mr H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gutshot View Post
    I'd like to know what direction that might be. There is a building in every direction, some where. Straight up may qualify, if you don't mind your own shot raining down on you. Even then the space station might be overhead.
    I would have thought the "... that you can see or know is there..." was implied, but apparently some folks need more detail.

    Thank you so much for enlightening me.
    Last edited by Mr H; 03-13-2011 at 03:35 PM.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr H View Post
    I would have thought the "... that you can see or know is there..." was implied, but apparently some folks need more detail.

    Thank you so much for enlightening me.

    He knew what you meant. That's just the beginning of what will probably be a very spirited discussion

    The OP has some points. I don't like city people moving to the country. They start bitching at once. The roads are too crooked, the Police are too far away, I don't have county water and sewer, people shoot guns, people carry guns...So on.

    Unfortunately, they do move and cause a lot of trouble like trying to have existing ranges shut down.

    Raining shot isn't going to hurt anyone or hurt property...It is annoying as hell though and downright rude.

    On the other hand, if the house was getting rained on it's a good bet the shooter knew it and just ignored it. That's wrong no matter where the adjoining property owner came from.
    Last edited by peter nap; 03-13-2011 at 03:46 PM.

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    Be willing to bet that the shot went nowhere near the guy's house. He heard someone shooting and having a good time and decided to rain on their parade. Some, thankfully not all, city folks are like that.

    Me, I'd find a way to (legally) make him so miserable he'd be moving within a year's time. But I'm a grouchy old man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr H View Post
    I would have thought the "... that you can see or know is there..." was implied, but apparently some folks need more detail.

    Thank you so much for enlightening me.
    So, this takes us back to the OP's original question, " Is 300 yds. far enough away?"

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    Regular Member Mr H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gutshot View Post
    So, this takes us back to the OP's original question, " Is 300 yds. far enough away?"
    I think we can safely agree that the answer is "Not if you don't want someone to drag you into court."

    People will do strange things, when they feel their sensibilities have been trampled... or, if they just want to make a stink.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gutshot View Post
    So, this takes us back to the OP's original question, " Is 300 yds. far enough away?"
    Staying completely away from the criminal charge -

    What does the county code say? Is there even a county code stating the minimum distance?

    Or if you want to get away from absolutes that are never going to cover every situation sufficiently, go take a look at what the NRA offers as guidance regarding the setting up of a skeet/trap range. No, I'm not going to do the Google research for anyone. :P I know the NRA has guidelines. Go look for them.

    stay safe.

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    Bull Run Regional Park Shooting Center - Fairfax Co, VA

    Quote Originally Posted by conhntr View Post
    Just a few things i thought of

    Assuming they didnt shoot neighboors house
    1. Any proof? I have Millions of #8s in my basement if i go out and throw an ounce against my house the my neoghboor can be chargednwith reckless discharge?

    2. Im not a ballistics expert but would say that at most you could try to match it to an empty shell (powder residue) but doubt it could be matched to gun or trajectory.

    3. I would never plead, heresay with bo evidence baloney

    Again i wojldt shoot the house in the first place but people get upset when they move to the country and find out people own/use guns so i wouldnt put it past them to make a fake call. Even #5s at that range would feel like rain
    I would think that at 300 yards, #8 shot would have lost all their momentum.

    One of the reasons that Bull Run Regional Park Shooting Center requires loads of 3 drams or less of powder, is because Rt 66 is located not too far downrange.

    I don't know how far, but with all the safety considerations for a public range, I am sure that they have a big fudge factor built in.

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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Staying completely away from the criminal charge -

    What does the county code say? Is there even a county code stating the minimum distance?

    Or if you want to get away from absolutes that are never going to cover every situation sufficiently, go take a look at what the NRA offers as guidance regarding the setting up of a skeet/trap range. No, I'm not going to do the Google research for anyone. :P I know the NRA has guidelines. Go look for them.

    stay safe.
    That would be my question. I normally shoot 7-1/2s for skeet. Can they even go that far? It would be an interesting test to find out. Muzzle velocity is what? 1150 fps?

    Here are some links....

    http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/view...4457&view=next

    This one is interesting, listing penetrations at 600fps....
    http://www.duckhuntingchat.com/shotg...ballistics.php

    Great data sheet!
    http://www.shotgunsportsmagazine.com...statistics.pdf

    Looks to me if the neighbor is actually 300 yards away he couldn't have hit his house. Check the distance and see if it's at least 200 yards. It may be that the shot was landing close to his property and he just didn't like it. From the datasheet is looks like #8s wouldn't even make 200 yards even if shot at the optimum angle..... I'd take that to court and tell them to pound sand :^)!
    Last edited by Neplusultra; 03-13-2011 at 06:08 PM. Reason: Links added

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    If you can scare up some ballistics data on the rounds being used (perhaps contact the manufacturer) that indicate the ammunition being used cannot go that far, I'd bring it to court. Nothing amuses* a judge more than someone bringing hard facts to court to prove their innocence and make the plaintiff appear to be an annoying idiot.

    Of course, you could show this to the lawyer and have him offer a deal to the plaintiff... just saying.

    *By amuses, I mean irritates the judge to no end due to having his time wasted by bullpucky complaints.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darthmord View Post
    If you can scare up some ballistics data on the rounds being used (perhaps contact the manufacturer) that indicate the ammunition being used cannot go that far, I'd bring it to court. Nothing amuses* a judge more than someone bringing hard facts to court to prove their innocence and make the plaintiff appear to be an annoying idiot.

    Of course, you could show this to the lawyer and have him offer a deal to the plaintiff... just saying.

    *By amuses, I mean irritates the judge to no end due to having his time wasted by bullpucky complaints.
    The first thing he'd better do is measure the distance to get it exact and get the meteorological data for that day and see which way the wind was blowing and how hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    The first thing he'd better do is measure the distance to get it exact and get the meteorological data for that day and see which way the wind was blowing and how hard.
    http://www.google.com/earth/index.html Ruler tool

    http://www.wunderground.com/history/

    Given the shot diameter, muzzle velocity, and weather conditions, I don't think a fairly accurate approximation (calculation) including drag would be insanely difficult.
    Sic Semper Tyrannis

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