TALLAHASSEE – A bill prohibiting backyard shooting ranges was rejected at its first committee stop in the Florida House on Tuesday.
The bill, filed by state Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, would have made it a misdemeanor to fire a gun on a residential property in many cases. Though supported by several local governments in Florida, including the cities of North Port and St. Petersburg, the influential National Rifle Association opposed the measure and it failed to secure enough votes to advance in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee.
This one most definitely had to go under. Although touted as for safety reasons and to control backyard ranges, it did nothing of such but tried to make ANY use of the firearm a misdemeanor even in Self-Defense.
What it did was to change the language of Florida Statutes 790.15 by eliminating the words “recklessly or negligently”:
790.15 Discharging firearm in public or on residential property.—
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) or subsection (3), any person who knowingly discharges a firearm in any public place or on the right-of-way of any paved public road, highway, or street, who knowingly discharges any firearm over the right-of-way of any paved public road, highway, or street or over any occupied premises, or who recklessly or negligently discharges a firearm outdoors on any property used primarily as the site of a dwelling as defined in s. 776.013 or zoned exclusively for residential use commits a misdemeanor of the first degree.
Now imagine that it became law and suddenly any kind of shooting anywhere has become a misdemeanor: Self Defense, Target Practicing, hunting from a blind or structure, etc.
“But Miguel, damn it! That is not the intention.” Maybe, but do you want to take a chance with a really creative Prosecutor bent on making your life miserable?
I didn’t think so.