Change the Badly Written Gun Laws in Florida
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The Florida gun laws are not safe and extremely unclear. Accidents are happening. Amend the current law to be clear what is legal and what is not, with proper definitions, and, take into consideration the duration, noise level, distance from others and use of a proper backstop when shooting recreationally. None of those things are addressed in the current laws. As a result, property is being damaged, people have been shot and noise levels are deafening.
According to the way these loosely written gun laws are, you can shoot a gun for as long as you want, any caliber/decibel (NOISE!) that you want without any restrictions as to how far away from a neighbor you should be or whether or not you have a safe berm or backstop (target) to shoot at.
Is the insanity becoming clear yet?
Backyard ranges are allowed in rural areas, (including rural residential subdivisions) - defined as, only one dwelling per acre or more. The law does not take into consideration how densely populated a rural area is. A typical one acre lot is just 220 ft. x 198 ft. A projectile shot from a gun can travel over a mile. A mile is 5,280 ft.
Shooting accidents and related problems are on the rise.
A neighbor had her car window shot out (take a look at the photo above!). One of her neighbors was shooting in his backyard. The bullet crossed over three other properties then, through her garage door, blew out the rear window of the car and embedded in the headrest. Her husband had been standing there about ten minutes earlier, as he returned to the house from working outside. She had been standing there retrieving grocery bags about thirty minutes earlier. The person suspected of having fired the bullet refused to accept responsibility, and, because no one was hurt or killed, the sheriff did not pursue it. This car owner had to pay for all damages. These people also had to deal with the realization that they could have been shot by their own neighbor, and fear that the next time, luck may not be on their side.
From the current Florida statute, 790.15 Discharging firearm in public or on residential property,
(4) Any person who recreationally discharges a firearm outdoors, including target shooting, in an area that the person knows or reasonably should know is primarily residential in nature and that has a residential density of one or more dwelling units per acre, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
This subsection does not apply;
(a) To a person lawfully defending life or property or performing official duties requiring the discharge of a firearm;
(b) If, under the circumstances, the discharge does not pose a reasonably foreseeable risk to life, safety, or property; or
(c) To a person who accidentally discharges a firearm.
It basically says in "b" that safe shooting is excluded. The statute needs to be amended to include excessive/nuisance shooting with proper, legal definitions.
At this time, people can shoot incredibly loud weapons right next to other residents, for hours on end and as earsplitting as they like. It should come as no surprise that gunfire is currently excluded from “disturbance of the peace” complaints for excessive noise. There is also nothing in the law as it stands to declare what a safe shooting target is. This is what I have to live with from a neighbor shooting next to me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXulzMM_Vl8
People in this state are piling up pieces of wood, putting a paper target on it and shooting, right towards their neighbors. Some even think they are shooting safe with no berm or backstop behind a target, if they are shooting down.
Finally, it is a felony in Florida for a projectile shot from any firearm, bow, crossbow, or similar tensile device, to cross over a property line – but only illegal when hunting. (FL Statute 810.09). This should also be illegal when doing recreational (target) shooting on private property. People would be more careful if they knew they could be charged with a felony if the projectile leaves their property.
These ridiculous laws need to be amended. The biggest problem, is that, anyone shooting in this state is expected to use common sense and show courtesy, something that many humans are incapable of doing. Property is being damaged, peace and quiet has been destroyed and people have been shot.
It is time to fix this.
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