Plastic bb = 3 felonies

Discussion in 'In the News' started by Malum Prohibitum, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, you read the title correctly. These teens are facing felony charges for shooting other kids with those little plastic bb guns (these are not really bb guns, but plastic toys - you could not kill a sparrow with them).

    http://news10now.com/content/all_news/t ... &SecID=111

    [-(
     
  2. ls1ssdavid

    ls1ssdavid New Member

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    I am familiar with those toys... The spring that powers them are so weak. I think felony charges are definatly a little to much. If my kid got shot with one and complained to me... I would tell him to quit being a wuss.
     

  3. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Replica Guns

    A person can commit aggravated assault with either a genuine "deadly weapon" or some look-alike or replica that reasonably appears to be a deadly weapon to the victim. Did the victims in this case, when they first perceived that they were having a gun aimed at them, know it was only an air-soft gun? Was the gun made of clear plastic (like in the photo in the online article) or was it black plastic, making it look a lot more realistic?

    If the victims knew, or should have known, that they were being fired upon by an airgun and not a firearm, then the next question should be: "Did the gun reasonably appear to the victims to be an instrument capable of inflicting serious bodily injury if used offensively as a weapon?"
    I think that if the answer is in the affirmative, even if the instrument was not FACTUALLY capable of inflicting a serious injury, an agg. assault conviction can be upheld. What counts is the reasonable perception of the victim.

    Finally, if the victims all knew that they were being shot at with an airgun and if they furthermore DID NOT feel like that airgun presented an imminent threat to their safety (even if they lacked the eye protection that air-soft players must wear when shooting at each other), then the only way this could be an aggravated assault would be if both the OFFENDER and the JURY thought that the airgun in question was indeed capable of inflicting a serious bodily injury. In such a scenario, the victim's belief that he is not really in danger should not bar a prosecution.

    Imagine a guy with a deer rifle shooting at a small airplane. The guy in the airplane sees someone on the ground aiming a long gun at him, but assumes it to be a shotgun loaded with birdshot, feels no fear. He's 2,000 feet up and thinks he's well out of range of a shotgun. The guy on the ground is actually firing a .30-06 rifle which CAN bring down small aircraft from 2000 feet, and he hopes to do just that. A jury hears from expert witnesses who testify that the aircraft and pilot were in danger (even though the shots all missed and no damage resulted). A conviction can still result, if the jury is so inclined. It's up to them, really, since the case will hinge on findings of fact rather than conclusions of law.
     
  4. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    AIRSOFT

    P.S. Airsoft guns used to have a variety of muzzle speeds. Older ones used to sometimes shoot those plastic pellets at 400 fps. At close range (20 feet or less) they could penetrate an aluminum beverage can or shatter certain types of plastic. Now most of the modern ones are of a different design, with the velocity under 200 f.p.s. Those are really weak and practically useless as offensive weapons.

    Post-Postscript. What if the victims knew that they were being shot at by an air-powered gun, but THOUGHT that it was a .177 caliber CO2 powered pellet pistol? Many of those things can penetrate at least a couple of inches into flesh, and cause serious bodily injury.

    If you as a CCW gun-packing civilian were attacked by a punk with a pellet pistol, and you KNEW it was a pellet pistol (let's say by the sound of the discharge, or by observing the BB's buzzing past your face at 400+ fps), but you were caught out in the open and you could not immediately get behind cover (or you chose to "stand your ground" and meet this threat, per the new statute...) could you legally use your REAL PISTOL in response to this danger you faced from a PELLET PISTOL?

    The answer to that question above ought to lead you to the answer to the original question, about what criminal charges a punk could face for shooting at someone with an airgun.
     
  5. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: AIRSOFT

    Cover? Caught in the open? :roll:

    You charge toward the little delinquent with amazing alacrity and pound the ever living snot out of him. Problem solved. Bet he doesn't do that again.
     
  6. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Re: Replica Guns

    "One of the girls that got shot in the leg said, "It's crazy," Walter said. "She wrote to the DA to say don't charge them, it's overblown."
     
  7. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    The gun model that was used by the two teens can be found in most retail stores. It does come with a warning from the manufacturer stating it's not a toy and could cause injury if used inappropriately.


    What does not come with a warning these days?
     
  8. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    Re: AIRSOFT

    MP, that is precisely what I did many years ago when a neighborhood kid was being reckless with a BB rifle. I ran up to him faster than he could put me in his sights, yanked the rifle out of his hands, and told him his parents could come to me to get it back. He was not a happy camper.
     
  9. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    mine is transparent and just a hair over 300fps
     
  10. XD_MEDIC

    XD_MEDIC New Member

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    I have a gray one that I took from a thirteen year old who was shot after some of my crew members observed him load a magazine and pull the slide back prior to aiming at our gun truck in Kosovo. The environment had alittle to do with the descision though. My kid who is 9 has only real firearms which I keep and she only shoots with my direct supervision. As far as I am concerned there are no toy guns.
     
  11. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    So, you think the three felonies are proper or improper?