Getting, Gifting & Shooting Guns During The Holiday Season Is Risky
Much like Ralphie in A Christmas Story, who was obsessed with getting an “official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time,” we think guns make a much better gift than a football. However, it is important to remember that “shooting your eye out” is not the only risk associated with getting, gifting, or shooting a firearm during the holiday season.
It is perfectly legal to receive a gun as a present. Florida has no gun registration laws or restrictions on the transfer of lawful firearms to persons legally allowed to own firearms.
However, you should not accept such a gift if you know it is against the law for you to be in possession of a firearm, or if you suspect the gun you have been gifted is not legal for anyone to own.
If you are planning on giving someone a firearm this season, first ensure that the person is legally able to possess firearms. The fact that you have seen someone use a firearm in the past, is no guarantee that they are legally able to possess them.
It is also important to remember that there is a difference between giving a gun as a gift and buying a gun on someone else’s behalf. Buying a gun for someone else, and getting reimbursed or paid for your purchase is known as acting as a straw man, and it is a crime. Even if your widowed sister gives you a wad of cash and asks you to buy your nephew his first gun because she doesn’t know the first thing about firearms, you should say no.
Discharging firearms as a form of celebration is a long-standing South Florida tradition. In most cases, it’s also illegal.
Fla. Stat. § 790.15 states in part:
“…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”
This means the following actions are prohibited:
- Firing a gun over a paved public road
- Firing a gun over any occupied premises
- Firing a gun in public
- Firing a gun on your personal property either negligently or recklessly
So, don’t fire a gun near a street. Don’t fire a gun in a public area. And think twice before firing a gun even in your own backyard because it could be considered an occupied premise or a public area, depending on the circumstances.
Be safe with your celebrations, and don’t risk getting arrested or injuring someone.
A Knowledgeable Advocate For Gun Owners
If you want to avoid committing a criminal act this holiday season, or you have already been arrested, ticketed, or charged with a weapons offense, Attorney Antonio F. Valiente is here to help.
As an Olympic-caliber skeet shooter, Attorney Valiente is passionate about guns and is a strong advocate for the rights of gun owners. At a time when society as a whole is growing more skeptical of 2nd Amendment rights, it is important to have an attorney that respects the Constitution and the Bill of Rights on your side.
If you want to work with a South Florida criminal defense attorney who truly understands and appreciates guns and gun culture, Attorney Antonio Valiente should be the first person you call.
Posted in: Gun Laws