@Robb Allen did knowingly and wantonly shoot a 10mm Glock handgun inside a building during the course of giving a TV interview. The felonious activity took place at a local “indoor shooting range” where others are known to gather and commit similar second degree felony acts in clear violation of 790.19 F.S.
790.19 Shooting into or throwing deadly missiles into dwellings, public or private buildings, occupied or not occupied; vessels, aircraft, buses, railroad cars, streetcars, or other vehicles.—
Whoever, wantonly or maliciously, shoots at, within, or into, or throws any missile or hurls or projects a stone or other hard substance which would produce death or great bodily harm, at, within, or in any public or private building, occupied or unoccupied, or public or private bus or any train, locomotive, railway car, caboose, cable railway car, street railway car, monorail car, or vehicle of any kind which is being used or occupied by any person, or any boat, vessel, ship, or barge lying in or plying the waters of this state, or aircraft flying through the airspace of this state shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
If you have ever shot at an indoor range in Florida you are guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years and a $10,000 fine. Oh but wait, since you discharged a firearm in the commission of this felony, you get an automatic 20 years additional in jail. Sorry Robb, see you in 35 years.
While this is what the law says it is clearly not the intent of the legislature and I’m sure nobody will be prosecuted for shooting at the local indoor shooting range.
This is why legislative intent is an important concept. There are many loopholes in laws throughout the country that put us at the mercy of judges, prosecutors and the police using some common sense discretion. Think about that when you find a loophole in the law that may let you do something that the legislature intended to regulate or prohibit. Discretion can be a two-way street, best not to rub the legislatures nose in “*it” while trying to get them to vote your way.
Don’t worry Robb. We’re putting this on the Florida Carry legislative agenda.
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You are reading two important words out of the statute. It says “wantonly or maliciously” right there.
The devil is in the details here. The law says “wantonly OR maliciously” if it said “wantonly AND maliciously” we would be fine.
It gets to the legal definition of “Wantonly”. At the heart of that, in this context, is “willful misconduct”. It is illegal to shoot indoors and he did so intentionally. That he was not doing so recklessly or with ill intent is an affirmative defense.
The point of the post is that people will look for loopholes in law to justify doing some very questionable things. But loopholes can also put you in a world of hurt.
Remember the guy arrested and convicted of supplying another person with a machine gun because his AR-15 malfunctioned on soft-primer ammo?
That’s another example of a poorly written law and in that case there was a prosecution despite the clear intent that it was only to apply to actual full auto firearms.
No, the law is well defined. “Wantonly” is legally defined as “with willful disregard” to injury or death, or with deliberate intent to unlawfully injure. See Golden v. State, 120 So. 2d 651 Fla: Dist. Court of Appeals (1st Dist. 1960)
Legislative intent –
AND prosecutorial discretion. Or, sadly, indiscretion.
Golden v. State illustrates my point perfectly. Legislative intent can’t be ignored.
“The intent of the statute is obvious. It was enacted for the purpose of preserving the life and safety of anyone occupying a dwelling or other house, and to punish anyone who maliciously or wantonly shoots at or into such an occupied dwelling or house.” Golden v. State, 120 So. 2d 651 – Fla: Dist. Court of Appeals, 1st Dist. (1960). The court continues, “We are forced to conclude that the statute was never intended to apply to the factual situation presented by the evidence in this case.”
divemedic. I don’t see the quote you cite in this case.
Regardless, this post was about the importance of intent and the hazards of exploiting loopholes especially when you are trying to get the legislature to work with you.
We have a similar ordinance in my hometown, minus the “wantonly” bit or “would produce death or great bodily harm” part.
15.08 STONES AND MISSILES, THROWING OF PROHIBITED.
No person shall throw or shoot any object, stone, snowball or other missile or projectile by hand or by other means at any other person or at, in or into any building, street, sidewalk, alley, highway, park, playground or other public place within the City.
Anyone can be cited for playing baseball, Frisbee, or fetch with the dog.