The legislation surrounding the possession and use of firearms varies from state to state, so it is vital to be familiar with your state’s laws. Weapons crimes are often taken very seriously as they can pose a significant risk to the safety and well-being of the victim. Other criminal charges, such as theft, can also be exacerbated if a weapon is found to have been involved in the incident.
Even if you do not intend anyone harm, simply behaving irresponsibly with your weapon may be enough to get you into trouble. A 58-year-old man from Illinois allegedly learned this the hard way after reputedly firing in the direction of some deputies. The man is believed to have been angry about not being permitted to use a gun range in Racine County, Wisconsin.
The club had allegedly told the man on a previous occasion that the club was private and that he should not return since he was not a member. However, a few weeks later he encountered a SWAT team training there with high-powered rifles. After being told by a deputy that he was not permitted to use the range, he is reported to have become angry.
Subsequently, bullets allegedly began ricocheting, with some passing over the heads of a pair of the deputies while they were setting up targets. The 58-year-old was reputedly found to have been the shooter and was subsequently charged with multiple offenses. These included criminal damage, recklessly endangering safety, misdemeanor theft and use of a dangerous weapon.
If convicted, this man from Illinois could face fines of up to $71,000 and a combined prison sentence of up to 27 years. Charges like these can have a huge impact on your life, so if you are facing allegations of a weapon-related crime, it is important to act quickly. An attorney can help you to understand your options and may be able to support you in ensuring that your side of the story is heard.
Source: The Journal Times, “Bullets fly near deputies,” Mark Schaaf, Sep 2, 2014