File this one under “How is this even legal?”
Legislators in Texas are taking steps to curb the practice of celebratory gunfire after state Rep. Armando Martinez was hit by a stray bullet last New Year’s Eve.
“I was hit with a stray bullet. It pierced my skull and it was lodged in my brain. …We’re talking about two millimeters from (me) not being here today,” said Martinez, who introduced the bill on Monday. “With that in mind, I’m an NRA gun-carrying member and I have a CHL, but this isn’t about preventing people from carrying or purchasing a gun. This is about being a responsible gun owner.”
The House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee heard testimony Monday for House Bill 2583, which would create a penalty for individuals who knowingly discharge a firearm without an intended target.
Under Martinez’s bill, those who shoot a gun without an intended target would be charged with a Class A misdemeanor — or a first-degree felony if a serious bodily injury or death occurs as a result. There would be no offense if the shooting occurred at a gun range, while legally hunting or using blanks.
“This is mainly to deter celebratory gunfire. It is a solution to a problem that should not exist,” Martinez said. “People firing randomly puts life at risk.”
“Most people don’t have any concept that a bullet can travel three to four miles in a blink of an eye. I think education is one thing, but I think that people need to know this is idiotic,” state Rep. Terry Canales Canales said at Monday’s hearing.
But CJ Grisham with Open Carry Texas testified that the law, as written, is too broad and may complicate what constitutes as a warning shot.
“The goal of House Bill 2583 is to prevent reckless shootings because they can kill someone,” Martinez said. “All you have to do is shoot at a target. If you shoot at a target, you are not liable.”
Makes sense to me, but then again, so does following the four rules of gun safety even though there is no law requiring me to.
What do you think: is this a good piece of legislation or an unnecessary regulation?