Delray Beach P.D. is seizing guns


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Kodiaz
February 9, 2006, 05:30 PM
That they say they can't prove were used to commit a crime. This would be funny if it wasn't true.



http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/palmbeach/sfl-pbpgunshots09feb09,0,7389849.story




Dec. 31 gunfire stumps police

Legislation would stiffen penalties

By Erika Slife
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted February 9 2006

Delray Beach Police are no closer to figuring out who fired bullets into the air on New Year's Eve, which resulted in injuries to two people at the city's annual First Night celebration, according to a recent report by Police Chief Joseph Schroeder.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers are drafting legislation that would change the penalty for discharging a firearm in public from a misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, an initiative pushed by Delray Beach police after the incident.

Although police have seized weapons and offered a $6,000 reward for tips leading to an arrest, the likelihood of solving the crime is small given the obstacles officers face, Schroeder said. A bullet can travel miles from where it was fired and critical evidence, such as the bullets or weapons used, has not been recovered.

"It's very complicated," Schroeder said.

Police never found the bullet that struck Larry Cerullo, who was standing near the 100-foot Christmas tree in Old School Square. The bullet hit him in the head but didn't penetrate the skull. Likewise, doctors did not remove the bullet that struck Heather Leitch in the sternum. Leitch was struck sitting outside Cabana El Rey.

Schroeder also stated in his report that police are developing plans to begin a campaign to further spread the word about dangers associated with celebratory gunfire.

Since opening the investigation, police have seized two Mac 90 rifles, one shotgun and one .308-caliber rifle from Southwest 11th Avenue and a 9 mm Glock handgun from the 500 block of Southwest Fifth Avenue. Police don't know if the weapons were used in the shootings because they don't have the bullets to match them.

"There's no telling that those weapons had anything to do with this. There's nothing to tie those to people getting hit," Schroeder said. "The best evidence would be to find the bullets and we never found the bullets."

Also hindering police efforts in similar cases is the ability to make an immediate arrest after the shooting.

Under state law, firing a weapon in public is a misdemeanor.

If it were a felony, officers could make an arrest on the spot even without witnessing the crime.

Lawmakers are considering drafting a bill to change the penalty, according to state officials. Rep. Dick Kravitz, R-Jacksonville, Chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee, is seeking the approval of House Speaker Allan Bense, R-Panama City, to move forward with writing a bill.

"I think it's important because for someone to shoot a gun [in the air] puts everybody's lives at risk," said Rep. Anne Gannon, D-Delray Beach, who is backing the proposal.

"This would give [officers] more latitude to investigate and arrest the person who did it."

However, NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer said adequate laws are already in place to punish criminals.

"We have laws that prevent law enforcement from acting too quickly," she said. "If the individual is a danger to himself or others, they don't need a warrant to arrest him. There are plenty of laws in place when you may and may not arrest with or without a warrant. They need to quit running to the legislature for a new law any time something is inconvenient."



I contacted the reporter just to ask her some questions. Really nice lady she moved here from Ill.

So why are they "seizing weapons" that they admit they can't prove were used to fire the New Year's eve shots?

Isn't this a violation of a person's civil rights?

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Chipperman
February 9, 2006, 05:41 PM
"Since opening the investigation, police have seized two Mac 90 rifles, one shotgun and one .308-caliber rifle from Southwest 11th Avenue and a 9 mm Glock handgun from the 500 block of Southwest Fifth Avenue. Police don't know if the weapons were used in the shootings because they don't have the bullets to match them."

Hopefully they were not legally owned. If these were seized from legal owners, I smell a lawsuit coming.

Thefabulousfink
February 9, 2006, 05:46 PM
I would hope that the weapons were seized through the course of invesigateing unrelated crimes and are being looked at for this case, rather than police seizing any weapon because it "might" have been used.

Kodiaz
February 9, 2006, 05:49 PM
Florida has no F.O.I.D. card requirements. All weapons owned as long as they have benn bought legally and have not been used in a crime are legal anyone over 18 can own a long arm and anyone over 21 can own a handgun. Just walk into Wal mart whip out your drivers license and buy a gun. Ain't freedom great.


Lawsuit if they weren't seized for some other crime. Those who did the seizing should be getting orange jumpsuits and a seat in a fed pen for violating someone's civil rights.

MechAg94
February 9, 2006, 05:58 PM
I think it's important because for someone to shoot a gun [in the air] puts everybody's lives at risk," said Rep. Anne Gannon, D-Delray Beach, who is backing the proposal.
I guess those underwater ranges will start opening since you won't be able to fire a gun into the air.

MechAg94
February 9, 2006, 06:00 PM
Also hindering police efforts in similar cases is the ability to make an immediate arrest after the shooting.

Under state law, firing a weapon in public is a misdemeanor.

If it were a felony, officers could make an arrest on the spot even without witnessing the crime.

I assume they mean as long as other people witnessed the shooting? Otherwise, that would be messed up.

Do they have to make EVERYTHING a felony?

Standing Wolf
February 9, 2006, 08:04 PM
Do they have to make EVERYTHING a felony?

The more crimes promoted to felonies, the more commoners will be prevented by law from keeping and bearing arms.

R.H. Lee
February 9, 2006, 08:10 PM
They can't find the shooter, the firearm, or the bullets so they want more laws to make up for incompetency. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

Moondoggie
February 9, 2006, 08:11 PM
A police chief that states "Bullets can travel for miles".

Gee, that's a new one.

Kodiaz
February 9, 2006, 08:31 PM
The best is that they didn't find the bullets so how in God's name do they know these people were hit by bullets.

Nathaniel Firethorn
February 9, 2006, 08:49 PM
A police chief that states "Bullets can travel for miles".

Gee, that's a new one.Just the other day, I saw a .45 hollowpoint on the Dixie Highway, trying to thumb a ride to Boca.

- NF

Lupinus
February 9, 2006, 08:54 PM
So let me get this strait.

I own a camaro.

Camaro (not mine) smacks into someones car disabeling the other car but not the camaro and camaro drives off.

So all police know is a camaro caused an accident but it nor the owner can be identified.

Police can now impound my camaro and revolk my license because I own a camaro and I might be the camaro guy that caused the accident? :scrutiny:

Actually I'm wrong. They stole a wide range of guns. So basicly anytime there is a hit and run and the other car/diver isn't caught or identified anyone with a car can have theirs impounded and license revolked....

Am I off? Thats about what it sounds like when compared to something more and more people don't consider evil.

This level of idiocy just boogles the mind.

My head hurts.

Kodiaz
February 9, 2006, 08:59 PM
Lupinus I wouldn't call it idiocy I'd call it a violation of someone's civil rights. I'm going to call the reporter tomorrow and see if she spoke to the chief about the questions I raised during our conversation. Then I'm going to call them and ask them why they "seized" guns that they admit they can't prove were used in this crime. If there even was a crime because how do two people get shot and no bullets are found. Tomorrow is going to be fun.

And then I'm going to email this article to the NRA. Wonder what they will have to say about this?

Lupinus
February 9, 2006, 09:04 PM
you are right it is

but at the same time it is idiocy

joab
February 9, 2006, 09:17 PM
Since opening the investigation, police have seized two Mac 90 rifles, one shotgun and one .308-caliber rifle from Southwest 11th Avenue and a 9 mm Glock handgun from the 500 block of Southwest Fifth Avenue. Police don't know if the weapons were used in the shootings because they don't have the bullets to match them.Most likely(hopefully) just bad writing. The guns were either seized for another crime or because these people were seen or admitted to firing in the air or were somehow prohibited from owning firearms(hopefully

how do two people get shot and no bullets are found.Only one bullet was not found, the other is still in the victim.

Lupinus,
Your analogy gives to much credit.
In this case the police would only know that another car caused the accident not the make. As evidenced by the wide variety of firearms that were seized and the police say that they can't know if any of them were or were not used by the culprits

And yes some bullets can travel for miles, read the warning on a box of .22 LR

Robert Hairless
February 10, 2006, 02:51 AM
Lupinus I wouldn't call it idiocy I'd call it a violation of someone's civil rights. I'm going to call the reporter tomorrow and see if she spoke to the chief about the questions I raised during our conversation. Then I'm going to call them and ask them why they "seized" guns that they admit they can't prove were used in this crime. If there even was a crime because how do two people get shot and no bullets are found. Tomorrow is going to be fun.

And then I'm going to email this article to the NRA. Wonder what they will have to say about this?

Perhaps the reporter will also ask the chief how he can be sure that those bullets weren't fired by police? I'm serious. More police are armed than "civilians."

So what accountability procedures does the department have in place for ammunition used by or accessible to members of the DelRay police department and other law enforcement agencies in that area? Shouldn't there at least be a check to make sure that each officer has the same number of rounds when he finishes his shift as when he starts it? And what procedures are in place to determine whether an officer has fired his weapons during a shift? Does the DelRay police chief even know what weapons or amounts and kinds of ammunition each of his officers owns or takes with him on duty? Or does he have such a wild, uncontrolled department that he has a vested interest in shifting attention from his department to the general public in such instances?

Inquiring minds want to know. And have a right to know.

Old NFO
February 10, 2006, 03:31 AM
So let me get this straight.

I own a camaro.

Camaro (not mine) smacks into someones car disabeling the other car but not the camaro and camaro drives off.

So all police know is a camaro caused an accident but it nor the owner can be identified.

Police can now impound my camaro and revolk my license because I own a camaro and I might be the camaro guy that caused the accident? :scrutiny:

<snip>

My head hurts.
Lupinus, it's "funny" that you should mention that- I was actually arrested in 1982 outside Sacramento for just that thing... My girlfriend and I (both Naval Officers) were on our way back from Tahoe on Hwy 50 when we got lit up by CHP. He came out gun in hand, put us both on the ground, arrested us for felony hit and run, etc. even though there was not a mark on my car. We were taken in and the car impounded; as we were being processed, a Sargent came in to question us about when/where etc. I had a gas receipt and was able to prove it was impossible for us to have commited the "incident" as we had been stopped five minutes after the incident occured and 32 miles away. :fire: We were released, but I STILL had to pay for the tow and impound fees.:cuss: :cuss: :cuss:
I turned it over to the Navy JAG for resolution, and he was basically told we had "fit the profile" so CHP would not reimburse, but did void the arrest.

Coronach
February 10, 2006, 03:35 AM
Concur with the above posters. It is highly more likely that the guns were seized legally during the investigation of some unassociated crime than it was that they were picked up in some sort of post new-years "sweep."

I'm curious to hear what turns up from those phone calls, though.

Mike

Optical Serenity
February 10, 2006, 03:41 AM
The more crimes promoted to felonies, the more commoners will be prevented by law from keeping and bearing arms.

I don't see the relevance between whether a crime is a felony vs. misdemeanor and RKBA.

Coronach
February 10, 2006, 03:43 AM
Felons are prohibited from owning guns.

I think it has a lot more to do with the fact that misdemeanors are practically unpunished in many jurisdictions. Ergo, if you want to "send a message" or "be tough on crime", your cause de jour should be made a felony.

Think of it as inflation for sentencing.

Mike

Lupinus
February 10, 2006, 09:33 AM
I don't see the relevance between whether a crime is a felony vs. misdemeanor and RKBA.
There is only because if you area felon you can't own firearms. I personally find it redicules and a slap in the face, but because thats the way it is it's defenatly relevant. Now I don't think they sit around having a pow wow trying to see just which laws they can turn into felonies so people get guns....but it's relevant anyway.

TheArchDuke
February 10, 2006, 09:58 AM
They're trying to make celebratory gun-fire a felony so that they can arrest the guys who did it? I thought new laws weren't retro active.


Am I wrong?

TarpleyG
February 10, 2006, 10:14 AM
state lawmakers are drafting legislation that would change the penalty for discharging a firearm in public from a misdemeanor to a third-degree felony
Backdoor legislation. Let's say this gets legs and let's say you live in Florida. Now let's say you are out one night to dinner with your wife and are assaulted on the way back to your car and shoot someone (now easier to justify to oneself under the recent "make my day" law). Now you have just commited a felony.

Greg

carpettbaggerr
February 10, 2006, 12:24 PM
The victims still have the bullets?? But the bullets are evidence in an important crime. Aren't the victims obstructing justice?

Get a warrant and make them give up the bullets, then the police can confiscate every gun within "miles" and subject them all to ballistic tests.

:rolleyes:

Art Eatman
February 10, 2006, 12:37 PM
Tarp, yes, this as-yet-unwritten, un-passed proposed law could be so poorly drafted that your example could be correct. But you're really reaching out beyond rationality.

I go along with Coronach: Basically, the "gun grabs" and the celebratory shootings are not related. Just another newspaper article that lights the fuses at RKBA websites.

Art

Delija
February 10, 2006, 12:51 PM
OK, I live in Delray Beach. The deal is that two people were injured by falling bullets.

One victim has the bullet still lodged in her. The other was hit but the bullet was not found. I don't see what's confusing about this...isn't this how it was reported in the Sun Sentinel?

The guns that were confiscated were NOT legally owned guns. They were guns taken from people with criminal records.

As for whether shooting a gun in the air is a misdemeanor or a felony shouldn't ever affect us law abiding gun owners. Who of us is really dumb enough to shoot a gun in the air to celebrate? Who are we? Saddam? Bin Laden? Castro? Khadaffi?

Here in Delray Beach we have a HUGE fireworks store open all year long. If we want to make noise, we can buy firecrackers. Why waste good ammo?

Peace,
D.

fourays2
February 10, 2006, 12:57 PM
However, NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer said adequate laws are already in place to punish criminals.

"We have laws that prevent law enforcement from acting too quickly," she said. "If the individual is a danger to himself or others, they don't need a warrant to arrest him. There are plenty of laws in place when you may and may not arrest with or without a warrant. They need to quit running to the legislature for a new law any time something is inconvenient."



this IMHO is the real heart of the problem with LE in this country. naturally pols who mostly were lawyers equate volume of new laws with improved productivity on their part.

Robert Hairless
February 10, 2006, 01:24 PM
As for whether shooting a gun in the air is a misdemeanor or a felony shouldn't ever affect us law abiding gun owners. Who of us is really dumb enough to shoot a gun in the air to celebrate? Who are we? Saddam? Bin Laden? Castro? Khadaffi?



I'm a law abiding gun owner too so I probably shouldn't be concerned about this law or any other that doesn't affect me. I don't beat my wife and we do have a wonderful marriage so I probably shouldn't care whether people who have restraining orders are prohibited from possessing firearms. I'm not interested in owning a fully-automatic firearm so there's probably no reason for me to be concerned about those laws either. I'm not a cop so, really, why should I care about whether they're protected by law when they're accused of wrongdoing. I don't hunt so why should I care whether any law discourages hunting. And I don't own a .50 caliber gun and have no intention of owning one so I shouldn't be interested if they're banned.

There are lots of things that don't affect me personally that I probably shouldn't care about. But if I don't care about them, and you don't care either, pretty soon there'll be laws that affect what we do care about and there'll be no one to support us.

bg
February 10, 2006, 01:40 PM
This is the perfect scenario for the pushing of Cal's serialized
bullet scheme bill last year. More reports like this and the bill
will come up again. Just think, every bullet you buy would have
a tiny serial number embossed on it. Every time you went to
purchase a box of ammo you'd have to give up all your info, which
I think is mostly the law now, = your driver's license to be
swiped. The ammo you have now will have to either shot up
or turned in to the local police in a certain time frame..

Shooting into the air could cost a LOT of people trouble, even
if you 500 miles away. Believe this is just the kind of thing
the anti-gun front counts on.

Delija
February 10, 2006, 01:51 PM
There are lots of things that don't affect me personally that I probably shouldn't care about. But if I don't care about them, and you don't care either, pretty soon there'll be laws that affect what we do care about and there'll be no one to support us.

So you think that people who DO want to shoot their guns into the air inside city limits should be allowed to? Delray Beach on New Years eve is a densely populated place. This was a danger to anyone. It DOES matter, whether it affects you or not.



Shooting into the air could cost a LOT of people trouble, even
if you 500 miles away. Believe this is just the kind of thing
the anti-gun front counts on.
Yup, there's that too.

I don't see one good reason for not enforcing this law. And if it's changed from a misdemeanor to a felony, so what? It's just another way to get dangerous and stupid people off the streets.

Peace,
D.

Optical Serenity
February 10, 2006, 02:08 PM
Isn't that exactly what we, as citizens, are supposed to do? Go to our politicians when we want laws removed or added?

MechAg94
February 10, 2006, 02:42 PM
There was a previous article about this incident on this site. The bullets were NOT fired into the air. They were fired horizontally at a location where the shooters apparently didn't think anyone would be. It was pretty wreckless and more akin to manslaughter/murder rather than just discharging a firearm.

I didn't see anywhere where they said the guns they seized were illegal, but that is likely the case.

My comment about it being a felony is just a general comment that every new law these days, they want to make every little wrong doing to be a felony. It is just not necessary to make something like discharging a firearm a felony. That is overkill and waters down other more serious crimes.

Robert Hairless
February 10, 2006, 02:42 PM
So you think that people who DO want to shoot their guns into the air inside city limits should be allowed to? Delray Beach on New Years eve is a densely populated place. This was a danger to anyone. It DOES matter, whether it affects you or not.


It so happens that I've spent a lot of time in Delray Beach. No, I don't think that people should shoot guns into the air inside its city limits, or in any other city, or anywhere else in which there's even the slightest possibility that someone might be injured. I also have never advocated any such position or even implied that I did. I don't think that anyone else here has done so either. I'll reread any message that does advocate or imply such a position if you will point it out.

Everyone else here is discussing the entirely different issue of whether the law should be changed to make discharging a firearm a felony instead of a misdemeanor. You seem to believe that such a change in the law would prevent idiots from behaving like idiots. I don't. And I mistrust laws made or changed impulsively in reaction to specific incidents. My own experiences in Delray Beach involve fairly lengthy visits to relatives there over a span of decades. Your city does not seem to have suffered from chronic firearms discharge during all that time, and I doubt that there are people running through the streets at this moment firing weapons into the air--certainly not because the crime is a misdemeanor rather than a felony.

I am troubled by the increasing felonization of America. My concern is that we have become an increasingly punitive society in which the drive for draconian punishments has overwhelmed our common sense. Of course it is easier to punish people harder and more severely than it is to attempt to prevent crimes. Your support for a change in the law to make this crime a felony might make you feel virtuous but in fact it will do absolutely nothing to reduce the problem--unless, of course, everyone who is suspected of discharging a firearm within the city is sent to prison for a long time or executed on the spot. Those people will not do it again. But others will.

We need to stop and think carefully, for a long time, whenever we have an urge to felonize any aspect of human behavior no matter how undesirable the behavior. Felonies destroy people's lives, and their families' lives too. This impulse is not one we should succumb to and this direction is not one we should take except rarely and only after much clear consideration. Remember that even the death penalty does not prevent people from murdering other people. And, in fact, automatic death penalties for certain crimes may spur a criminal to murder witnesses and victims who otherwise might have been spared.

So, no, I am not excusing anyone stupid enough to discharge a firearm into the air when there is the slightest chance of causing harm. I am saying that your thinking is wrong when you say that you shouldn't be concerned if that behavior is penalized as a felony instead of a misdemeanor. Florida presumably has severe penalties already for someone who injures another person that way.

MechAg94
February 10, 2006, 02:50 PM
I am troubled by the increasing felonization of America. My concern is that we have become an increasingly punitive society in which the drive for draconian punishments has overwhelmed our common sense. Of course it is easier to punish people harder and more severely than it is to attempt to prevent crimes. Your support for a change in the law to make this crime a felony might make you feel virtuous but in fact it will do absolutely nothing to reduce the problem--unless, of course, everyone who is suspected of discharging a firearm within the city is sent to prison for a long time or executed on the spot. Those people will not do it again. But others will.

Good post. I think it is more a misapplication of punishment. We punish some crimes harshly and other crimes that we should punish harshly, we let people off with a slap on the wrist. I think the large numbers of felonies make those decisions more difficult.

PinnedAndRecessed
February 10, 2006, 03:07 PM
Something similar happened in Crescent City (?), Kalifornicate? Two people were shot in the head while asleep at their campsite.

Local LEOs, IIRC, went through local records and collected some firearms from the local citizenry, all without due process.

I didn't hear about any outcome.

Kodiaz
February 10, 2006, 03:35 PM
One person was has a bullet inside them okay that person was shot. One person was hit on the head with something that was never found. For all you know a marble hit the other person.

They have no suspects in this crime they have no bullet. There is no eveidence only speculation. I emailed the reporter today.

feedthehogs
February 10, 2006, 06:05 PM
Any lunatic who fires into the air in a crowded neighborhood such as Delray Beach deserves to be carted off to jail and lose their right to own a gun.

Muts like this only serve to make it more difficult on the rest of us.

As the law states the officer would have to see the suspect shoot the gun to make an arrest. Even if the cop heard the shot, turned the corner and saw a guy holding a smoking gun, all he could do is make a report, turn it in and possibly wait for a warrant to be issued for the guy holding the gun.

Then the court would have to prove he fired the gun, not just held it.

I live in a rural area down here and are more apprehensive of getting hit by a stray bullet than a drunk driver on new year eve.

I quit teaching CCW classes because of the decline in student mental awareness down here.

Kodiaz
February 11, 2006, 07:40 PM
bump

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