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"Rules about shooting guns are hard to enforce" - Florida

Discussion in 'Legal' started by eric.cartman, Dec 17, 2007.

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  1. eric.cartman

    eric.cartman Member

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    Please answer me this after reading:
    1) Can I shoot my guns in my own backyard in FL?
    2) Within city limits?
    3) If not, where do I have to live in FL to be able to shoot on my own land?
    4) How much land do I need? (The article claims there is no distance limit).

    Thanks!

    http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20071008/NEWS/710080475

     
  2. MakAttak

    MakAttak Member

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    9mm... Far enough away she couldn't hear the shot.

    Someone with more ballistics knowledge than me want to comment on this? Seems to me she'd have had to be shooting UP into the woods in order for it to hit another house...
     
  3. never_retreat

    never_retreat Member

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    a mile? She sure lobbed that one in.
     
  4. TX1911fan

    TX1911fan Member

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    Seems to me that if the state is admitting there is no evidence to prove what happened to the bullet then they have lost their case. The defendant does not have to provide the bullet did NOT cross the property line, the state must provide that it DID. If they can't, the lose.
     
  5. GuyWithQuestions

    GuyWithQuestions Member

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    I think this all ties into one of the basic firearm safety rules, be sure of your target and what's behind it. I think that the reason why most cities say you can't fire within city limits even if it is inside your house or in your own yard is because stray bullets can go farther than just your own property, making it a city issue. Everyone has had shots that have greatly missed their targets at some point in their life, no matter how good of a shot they are. I think that cities just pass laws like this so that they don't have to worry about arguing if you're a good shot or not. People who shoot within city limits make responsible gun owners look bad when unintentional consequences happen, so I wouldn't recommend it. There's already enough people who hate guns as it is, we don't need to further that. I don't know about Florida, but where I live most counties allow you to shoot as long as you are so many feet away from city limits, and 600 ft from building structures and roads (unless you own your own building or private road). The exception is if it's posted no shooting (some popular hiking trails will say no shooting for obvious reasons). Florida may also be a sticky situation, because it doesn't have mountains as a backstop for bullets. In the state I live in, you don't need any set land, as long as you are so many feet away from city limits, building structures other than your own, and public/others' roads.
     
  6. divemedic

    divemedic Member

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    1) Can I shoot my guns in my own backyard in FL?
    depends. as long as the bullet does not cross over a paved road or an occupied dwelling, and as long as it does not hit someone, or if you are on land where hunting is allowed by the bunny cops, you appear to be legal.

    2) Within city limits?

    I am not sure if the city can prohibit that through an ordnance. See 790.33(1) which reserves firearms laws to the state.

    3) If not, where do I have to live in FL to be able to shoot on my own land?
    see above

    4) How much land do I need? (The article claims there is no distance limit).
    see above




    The Law:

     
  7. dogrunner

    dogrunner Member

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    Then Atty Gen, now Gov. Charlie Crist addressed this very issue in an AGO official opinion directed to a County that wanted to specify regulations dealing with everything from type of projectiles permitted to amount of property needed to discharge a firearm. I don't happen to have the opinion in front of me but it's available from the AGO's site.....generally he replied that no County or CIty may regulate firearms in any manner than as outlined in State Statute, in essence Florida's preemption law forbids such legislation by any entity other than the State itself.

    With a safe backstop likely you'd be within your rights but in a densely populated area you are just asking for problems. I have little doubt you'd experience "visits" from various officials and might just have to defend yourself from civil actions and probably a lotta noise complaints.....
     
  8. gym

    gym member

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    There's Florida, like SE Florida, then there's the Florida, which is more rural like Upstate NY and Manhattan NY. Upstate we had family who had a hotel in Fleishmans NY, you could shoot anti- aircraft guns up there and no one would bother you. But not In NY city, the 5 Boroughs. I had a carry there and now a days, if I was still there, I wouldn't qualify for it anymore. I heard you have to show 50, grand in cash transactions per day, was 5 when I had mine. So unless you have an ATM route or own a Walgreens, you ain't gettin one. anyway can't shoot in Palm Beach, Broward, or Dade, Counties, unless you're at a range . Or someone needs to be shot.
     
  9. eric.cartman

    eric.cartman Member

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    Is that by law? Or oppinion?

    I live in Broward. Are you sure?
     
  10. mekender

    mekender Member

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    i grew up in Seminole and Orange... i promise you that regardless of preemption, the county WILL prosecute for discharge of a firearm within city limits... as for the south counties mentioned above... there are rural areas of ALL of those counties, and you most certainly can shoot there... ive done it myself dozens of times, and even done it with FHP, and M-DPD officers participating... now, you fire inside miami, west palm etc... you are gonna get in some trouble...
     
  11. Gunnerpalace

    Gunnerpalace Member

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    I think we can ALL agree 4 rules, KNOW WHAT YOUR TARGET IS AND WHAT IS BEYOND IT! Yes I did that on purpose, if you fire a bullet in your yard and it goes into your neighbors house and kills them you go to jail, it is not your neighbors fault for walking in the living room when they should be in the dining room it is your fault for breaking the rules and blasting away.

    Oh and obviously drinking and shooting don't mix.
     
  12. divemedic

    divemedic Member

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    Any case numbers? Statute numbers? Ordnance numbers? It is my belief (and the belief of several attorneys that I have spoken with) that such a law would not pass muster, due to preemption.
     
  13. mekender

    mekender Member

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    nope, not off the top of my head... but growing up there, you constantly heard news stories of people getting charged with "discharging a firearm within city limits"

    guarantee that public place is interpreted by the county... ahhh yes, orlando city ordinance....

    http://www.municode.com/resources/gateway.asp?pid=13349&sid=9

    winter park

    Altamonte Springs

    winter springs

    Oveido

    all taken from www.municode.com

    i also checked Sanford, and couldnt find any statutes... so that is 5 of the largest cities in orange and seminole county that have such ordinances... and several that even prohibit air guns...
     
  14. divemedic

    divemedic Member

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    Look at this law, and you will see that those City Ordnances are null and void:

    The state law against firing in a public place states in a public place, not "in view of the public." That would exclude private property. If it did not, outdoor shooting ranges would be illegal.

    The only place I could find "public place" defined in State law was in the following. Granted, it is not specific to the statute at hand, but since the term is not defined anywhere else, an attorney should be able to make a strong argument:

     
  15. another okie

    another okie Member

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    I don't even live in Florida, but this text on preemption:

    "including the purchase, sale, transfer, taxation, manufacture, ownership, possession, and transportation thereof, to the exclusion of all existing and future county, city, town, or municipal ordinances "

    doesn't mention actually firing the firearm, so I guess the city could argue that it has the power to prohibit discharge within city limits.
     
  16. mekender

    mekender Member

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    good catch, i didnt even notice that the FL preemption statute doesnt mention firing or discharging... only sale and possession related stuff...

    and if you are so sure, go try it... i promise that the legal battle will be up hill... and even if you are right, youll still be out thousands of dollars in legal fees
     
  17. Sage of Seattle

    Sage of Seattle Member

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    Makes it a little harder to argue against "the whole field."
     
  18. Sage of Seattle

    Sage of Seattle Member

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    Double tap.
     
  19. mekender

    mekender Member

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    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes...enu=1&URL=CH0790/SEC33.HTM&mode=View Statutes

    it is clear that the law is intended to establish uniform laws regarding possession, sale, transfer manufacture etc... this law does not regulate USE of firearms... again, i assure you that you will be prosecuted, and that even if you win, you will be out thousands of dollars in legal fees... if you loose, you are most likely loosing your 2A rights
     
  20. Wes Janson

    Wes Janson Member

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    Take a look at Ellenton-Gillette Road, and the land on either side:
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=27.537044,-82.52346&spn=0.073215,0.1157&z=13&om=1

    There are plenty of places along there where one could have thousands of feet of empty property behind the backstop.

    I know people who shoot on their own property in the county, and who have been visited by deputies called out for reports of gunshots. In the instances I'm aware of, nothing was ever done other than to confirm that shooters were acting safely. In all likelihood the alcohol issue probably was the real reason for the arrest of Mr. Forestandi.

    Bradenton proper is almost totally developed. You're not going to find any safe impact areas to shoot into short of firing into the river, which is a Bad Idea. There are only two ranges I know of within (or on the edge of) the city itself, neither of which are open to the public. Thus, anyone shooting inside city limits is probably acting in a reckless manner to begin with.
     
  21. iiibdsiil

    iiibdsiil Member

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    So blowing a couple rounds off into the ground on the 4th of July isn't illegal? Technically at least...
     
  22. dogrunner

    dogrunner Member

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    FYI: The AGO opinion I referenced in my post is: AGO 2005-40.....titled County ordinance re discharge of firearms.


    The post is addressed to Roy Raymond, Sheriff, Indian River County


    The AGO opinions CARRY THE FORCE OF LAW until and unless reversed by a court. Therefore if either Orange or Seminole (or any other Florida jurisdiction, for that matter) wishes to charge one with a crime they would have to defeat that opinion in an expensive legal process....Usually AGO opinions are upheld with little comment.

    Opinion in part:

    "It is well settled that absent a general law stating otherwise, local governments have NO authority to regulate firearms in any manner....Attempts to circumvent this preemption of firearm regulation have not been allowed. Thus, despite the county's concern for the health, safety and welfare of its citizens, it may NOT enact an ordinance regulating the use of firearms"
     
  23. gym

    gym member

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    every New Years Eve

    The news channels come on every yearand say that firing a wepon , in those counties is illegal. You can probablly call the town "city hall" if you want to be positive. Most of the ranges are gone also, Shooters emporium has been gone for years, I only know of one in Del Ray, and one in Pompano, "Revere", that was the one I used, haven't checked latelly. There isn't as much intrest from what I see. I live in the same house for 15yrs, and it's not like other states, at least in Broward/Palm Beach. Very transient here, when I owned the Gym, in Deerfield, I was able to see how transient it was, most folks had moved by the time thier membership was up.Here is what I found "the short version"
    Thus, in addition to expressly preempting the field of firearm regulation to the state, the Legislature has enacted legislation making it a crime to discharge firearms in any public place, with specified exceptions. It is well settled that absent a general law stating otherwise, local governments have no authority to regulate firearms in any manner.[3] Attempts to circumvent this preemption of firearm regulation have not been allowed.[4] Thus, despite the county’s concerns for the health, safety and welfare of its citizens, it may not enact an ordinance regulating the use of firearms.[5]

    Accordingly, it is my opinion that a county ordinance prohibiting the discharge of a firearm in proximity to persons or property when such discharge endangers the health, welfare, and safety of the citizens of such county would be preempted by section 790.33, Florida Statutes.

    Sincerely,

    Charlie Crist
    Attorney General
    This is from 05
     
  24. ceetee

    ceetee Member

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    Back in the 80's, ny buddies and I used to go to a little road that branched off Alligator Alley, round about mile marker 49-50. This little dirt road used to follow the drainage canal north, and a couple miles up there was an area where the folks that graded this road had piled up a buncha dirt into these great huge berms, with a largish flat spot in front. Tons of people used to go there and shoot into the berms, as the only thing on the far side of the berms was mile after mile of Everglades.

    The last time we were out there, a Collier County Deputy Sheriff pulled up just as we were packing up to go home. He told us then that there was a county ordinance against shooting anywhere except at an actual range, and that if he ever caught us there again, he'd take us all in. I've never heard of any place in the tri-county area where shooting is tolerated except at an actual range. Sad, too, because all the ranges where I live (Palm Beach County) make you buy their ammo to shoot.
     
  25. Chester32141

    Chester32141 Member

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    I live in Volusia County (Daytona Beach) ... I'd love to find a good place to shoot. There is Strickland, which is an outdoor range but generally very busy, an indoor pistol range in Holly Hill that I'm pretty sure is no longer open and an unregulated outdoor range in Edgewater where the cost to join is a $250 buy-in plus $15 a month thereafter ... sounds a little steep when you consider that there is no promise that the rates won't go up or the place close down ... anybody in this area know an outdoor area where a guy can go to fire a few rounds ? Or, is the price of $250 + $15/ month a good deal ?
     
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