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Accidental Firearm Discharge and Your Rights

Recent news reports have detailed accidental firearm discharge across the Sunshine State. In some cases, the results have been fatal. Other incidents have resulted in personal injury and property destruction.

While some documented scenarios have been determined to be a result of negligence and carelessness on the part of a gun owner or other person who was able to access the firearm, there are situations where accidents happen, even when all precautions have been taken to avoid such an occurrence.

The trouble is, you could be held legally responsible for any event in which a firearm registered to you has been involved in an accidental shooting. That could have lasting negative effects on your future employment, family relations, and reputation in the community. Read on to learn how you can avoid accidental discharge of your firearms, and what to do if you’ve been involved in such an affair. 

Understand the Law

In Florida (as with most states), it must be proven that a person who claims to have accidentally discharged a weapon must not have done so as a result of negligence or reckless disregard for human life and property. That means even if someone is fatally injured, you may not be charged with a crime if it can be proven that you didn’t intentionally put lives at risk.

Still, it’s important to realize that reckless discharge of a firearm is a felony that could stay on your record for the rest of your natural life. That could result in difficulty finding or retaining employment, career advancement and continuing education, housing, and more. That’s why, if and when you face firearms charges, it’s essential to team with a reliable Daytona Beach criminal attorney who can help you navigate this trying time.  

Practice Gun Safety

As a responsible gun owner, it’s likely that you keep firearms safety top of mind at all times. Make sure that untrained individuals never have access to your firearms, and ensure that you’re well-trained in the proper use and operation of these weapons.

In the event that a firearm you own has been involved in an accident or intentional criminal activity, you could be held liable and even charged with a crime. Reach out to a trusted and reputable Daytona criminal lawyer who can provide you with valuable assistance and advocacy as you plan your next steps to move forward.

Know Your Rights

As you may be aware, the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States grants the right to own and operate firearms to every U.S. citizen not convicted of a crime. This right is not a requirement to own or know how to use any type of firearm, however. Nor does it allow for wanton use and display of guns, weaponry, and/or paraphernalia. It’s also important to realize that this right can be legally stripped in the wake of a variety of issues.

In fact, Florida law prohibits the reckless discharge of any firearm, even at your own home. Should an incident occur where accidental discharge of a firearm registered to you results in the injury or death of an individual, you could be held legally responsible for the aftermath. The penalties might include fines, jail time, and mandatory community service.

Consult a Qualified Attorney

These days, there is much information and discrepancy regarding the law posted online, in printed publications, and elsewhere. That’s why it’s paramount to know your rights and responsibilities as a gun owner and/or enthusiast. Speak with Volusia County attorneys well-versed in criminal law to gain a solid understanding of how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and protected in a variety of legal scenarios.

For nearly four decades, our firm has assisted countless Central Florida residents like you navigate many legal situations. In addition to criminal law, we specialize in divorce and family law, business and corporate law, personal injury and wrongful death, and more. This legal diversification, attention to detail, and commitment to stand-out client relations has earned us a solid reputation as premier attorneys in Daytona Beach, Florida. Contact us today to learn more about accidental firearm discharge and your rights, or other legal matters you’re currently facing.