discharging a weapon within Bryan city limits

10,167 Views | 56 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by studioone
cartercreek1995
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I think my neighbor fired his .22 at an opossum or a raccoon or some other "predator". We live in in the Bryan city limits; what is the law on something like that? Fines, etc.? Should I wait to report it if it happens again? I don't know him well, so I am hesitant to call the police until I find out the specifics. Thoughts?
Pro Sandy
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AG
Only thing I could find is
quote:
Discharging a firearm or a deadly weapon in a public place (except in a firing range) is defined as Disorderly Conduct and is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $2,000.
http://www.bryantx.gov/press/news.html?id=415
PBR
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You should probably thank him instead of calling the cops......
Kitten With A Whip
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IMO, if you think he has harmed someone, call the police. If it was fired at a predator/pest, mind your own business and be thankful the thing isn't in your yard.
Regulus
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I don't know about Bryan but College Station has a city ordinance against discharging firearms in the city limits - I'd be very surprised if Bryan didn't have a similar ordinance. If he's discharging it towards your house, person, etc... it can be against state law.

That being said, if he's only done it once, days ago, there's probably not much the police can do as far as pressing charges (since its your word against his). If its an on-going problem call when he's shooting so that he can get caught in the act.

Or if its not dangerous, ignore it, this is Texas :P
Jabberwocky
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quote:
if its not dangerous, ignore it, this is Texas
junior200414
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As long as he's not shooting to where the projectile can leave his property or towards you house, then ignore it. Thank him next time you see him for eliminating a varmint that might tear up some of your trash someday.

---------------------------
Sic Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
ursusguy
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Or just take care of your trash properly.

Oh, and----
Sec. 82-5. Unlawful discharge of firearms, etc.
(a) It shall be unlawful for a person to discharge within the city any firearm, airgun, BB gun, toy gun, crossbow, or bow and arrow, projecting lead or any missiles with the following exceptions:
(1) The discharge of a firearm, crossbow, or bow and arrow in a regularly established and properly supervised shooting range or gallery operating under a permit from the city;
(2) The discharge of a firearm by an officer of the law in the performance of his or her duty;
(3) The discharge of a firearm, airgun, BB gun, toy gun, crossbow, or bow and arrow by a citizen when lawfully defending person or property; or
(4) The discharge of an airgun, BB gun, toy gun, crossbow, or bow and arrow by a citizen on his or her own property, provided such device is not fired into or onto another person's property.
(b) For purposes of this section, a "firearm" means any device designed, made, or adapted to expel a projectile through a barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burning substance or any device readily convertible to that use.


[This message has been edited by ursusguy (edited 5/21/2009 10:22p).]
Shinerz
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quote:
As long as he's not shooting to where the projectile can leave his property or towards you house, then ignore it. Thank him next time you see him for eliminating a varmint that might tear up some of your trash someday.


Because eliminating animals that could tear into your trash one day completely outweighs the possibility of one of those bullets ricocheting elsewhere.
rhoswen
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AG
guns are so scary *whisper*
Clucky
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[This message has been edited by Clucky (edited 5/22/2009 10:20a).]
syrei
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Come now, he was probably trying to lawfully defend his property from the possum!
Rex Racer
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AG
quote:
(4) The discharge of an airgun, BB gun, toy gun, crossbow, or bow and arrow by a citizen on his or her own property, provided such device is not fired into or onto another person's property.
I didn't realize this exception. I'm getting an airgun!
Zzz
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OK...this thread got me thinking about pellet guns and since ursusguy's post mentions them, here I go.

There, it states...
quote:
(4) The discharge of an airgun, BB gun, toy gun, crossbow, or bow and arrow by a citizen on his or her own property, provided such device is not fired into or onto another person's property.



So that tells ME go ahead, fire your airgun/bb gun as much as you want in your own yard. Rats, squirrels, targets...

Right? Wrong?

I've been Googling codes/ordinances and nothing I can find is very clear.

I live in CS and called the CSPD non-emergency number to ask. The person who answered said "not allowed." It's not that I don't trust or believe him, but with seeing such varied opinions and codes for TX counties/cities, I do second-guess such a straightforward "not allowed" answer.

Anyone have any ideas or insight?

[This message has been edited by Zzz (edited 5/22/2009 4:02p).]

[This message has been edited by Zzz (edited 5/22/2009 6:22p).]
GSS
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Bryan apparently never bothered to update its ordinances; in 2005, TX law was changed to allow discharge of firearms within city limits, IF you have 10+ acres (shotgun), 50+ acres (rifle/handgun). This was done due to the cities greed of annexation. Granted, most citizens do not live on or near tracts of that size, but if you do, owners still have their rights.
And the city that the TX legislators modeled their bill after? College Station...yep, CS allowed firearms on annexed land before 2005.
So, there are exceptions, but in general, no shootin' in the city (unless you are already predisposed to not care about laws...).

[This message has been edited by GSS (edited 5/22/2009 6:18p).]
Zzz
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ursusguy, where'd you find that? Could you share a link with us?

Thanksabunch.
Rex Racer
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AG
I don't see slingshot in any of those lists, either.
ursusguy
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Codified as of June 2008. The exception mentioned by gss wouldn't apply in this case.

http://www.municode.com/RESOURCES/gateway.asp?pid=14054&sid=43
rumrunner0?
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why would you even care? squirrels, possums, rodents, etc. are pests, and why would you care if your neighbor fired at one?
To me, it sounds like you are a busy body neighbor, that has nothing better to do with their time.
dont worry about it, and let them be, unless they are a REAL danger to you.

people like you make my stomach turn. mind your own business and your life will not be so complicated.
qreply
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I don't know if this is good or bad but....

In my neighborhood, if someone were to shoot a critter, they are more likely to ask "You gonna keep that? Looks like a good meal" than wonder for a day or two if they should call the police.
LarLar
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AG
Wow, I have no problem with guns but I definitely don't want some stupid neighbor shooting one in the yard next to me. Y'all realize that there's no magic force field that stops bullets at his property line, right?
spicyitalian
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Sounds like someone has an irrational fear of guns. Probably never shot one yourself. The bullets, not so magically, go in the direction you point them. Technology is amazing.
Cabrito Loco
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[This message has been edited by Cabrito Loco (edited 5/23/2009 10:28a).]
Jabberwocky
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quote:
OK...this thread got me thinking about pellet guns and since ursusguy's post mentions them, here I go.

There, it states...
quote:
(4) The discharge of an airgun, BB gun, toy gun, crossbow, or bow and arrow by a citizen on his or her own property, provided such device is not fired into or onto another person's property.
So that tells ME go ahead, fire your airgun/bb gun as much as you want in your own yard. Rats, squirrels, targets...

Right? Wrong?

I've been Googling codes/ordinances and nothing I can find is very clear.

I live in CS and called the CSPD non-emergency number to ask. The person who answered said "not allowed." It's not that I don't trust or believe him, but with seeing such varied opinions and codes for TX counties/cities, I do second-guess such a straightforward "not allowed" answer.

Anyone have any ideas or insight?
I wouldn't make assumptions about what is allowed or prohibited in one city based on the municipal code of a different city. Look up the applicable ordinance(s) for College Station.
LarLar
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"spicyitalian" i have shot a .22 rifle, .357 revolver, 9mm handgun, and AR-15. the problem is you can't guarantee the intelligence of your neighbors. these ordinances are in place for a reason. not everyone knows how far their bullets will penetrate or travel, and even if they do people still get careless or don't think about it. if someone has a possum they can call the city to trap it instead of potentially harming my pets or family by making bad decision.



[This message has been edited by Laurentum05 (edited 5/23/2009 12:36p).]
Zzz
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True, true, Jabberwocky...

While looking at the Bryan info is *encouraging*, CS and Bryan are not the same thing.

I'm still trying to find the applicable CS code, as the site that ursusguy provided has only the Bryan codes, and not CS.
LarLar
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AG
it's on the COCS website
LarLar
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SECTION 16: FIREARMS
A. UNLAWFUL TO SHOOT FIREARMS WITHIN CITY
(1) Definitions:
(a) 'Firearm' as used in this section means specifically, but not exclusively, any shotgun, pistol, rifle, air rifle or pistol, B.B. gun, bow & arrow, or any other mechanism that discharges or ejects any bullet, buckshot, or any other projectile of any size by force of combustion, mechanism, or air. This term does not include pitching machines or similar devices that are designed and used only as a substitute for a human action.
(b) 'One ownership' means an undivided parcel or tract of land that may be owned by a person, corporation, or other entity, or by a combination thereof, or by a tenant in common.
(c) 'Effective consent' means the consent of a person authorized to act, or whom the shooter reasonably believed was so authorized.
(2) It shall be unlawful to willfully or intentionally shoot a firearm within the limits of the City of College Station, Texas, except as provided hereafter. A person asserting an exception to prosecution under this section shall be required to prove the same as a defense under the provisions of the Texas Penal Code and the Texas Code of Criminal Procedures.
(3) Excepted from this provision are:
(a) Shooting a shotgun, air rifle or pistol, B.B. gun, or bow & arrow upon a tract of land of ten acres or more under one ownership, with the effective consent of the owner(s) and any tenant(s) residing thereon, and not within 300 feet of any residence or occupied building, provided that the firearm is not discharged in such a manner that it would reasonably be expected to cause any projectile to cross the boundary of the tract onto other premises. Under this subsection, "shotgun" shall mean a 10 gauge or smaller shotgun with shot no larger than size 7.
(b) Shooting a center fire or rim fire rifle or pistol of any caliber upon a tract of land of fifty acres or more under one ownership, with the effective consent of the owner(s) and any tenant(s) residing thereon, and not within 300 feet of any residence or occupied building, provided that the firearm is not discharged in such a manner that it would reasonably be expected to cause any projectile to cross the boundary of the tract onto other premises.
(c) Shooting any firearm in lawful defense of self, a third person, or property, provided that the firearm is not discharged in such a manner as to unreasonably endanger innocent persons.
(d) Law enforcement and animal control officers while in the lawful discharge of their duties.
Zzz
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Well, that kinda sucks. Thanks for the info, though.
ursusguy
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Oh and to throw some additional fuel on the fire, don't forget on some of these critters you are also dealing with game laws (not just city code).
GSS
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"Oh and to throw some additional fuel on the fire, don't forget on some of these critters you are also dealing with game laws (not just city code)."

State laws allow for the removal of nuisance animals w/o game laws or licenses involved. Certainly limits to what's okay, but the raccoon,opossum, or armadillo that's become a pest; not much to explain.
LarLar
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AG
Given that the .22 long rifle has a maximum nominal range of 1.5 MILES and the maximum effective range of 50-100 yards depending on barrel/target, it seems highly unlikely that discharging this weapon in a residential area could be construed as "safe". Nobody always hits their target, you can't predict ricochets, you can't predict what the round will do on the other side of its target... rounds can even change direction inside a target and ricochet off of bones... so really, summing this up as him "doing a favor" to his neighbor by discharging a rifle in the city limits is ridiculous and ignorant. I encourage you to actually learn a little more about gun safety before making such a claim again.

Anyway, OP, YES report it to the police. It's being neighborly... to all your other neighbors who could be at risk.

[This message has been edited by Laurentum05 (edited 5/23/2009 7:00p).]
ursusguy
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GSS, I'm pretty familiar with how those regulations work. There are actions taken that a lot of folks don't realize are illegal.---Example-can't discharge firearm in city to dispatch raccoon. But, hauling live raccoon out to the country to dispatch is actually illegal for the John Doe citizen. There are other related issues.
cartercreek1995
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okay.
thanks everyone.
i have four elementary age children (and younger), so i consider a .22 round sort of "serious" as a result. vermin are a nuisance, but come on.
TexasRebel
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Lauren, that magical force that you claim doesn't exist is called the ground.

I will agree, that unless you are discharging a firearm into soft dirt at a very steep angle, you shouldn't do it.

There are already laws against the slug from a firearm crossing a property line... that's the only law that is necessary. Not just my opinion...fact.

That one law says, that unless you know certainly, with very little error, where your round will stop, you shouldn't fire it.

I used to remove opposums with a .22LR from my back yard in Bryan all of the time... I know that every one of my rounds went about 5 inches under the surface of the yard where the critter was sitting when it took its last breath.

I also call BS on hearing a .22 rifle and being concerned... even if it was a semi-auto, a hammer on a 2x4 would be louder.
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