Discharging firearm in a residential area

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skeathley
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Discharging firearm in a residential area

Postby skeathley » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:46 pm

Yes, discharging a firearm in a residential area is a crime, and you can be arrested. I am wondering if police will cut you any slack if you use a .22 to shoot a dangerous animal in your back yard?

In my neighborhood, a new stadium project is wiping out dozens of acres of farmland, driving bobcats into residential areas. We have a neighborhood app, with numerous reports of people finding bobcats in their back yard, on their front porch, attacks on dogs/cats, finding eviscerated cats/squirrels/owls, etc.

If necessary, I could handle this without endangering the neighbors, but I worry about my Yorkie, and don't want to lose my license.

Would it help if I claimed the bobcat attacked me?

The opinion of a LEO would be appreciated.

Thanks,

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Re: Discharging firearm in a residential area

Postby Mike S » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:23 pm

Personally, I wouldn't 'claim' anything if it weren't true.

Also, I don't believe it's unlawful everywhere in Texas to discharge a firearm in a residential area; that'd be a local ordinance and will vary. It's against our deed restrictions to discharge a firearm in our neighborhood, but that's a civil matter (resulting in a fine to the HOA). It would only be a criminal matter if the projectile crosses your property line into the property of another, unless your local ordinance says it's unlawful.

I believe the Game Warden would be the best person to ask regarding what legal methods are available to dispose of a nuisance critter. I believe the Game regulations say you can kill certain predators if they are a problem, but you cannot keep/sell the pelts unless you have a furbearing trappers license.
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Re: Discharging firearm in a residential area

Postby SRO1911 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:24 pm

skeathley wrote:Yes, discharging a firearm in a residential area is a crime, and you can be arrested.



SK

Snip

First, discharging a firearm is a local regulation, not state. The state merely grants the municipalities certain regulatory leeway.
That being said, check your local ordinances to determine exactly what it says.
Last year I spent a few weeks looking over various other cities ordinances in order to present options to my council (fortunately the issue was dropped, and it is still unregulated here) and it was interesting to see the different approaches.
While a few places have a blanket ban, no further discussion. The majority have caveats referencing self defense, pest/varmint control, defense of property, etc.
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Re: Discharging firearm in a residential area

Postby flechero » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:57 pm

Depends on the LEO as to what happens... I grew up in Garland on a 4 acre pond in the middle of a subdivision. A neighbor shot 6 or 7 big snakes over the years and cops showed up everytime. He showed them the carcass and they never said anything more than "wow, big snake... you know it's illegal to shoot a shotgun here but seeing what you did, we'll let it go this time."

I could see a scenario where that goes the other way, also.

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Re: Discharging firearm in a residential area

Postby Ameer » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:28 pm

If a bobcat is a legitimate threat then Necessity should be enough legal justification, but a municipal ordinance is a C misdemeanor at most, right?
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Re: Discharging firearm in a residential area

Postby AF-Odin » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:44 pm

Flechero

In the Garland I grew up in during the 1960s, the police I knew and encountered would have asked if they could skin it and keep the skin. Of course, that was in the days when there was open farm land between Dallas and Garland and Plano was a sleepy little town where the biggest business in town was Plano Lumber and Hardware. September at Garland High School then had loads of cars and trucks with shot guns because those of us NOT practicing football were going dove hunting and the Principal, Mr. Hudson and Assistant Principal Mr. Butler (who was feared by all) only required that you keep 'em in your car and don't mess with them during school hours.
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Re: Discharging firearm in a residential area

Postby C-dub » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:49 pm

On the down side, whether or not you would lose your license would depend upon the crime you would be charged with and if you were found guilty after seeing a judge. If it is just a Class C misdemeanor in your city then I doubt you would lose your license.
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Re: Discharging firearm in a residential area

Postby puma guy » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:52 pm

It would be ashamed if you trapped it, took it to a council meeting to ask what can be done about wild animals in a backyard like the one in the cage and Oops! the latch failed. :biggrinjester:
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Re: Discharging firearm in a residential area

Postby cbunt1 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:05 pm

I am not a lawyer, nor am I LEO.

And I'm speaking in VERY broad generalities...

But, most of the laws, regulations, ordinances, etc. that would restrict discharging a firearm in most any situation are coupled with an affirmative defense that, in layman's terms, comes down to "it needed doing..."

Not that you might not have to defend it in court, of course, but that's something to keep in mind. It boils down to justification.
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Re: Discharging firearm in a residential area

Postby LimaCharlie3 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:35 pm

Over the Years I've relied on one question to determine IF I should/could/would do something that is borderline illegal or just in a gray area, and It is a question I think any texas court must take into account. "Is it reasonable and prudent" that I choose that course of action, or inaction as the case may be. Your question is a great example of this. "well, your honor - I believed it was reasonable that i fired one shot to dispatch a known predator with a clear line-of-sight and faith in my ability to do so as evidenced by my scores over years of target practice, AND prudent that the known predator was dispatched before causing serious bodily injury or death to myself, my family or my pets that are under my charge for safekeeping." Now if you went off shooting crazy in the air to scare it away, that may not be reasonable. and if the bobcat was walking along the edge of your property line back into a wooded area, it may not be prudent. It is a defense but not an affirmative defense and handy when you just aren't sure of the law. Most laws are based on common sense. Except city ordinances hahaha. Some of those are crazy dumb.

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Re: Discharging firearm in a residential area

Postby ScottDLS » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:12 pm

One matter to consider when discharging a firearm in self defense in violation of a local ordinance, is that you will likely lose your presumption of reasonableness under 9.32.

PC §9.32. DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON.
(a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another:
...
(b) The actor’s belief under Subsection (a)(2) that the deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:
...
(3) was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used.


This means your reasonableness presumption is pretty much gone in most major cities which have ordinances against discharging a firearm in city limits. :evil2:
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Re: Discharging firearm in a residential area

Postby jason812 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:23 pm

One shot from a .22 will be hard to pinpoint where it came from. Keep your mouth shut and don't post on Facebook. Other than that get a live trap or a snare, just be prepared to catch the neighbor's or a feral house cat.

Other option is a good pellet rifle. They come with supressors now and should be pretty quiet.

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Re: Discharging firearm in a residential area

Postby Topbuilder » Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:29 am

Interesting read on air gun suppressors/moderators:

http://www.pyramydair.com/article/Airgu ... st_2006/32
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Re: Discharging firearm in a residential area

Postby kg5ie » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:23 pm

822.101 does list bobcat as an official "dangerous" animal. I believe you would slide if you shot it while it was attacking your livestock or domestic pet. Perry skated on shooting a coyote.


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Re: Discharging firearm in a residential area

Postby flechero » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:46 pm

AF-Odin wrote:Flechero

In the Garland I grew up in during the 1960s, the police I knew and encountered would have asked if they could skin it and keep the skin. Of course, that was in the days when there was open farm land between Dallas and Garland and Plano was a sleepy little town where the biggest business in town was Plano Lumber and Hardware. September at Garland High School then had loads of cars and trucks with shot guns because those of us NOT practicing football were going dove hunting and the Principal, Mr. Hudson and Assistant Principal Mr. Butler (who was feared by all) only required that you keep 'em in your car and don't mess with them during school hours.


That was a few years ahead of my time but there was still a lot of farm land around there in my day. I see you are almost my neighbor! We're outside of Belton these days. :tiphat:


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