Most people think the nickname of Florida is the Sunshine State. Unfortunately, America’s appendage is more accurately described as the Gunshine State.
You see, in Florida, if the legislature attempts to reduce gun rights, the NRA and its members go nuts. Of course, they were probably nuts already. Florida is very, very gun friendly.
Recently, a man in Florida decided to set up a gun range in his back yard. Shockingly, this is not illegal in Florida. Here is the only relevant Florida Statute:
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) or subsection (3), any person who knowingly discharges a firearm in any public place or on the right-of-way of any paved public road, highway, or street, who knowingly discharges any firearm over the right-of-way of any paved public road, highway, or street or over any occupied premises, or who recklessly or negligently discharges a firearm outdoors on any property used primarily as the site of a dwelling as defined in s. 766.013 or zoned exclusively for residential use commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
In simple terms, this means that gun control is solely under state jurisdiction and the only restriction on shooting a gun on your property is that the bullet cannot fly over a road or house and the shots cannot be reckless or negligent. I fail to see how a gun fired on your property for any recreational purpose is anything but reckless and negligent!
Assume your neighbor sets up target practice in his back yard. He might be a skilled shot but one day, he misses. In the neighboring back yard, a child is playing on his swing set. The bullet strikes and kills the child. This is a scenario not totally out of the realm of possibility! Yet, the man would probably not have any criminal liability because his actions weren’t “reckless or negligent.” How is that possible? Nothing in Florida law requires a person to set up a backstop to block errant bullets.
If you want to put an addition on your home, you need permits and approval from government with oversight from the body of authority. But if you want to set up a gun range in your back yard, go right ahead, the government doesn’t need to check up on that to ensure you’re conducting yourself in a safe manner.
Absolutely ridiculous, Florida, absolutely ridiculous.