Safety is the number one priority when handling any firearm. This includes preventing the accidental discharge of a gun, which can happen to even the most experienced shooter. Pennsylvania laws are very strict on negligent discharges of firearms, and there are legal penalties for accidental discharge in the state.
This blog post will discuss unintentional discharge, and what the implications are.
Accidental Discharge of a Firearm – What is it?
First, accidental discharge of a firearm is defined as an unplanned or unintentional act that happens when someone fires their weapon without meaning to do so. It can be anything from forgetting the safety was off and pulling the trigger to dropping your gun, causing it to go off unintentionally. Either example could easily lead to serious injury or even death depending on where you are and what is around you.
Second, accidental discharge of a firearm comes with certain legal penalties in this state, which only vary based on the circumstances surrounding how it occurred. It means that if you accidentally discharged your gun, but no one was hurt, or there was not any property damage resulting from it, then most likely nothing will be done. On the other hand, if you accidentally discharged your gun and someone was hurt, or there was property damage, you could face some serious legal consequences for it, no matter how accidental it was.
Finally, accidental discharge of a firearm also comes with possible criminal penalties, depending on whether anyone else is involved in what happened. If the unintentional discharge of firearm results in any other crime, then you could potentially face charges for that as well.
The penalties are completely dependent on the results because accidental discharge does not automatically mean anything bad will happen. People usually consider unintentional discharge caused by simple carelessness, a mistake, or accidental pulling of the trigger. If that’s what happened, you may get away with a misdemeanor penalty which is only punishable with up to 90 days in jail and some fines.
If someone was hurt as a result of your mishandling firearm, it gets more serious, though. You could face misdemeanor or felony charges and a lot of fines and jail time. If someone died because of your accidental discharge, it gets very serious, and you may be looking at a long prison sentence even if you did not intend to kill or injure anyone. The punishment will vary based on the circumstances.
This is why you need to exercise extreme caution and responsibility when handling a firearm. If a negligent discharge does occur, and anyone is hurt, make sure to call 911 immediately for emergency medical assistance!
Accidental discharge of a firearm is rare, but it can happen. If you have any questions or require more information on firearms or firearm handing, Eagle Arms in Gettysburg can help, so please contact us anytime! You can browse our products here if you are interested in buying a firearm online. At Eagle Arms, you can purchase a gun with complete peace of mind because we offer quality firearms at affordable rates.