The headline above used to read “defensive gun use.” And then it turned out (via 2.nbc17.com) that the man inflicting loud noises on his neighbors was shooting at prowlers who posed no direct threat to his life or limbs. So . . . offensive it is.

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18 Responses to Garner NC Man Cited for Violating City Ordinance Prohibiting Gunfire—After Offensive Gun Use

  1. “I’d like people to know that [in] our neighborhood we have weapon… and if someone tries to break in or hurt anyone we’re all watching for each other.”

    Quote of the day.

    • Oh, yes. The neighbors know that I’m right there if there’s trouble-even if I had to come rolling out with “Painless”, my RPK.

  2. This is so ridiculous that I looked up the town, found their email, and sent a polite message, asking why they are prosecuting the victim.

  3. Even in the Kwazy Kommonwealth of Massivetwoshits, where it is illegal to discharge a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, the law does not apply to the lawful defense of life and property.

  4. Who needs to outlaw guns, when you can just make it illegal to use them in any situation? Sheesh. Here’s the answer: MOVE. Do it now, before idiotic local governments take any more of your rights.

  5. This guy was shooting from his own property at people that he perceived to be breaking into a foreclosed home across the street. I’m all for castle doctrine, but this was not a “defensive shooting”.

    Here’s the text from www2.nbc17.com:

    “Garner Police cited Perry Whitaker, 26, of Nellane Drive for violating the town’s gun ordinance for firing his shotgun.

    Garner police said Whitaker told them he was threatened by two suspects after he spotted them trying to get into a foreclosed home across the street from his own.

    After Whitaker fired his shotgun at them, the two suspects jumped into a vehicle and drove off, according to police.

    There is a self-defense exception in Garner’s gun ordinance, but according to police Whitaker was not defending his own property and there was no evidence anyone fired a weapon at him before he opened fire”

    • That would be a horse of a different color. Do we have any clarification or confirmation?

  6. As an attorney, I would argue that the Ordinance is unconstitutional as applied to self-defensive use of a firearm, based on Second Amendment grounds. Its been a while since I read Heller, but I’m pretty sure that making it illegal to shoot a firearm in self defense is no different that making the firearm itself illegal. The Ordinance in question would undoubtedly survive a facial challenge, but as applied to this set of particular set of facts, seems to be an obvious infringement on individual rights. The cop who wrote the ticket needs to apply some common sense.

    • Common sense? This guy was discharging his shotgun at people that he ‘thought’ were breaking into a neighbor house. It would be a novel reading of the 2nd Amendment to say that it allows you to wantonly shoot at people that you believe are doing wrong. He’s lucky he’s not up on assault or attempted murder charges.

      • Well, it seems the facts have changed (been updated) since the time of the original post. I agree with you that if: (1) he was negligent or reckless in the manner that he was exercising his right of self defense, or (2) his use of the firearm could not reasonably be called self-defense at all, then the “as applied” challenge goes out the window. The Second Amendment is obviously not a license to comments torts or crimes with a firearm.

  7. I received a response from the town today, assuring me that the original news report was incorrect and that there is a “self defense clause” in the noise ordinance.

  8. RF – shouldn’t the headline be changed? The facts are pretty clear now that this was offensive gun use.

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