Members of the Virginia Senate are planning to introduce a bill in the upcoming session that would criminalize the act of firing a gun into the air because it’s a fun party trick. Believe it or not, this is something Virginia is addressing in 2014, and only after a tragic incident last summer.
The bill, reports the Virginian-Pilot, is called “Brendon’s Law” after Brendon Mackey, a 7-year-old boy from Chesterfield County, near Richmond, who was killed last July 4 after he was struck by a stray .40-caliber bullet that fell from the sky. Police believe the bullet came from the gun of someone popping off a shot for Independence Day, and months later have still not identified who fired it.
Currently, Virginia law classifies shooting a gun into the air without a target is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine. “Brendon’s Law” would make it a felony punishable with between one and five years in prison, or between five and 40 years if such gunfire resulted in a death.
“Shooting a gun has consequences,” the bill’s sponsor, State Senator Henry Marsh, told the Virginian-Pilot. “When you shoot up, the bullet is eventually going to come down.”