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Discharging a firearm in public – still an offence

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Posted: Saturday, January 2, 2021. 2:53 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Breaking Belize News has been sent two short videos separately showing persons discharging firearms into the air.

From context, it appears they were celebrating the New Year.

But such persons could run afoul of Section 40 of the Firearms Act, amended in 1998, which creates the offence of “discharging a firearm in public.”

Summarized, it states that no person may discharge a firearm within 40 yards of a public road or place, except in defence of themselves, their property, or someone else’s property; under the direction of lawful civil and military authorities; with the permission of the Commissioner of Police, or any other lawful cause or justification. The burden to justify the use of firearms under the Act is on the accused.

Bullets or pellets do have a trajectory and if they land unfortunately on some unknown target it can lead to injury, damage to property or even death, unintentionally.

Persons are encouraged to report such incidents to the nearest police station.

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