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Rep. Martinez to introduce “don’t shoot guns in the air” bill

You’d think this wouldn’t be necessary, but it is.

Rep. Mando Martinez

After being hit in the head with a bullet shortly after midnight on New Year’s Eve, state Rep. Armando Martinez plans to file legislation aimed at reducing or preventing celebratory gun firings.

“If my legislation could help save a life, you know, then definitely that’s what we’re gonna be looking at doing,” the Weslaco Democrat said Monday in a phone interview from the Valley Baptist Medical Center shortly before he was released.

What exactly that legislation will look like is unclear, but it would possibly work to regulate or prevent celebratory gunfire, he said. The next legislative session starts on Jan. 10.

“Something dealing with celebratory gunfire, definitely,” Martinez said. “But I need to talk to our sheriff’s department and maybe our (district attorney) and see exactly what type of ideas they have as well, so that way we can get an idea of how we’re going to do it and propose it.”

[…]

Martinez said that there were a lot of people in the area celebrating the start of the new year by firing guns in the air before he was hit.

“I think that’s something that definitely needs to change.” Martinez said. “Growing up, we grew up around guns. You know, I have a (concealed handgun license). I’m a hunter. But everybody knows better than to get a gun and fire it up in the air because what goes up must come down.”

See here for the background. As Rep. Martinez says, he’s a lucky man – a little bit one way or the other, and his family might be planning his funeral. We don’t know exactly what this bill will look like till he writes it, and for sure a bill like this could end up being too broad, or too vague, or too punitive, and if that happens people will oppose it for various rational reasons. But as a base proposition, I would hope that we can all agree that it should be illegal to randomly shoot a gun into the air, for the same reason it is illegal to randomly shoot a gun in your backyard or on the street: It’s dangerous. You could injure or kill someone, possibly without being aware of it. There’s no legitimate purpose being served by firing a gun into the air, whether as a “celebration” or for some other reason. I say all this because I will be very interested to see if someone decides to oppose this on some kind of Second Amendment justification. I have no idea what that might be – even the most rabid gun hoarders tend to pay lip service to “responsible” gun owners and ownership – but in the year 2017 all I can say is that I won’t be too surprised if it happens. Along similar lines, you may recall in my post about Mayor Turner’s priorities for the Lege that the city’s official legislative priorities includes on page 18 the item “Prohibiting the Sale of Pipe Bombs at Gun Shows”. I can’t wait to see who the pro-pipe bomb faction is. Anyway, I’m glad Rep. Martinez is recovering, and I’ll add his bill to my watch list.

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10 Comments

  1. Flypusher says:

    How about requiring liability insurance for gun owners?

  2. C.L. says:

    @Flypusher…. that’d assume gun manufacturers are also somehow liable for the use/misuse of their own product. If that was the case, none of them would be in business at this point, they’d of been litigated out of existence. How quickly do you think the Apple FaceTime lawsuit is going to get thrown out ? Can’t blame Apple for some idiot FaceTime-ing and piloting a car at the same time.

  3. Flypusher says:

    “……that’d assume gun manufacturers are also somehow liable for the use/misuse of their own product. ”

    No it wouldn’t. Requiring liabity insurance to operate a car doesn’t put liability on automakers. If I drive like a reckless dumbass and hurt someone, I get the blame, not Toyota. There’s no reason to assume it couldn’t work the same way for guns. Using either comes with responsibilities that are resting on the user/owner.

  4. Bill Shirley says:

    As mentioned it’s already illegal in the majority (as measured by populace) of places. And likely was where he was unfortunately hit.

    NYE? Stay inside at midnight!

  5. C. L. says:

    Can’t get a consistent background check law passed or gun show sale loophole closed, virtually impossible to require owners carry gun toting liability insurance.

    If you drive like a dumbass and hit someone, you can blame Toyota. Remember the rash of Prius’s accelerating out of control due to a floor mat issue ? Couldn’t have possibly been user error…

  6. Flypusher says:

    “If you drive like a dumbass and hit someone, you can blame Toyota.”

    And get laughed out of court. That FaceTime suit will go nowhere, because the driver is the one responsible.

    ” Remember the rash of Prius’s accelerating out of control due to a floor mat issue ? Couldn’t have possibly been user error…”

    Need I point out the obvious differences between reckless driving and a manufacturer’s defect?

    Yes, I recognize the difficulty of getting such a law passed. It’s still needed.

  7. Bill Daniels says:

    I don’t understand why you folks are running down the people shooting guns randomly in the air. This is part of their culture, and as we have learned over the past 8 years, all cultures have value and are equal. Your culture of not endangering others shouldn’t supersede their cultural traditions. You folks need to embrace diversity and respect and uplift others’ cultures.

    The people shooting guns in the air are probably the same folks dumping trash all over Houston. This is what they do. This is their culture, and we need to embrace that, rather than taking a holier than though attitude. That’s racist and paternalistic.

  8. Bill Daniels says:

    *thou

  9. Flypusher says:

    Damn Bill, you sure got a workout beating on that strawman bleeding-heart liberal caricature!

    People living in the real world are going with we’ll respect your culture/religion to the extent that it obeys our laws and doesn’t trample on any citizen’s rights.

  10. Bill Daniels says:

    @Fly:

    I’ll admit to the strawman….just having a little fun. 🙂

    Regarding this:

    “…. the city’s official legislative priorities includes on page 18 the item “Prohibiting the Sale of Pipe Bombs at Gun Shows.”

    I’ll just say this sounds like a solution in search of a problem. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a gun show, but I don’t ever remember seeing pipe bombs for sale at one. Seems like the ATF would already frown on that sort of thing.