The legal consequences of shooting a firearm within city limits

May 24, 2023, 9:00 PM

Spanish Fork Police have identified an adult male as a person of interest in the shooting of a two-...

Bullet hole in fence surrounding Spanish Fork daycare's outdoor play area (Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio)

(Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio)

SPANISH FORK, Utah — On Tuesday, a 2-year-old was injured after being hit in the head by a stray bullet while playing at his daycare in Utah County. Police have since determined the firearm was discharged within city limits. 

On Wednesday, Spanish Fork police identified a suspect involved in the incident. Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic discussed the legal ramifications of the incident Wednesday on Dave & Dujanovic

KSL Legal Analyst Greg Skordas joined the show to discuss the legal issues in this case.

Dujanovic begins the conversation by asking, “Does the fact that police are now saying that it was a 22-caliber air rifle that this individual they say was firing at birds. Does that matter when it comes to firing something within city limits?”

“I say it probably doesn’t,” Skordas said. “… (Lt. Cory Slaymaker) said this was completely accidental.”

Skordas disagrees with that assessment. 

“I mean, if you’re shooting a gun,” he said. “Especially something more than a BB gun, especially in city limits and someone is hurt. It’s funny that I would take a harder position than a police officer, but it’s hard to call that completely accidental.”

Shooting a firearm in city limits is a big concern

When a incident such as this occurs, Skordas says there is a degree of recklessness, negligence or carelessness involved. 

“And I think the prosecutors have to take a hard look at that,” he said.

Noriega asked, “Does a BB gun, does that change things at all?”

“In the sense that it’s less likely to cause serious injury,” Skordas said. “But shooting a gun is shooting a gun. We typically think of firearms, which are a little more aggressive than a BB gun. But if it’s projectile that comes out of a weapon and it hurts somebody, you’re responsible.”

Although, Skordas acknowledges that he isn’t sure if Spanish Fork has specific regulations concerning BB guns or pellet guns.

Spanish Fork police say the suspect involved in the incident is cooperating with police. The victim remains at Primary Children’s Hospital in stable condition but is improving. 

Listen to the entire segment.


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The legal consequences of shooting a firearm within city limits