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Virginia bill seeks to criminalize celebratory gunfire

January 8, 2014 | Virginia News

by Kathy Adams, The Virginian-Pilot

RICHMOND —The Legislative Black Caucus this morning outlined its legislative priorities for the General Assembly session starting today, including support for a bill criminalizing celebratory gunfire.

“Brendon’s Law” would make it a felony to shoot a firearm without a “discernible of designated target” within any Virginia city or town or within two miles of an occupied building. It is named for Brendon Mackey, a 7-year-old Chesterfield County boy who died July 5 after being struck in the head with a bullet fired into the air, said the bill’s patron, Sen. Henry Marsh, a Chesterfield Democrat.

Violating the law would be a Class 6 felony, punishable by one to five years in prison. Celebratory gunfire that results in a death would be punishable by five to 40 years behind bars.

“Shooting a gun has consequences,” Marsh said during the press conference at the Capitol. “When you shoot up, the bullet is eventually going to come down.”

Other priorities for the caucus include expanding Medicaid, automatic restoration of rights for nonviolent felons, ethics reform, repealing the pre-abortion ultrasound requirement and retooling the Standards of Learning tests, said the caucus’ chair, Sen. Mamie Locke, a Hampton Democrat.

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