VIPD Advises Public on Illegality of Discharging Firearms New Year’s Eve

The Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) is advising legal gun owners and criminal gun holders of discharging of firearms that it is against the law and reckless since bullets “do not have eyes and what goes up must come down.”

The firearms of legal gun owners will have their licenses revoked and will be arrested for discharging of firearms. The Virgin Islands Codes are as follows.

V.I. Code Title 23 § 479. Discharging or aiming firearms

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Any person who, otherwise than in self-defense or in the discharge of official duty:

(a) willfully discharges any pistol, revolver, or other firearm, or who throws any deadly missile in a public place or any other place where there is any person who may be injured, hereby, although no injury to any person ensues; or

(b) intentionally although without malice aims a revolver, pistol or other firearm toward any person; or

(c) discharges, without injury to any person, firearms while intentionally although without malice aiming toward any person; or

(d) causes physical injury to any person by the discharge of a firearm while aiming intentionally, although without malice, at any person, shall be guilty of a felony.

V.I. Code Title 14 § 625. Reckless endangerment

(a) a person is guilty of reckless endangerment in the first degree when, under the circumstances evidencing a depraved indifference to human life, he recklessly engages in conduct in a public place which creates a grave risk of death to another person. Reckless endangerment in the first degree shall be considered as a felony.

(b) A person is guilty of reckless endangerment in the second degree when he recklessly engages in conduct in a public place which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person. Reckless endangerment in the second degree shall be considered as a misdemeanor.

(c) The terms as used in this section shall have the following meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

(1) "reckless endangerment" means when a person consciously and knowingly engages in conduct or behavior that may pose intentional harm or physical injuries to another human being or property.

(2) "public place" means a place to which the general public has a right to resort; but a place which is in point of fact public rather than private, and visited by many persons and usually accessible to the public.

V.I. Code Title 14 § 621. Brandishing, exhibiting, or using deadly weapons

Whoever–

(1) not in necessary self-defense, and in the presence of two or more persons, draws or exhibits any deadly weapon in a rude, angry, and threatening manner; or

(2) in any manner unlawfully uses the same in any fight or quarrel– shall be fined not more than $200 or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

V.I. Code Title 14 § 2252. Confiscation of illegally held weapons

Whoever violates the provisions of sections 298, 2251 or 2253 of this title, or any other provision of law prohibiting the possession, bearing, transporting, carrying or effective control of a firearm, ammunition or other weapon shall, in addition to the punishment therein prescribed, also have said firearm, ammunition or other weapon confiscated to the Government of the Virgin Islands.

If anyone knows of someone with possession of an unauthorized firearm or discharging of a firearm, please call the Criminal Investigation Bureau 778-2211 on St. Croix or 774-2211 on St. Thomas or call 911.

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