Sunday, October 19, 2014

FL: Woman Arrested for Protecting Children from Water Moccasin

Who would have thought that it would be illegal to defend children from a venomous snake?  This is where the insanity of extreme gun restrictions have brought us.   In Florida, a mother was at a school event during a football practice session.  A water moccasin was discovered on the practice field, but attempts to kill it with sticks were not successful.  From
April Dawn DeMarco, 30, was arrested for discharging a .380-caliber handgun on the practice football field of Bay High School, 300 E. 15th St., during practice last week for the local Pop Warner football team. Demarco apparently borrowed the pistol from Miren Gregory, 31, to protect nearby children after a group of parents found a water moccasin on the field, police reported.

Coaches and parents told the children to get out of the area after finding the moccasin. Gregory told DeMarco she had a concealed carry permit and a handgun after some of the coaches tried to kill the snake by hitting it with sticks.
Snakes can be difficult to kill with a stick, if there are obstacles nearby.  As this was a football practice field, the snake may have been hiding under equipment on the field.  From personal experience, I can say that a firearm is often the only means to stop the threat from a venomous snake that is in a semi-concealed position.   You do not want the snake to escape from view and remain in an area frequented by children.   It is like allowing a living land mine on the school grounds.

Here is where the law gets crazy.  Even if a person has a concealed carry permit, it is illegal to possess a firearm on school grounds during a school related event.   The penalty is a misdemeanor.  From statute 790.06(12):
(d) Any person who knowingly and willfully violates any provision of this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the second degree,
It is illegal to discharge a firearm on school grounds, but  there is an exception for using a firearm in defense of self or others.  From statute 790.115 2.(d)
(d) A person who discharges any weapon or firearm while in violation of paragraph (a), unless discharged for lawful defense of himself or herself or another or for a lawful purpose, commits a felony of the second degree,
If I were Dawn DeMarco's attorney, I would certainly be pleading that this was a clear case of defense of others.   It does not matter that Dawn missed the snake with the borrowed firearm.
One parent forewarned the women that having a firearm on school grounds was against the law when DeMarco said, “I will take the blame,” the parent told police.

This might be a good test case for reform of the silly gun free school zone law in Florida.   Even the federal gun free school zone law has an exception for those with concealed carry permits.

The person that Dawn DeMarco borrowed the pistol from was also arrested.   It is unknown if she had a concealed carry permit.

Gun free school zone laws have been a disaster from the beginning.  It is time to stop the idiocy.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

Update:  Miren Gregory had the pistol and a concealed carry permit.   It is not known of Dawn DeMarco  had a concealed carry permit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Obviously the school administrators are at fault for not posting signs declaring the school a Snake Free Zone. Then it would have been illegal for any snakes to come onto school property and no one would have ever needed to worry about snakes again! Right? Am I right?