Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Illegally Shooting Owl

While the Second Amendment gives us the right to bear arms, there are some restrictions. Obviously, we are not allowed to shoot anyone at any time. The same goes for animals. Plus, not everyone is allowed to own certain firearms. Some guns are illegally, and some people are felons who have lost their rights to possess firearms. A person who uses a gun illegally can face weapons charges.

A Maryland man, who was prohibited from owning a firearm, was recently charged with shooting and killing an owl. On May 7, the 65-year-old man from Williamsport pled guilty to illegal possession of a rifle and hunting within a safety zone.

The man has not yet been sentenced. The judge has allowed the defense attorney some time to prepare a mitigation argument. The deputy state’s attorney has made no recommendation for a jail sentence, although he is requesting that any punishment suspend the man’s hunting privileges for a period of five years. In addition, all firearms should be seized from his home, except for the one gun that belongs to his wife. In the plea agreement, two DNR charges and four weapons charges will be placed as inactive.

The incident on January 12. The man was on his backhoe when a neighbor claimed that the man used a rifle to shoot an owl. The owl died on the neighbor’s property.

By shooting the owl, the man broke several laws. He was prohibited from owning a rifle after a 2009 conviction in which he shot and killed two of the neighbors’ dogs. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and forced to pay $150,000 in damages. Under a civil order, the man was also not allowed to be within 150 feet of the neighbor’s home.

Initially, the man denied any wrongdoing. He claimed he was at his father’s property. He also alleged that the neighbor was framing him, since the two had disputes in the past.

The man told a police officer that he had just one firearm in his home—a .243-caliber rifle belonging to his wife. The officer saw the gun in the man’s home, but also discovered a Remington 870 pump-action shotgun. Neither gun was loaded. Police later seized a .22-caliber rifle and ammunition.

The man later confessed to the crime. He led police to the rifle used to kill the owl. The gun was buried 100 yards from his home, under leaves. He said he shot the owl because it killed his chickens.

Contact a Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Weapons crimes are often treated harshly. If you are faced with such charges, you could face significant prison time. You may also lose out on certain rights, such as firearm possession.

Avoid felony charges by seeking legal help from the Columbia weapons charges attorneys at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. We can help you protect your legal rights. We have two offices in Maryland to serve you. Schedule a free consultation by filling out the online form or calling (410) 774-5987.


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