The following is a video transcript.
New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, but there are a few things that don’t mix: drinking, driving, fireworks, and firearms. We often hear of people firing their guns off in the air to celebrate the New Year. This is a very dangerous activity that can result in serious bodily injury, or death, and can land you in jail.
You are not allowed to recklessly discharge a firearm in city limits. In some circumstances, this could even be considered deadly conduct. Gun safety rules should always be strictly observed. That means never displaying or discharging your gun in an inappropriate, reckless, or unsafe manner.
What about fireworks? Many cities in Texas regulate the use of fireworks within city ordinances. For example, Fort Worth, Texas has an ordinance imposing a $2,000 fine for discharging fireworks within the incorporated city limits. Keep in mind if you are permitted to shoot off fireworks in your locality, that does not mean you can or should discharge your firearm.
Of course, it goes without saying, the operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated is a crime. You should not drink and drive. Similarly, carrying a handgun under the authority of your LTC while intoxicated is a crime. If you do too much celebrating over the holiday, do not drive, and do not carry your firearm. But even when we are careful, accidents and injuries do happen.
Whether it’s fireworks or some other accident, a common question we get asked is, what happens if I see someone who needs medical assistance? Can I help them? And will I be liable if I accidentally injure them while rendering aid?
While you are not typically required to perform first aid, Texas law protects you when administering emergency or life-saving treatment to someone in need. This protection is commonly called the Good Samaritan Law.
Whether it is a firework mishap, a car accident, or some other injury, the Good Samaritan Law states that you will not be civilly liable if you administer emergency care in good faith, and are not willfully or wantonly negligent.
We wish you and yours a happy New Year. If you have any questions about any of these topics, call Texas LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.