The following is a video transcript.
Let’s talk about New Year’s Eve. There is no law in Pennsylvania, as some states have, about being drunk with a gun.
In our statutes, there is no such law in place. Instead, you will be judged upon your conduct, meaning that if you are in the bar on New Year’s Eve, and you think it’s a great idea to do your best Yosemite Sam, you can’t just say, “hey, I had too much to drink, and I get a free pass.”
When it comes to civil liability, you want to talk about what is called “reasonable care.”
Reasonable care is always required whenever you are in possession of a firearm. If you are doing your best imitation of Roy Rogers where you are twirling the guns, and you have your finger on the trigger, and “boom,” it goes off, that would be a very negligent act. That would breach a duty of care because you didn’t follow the cardinal rule: all firearms are loaded, and all loaded firearms need to be in a safe path.
Civil liability when you’re trying to help someone who is injured: unless you’re intentionally causing further harm by your act or your omission or it rises to the level of gross negligence or wanton or willful or reckless conduct, you have no duty to render aid; however, there is a case in Pennsylvania that has this quote, “each person may be said to have a relationship with the world at large, which creates a duty to act when his own conduct causes the peril.”
In other words, it’s kind of like, “hey, this guy wasn’t a bad guy.” I’m not talking about self-defense, in which case, “hey, that guy tried to kill you.”
You do whatever you think is moral, but the law says you don’t have to do anything. But when it’s friendly fire, negligent discharge, or an unintended disaster of a situation, you do, under the law as I just quoted, have a duty to try and mitigate or lessen that circumstance. You can’t just let them bleed out.