Bill to narrow scope of Shannon’s Law moves forward

More than 17 years after the death of 14-year-old Shannon Smith from a stray bullet that fell from the sky, a proposed amendment lessening the spread of Shannon’s Law is moving through the Arizona Legislature.

House Bill 2287, spearheaded by Rep. Tony Rivero, R-Peoria, would bar prosecutors from pursuing Class 6 felony charges against people charged with the unlawful firing of a gun within or near a municipality if the gun owner claims it was an accident. The state would have to prove the defendant intentionally, knowingly or recklessly discharged the gun.

Shannon was killed in June 1999 when a stray bullet fell from the sky and struck her in the head while she talked on the phone in her central Phoenix backyard. Whoever fired the gun could not be found. Her parents committed themselves to ending random gun violence and, in 2000, state lawmakers adopted Shannon’s Law, which made it a felony to negligently fire a gun inside city limits…

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