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Grovetown man to fight $291 ticket for shooting BB gun

Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 1:26 PM
Last updated Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 10:34 AM
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When Mckenzie Ussery moved into his Grovetown home on Dec. 19, he got an unexpected – and unwelcome – housewarming gift.

Mckenzie Ussery, 19, was fined $291 for shooting a BB gun at a cup propped up in a tree in his backyard in Grovetown. He plans to fight the ticket in Grovetown Municipal Court on Jan. 22.  JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
Mckenzie Ussery, 19, was fined $291 for shooting a BB gun at a cup propped up in a tree in his backyard in Grovetown. He plans to fight the ticket in Grovetown Municipal Court on Jan. 22.


Jenna Martin
Business Reporter
Twitter: @JennaNMartin
E-mail | 706-823-3217

Grovetown authorities cited the 19-year-old for shooting a BB gun in his backyard, which borders the Columbia County Alternative School campus.

Ussery, who moved into his Railroad Avenue home with his wife and 6-month-old daughter, said he plans to fight the $291 ticket in Grovetown Municipal Court on Jan. 22.

“This BB gun will not hurt you,” he said. “It won’t even break a window.

“You probably couldn’t even put a dent in a brand-new tub of butter with it.”

Ussery said he was cited with discharging a firearm within the city limits but was unaware that his BB gun, powered by compressed air, was classified as a firearm.

Ussery said he was told by Grovetown police that any spring-loaded, black powder or compressed-air gun, including a paintball gun and even a NERF toy gun, was considered a firearm.

According to Grovetown’s city ordinance, paintball and BB guns fall into the firearm category but toy guns do not, said Grovetown Department of Public Safety Chief Gary Owens.

Owens said Grovetown officials are considering amending the firearm ordinance to exclude certain devices such as paintball and BB guns.

Owens said people are typically given a warning on the first offense.

“We generally cite people that are not taking due regard,” he said. “The officer makes that determination based on several factors.”

Owens, however, defended the citation, stating the incident occurred just five days after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead.

Owens said his department received a call from an alternative school teacher who reported seeing a man shooting a rifle near the school. The school went into a precautionary lockdown, he said.

“You know the school’s on edge,” he said. “Now everybody is on high alert.”

Ussery said he fired his 11-year-old BB gun three times to test it.

He said Owens and an officer banged on his back window when they arrived at his house. After Ussery explained the situation, he said, they demanded he be escorted inside to retrieve the gun.

“They treated me like I just shot somebody in the face,” he said.

Ussery said he was forced to give them his gun and won’t be able to get it back until he appears in court.

In addition to a fine and court fees, Ussery said, he also faces 30 days in jail.

A week or two after Ussery’s run-in with authorities, he said, a neighbor shot a high-powered rifle outside. Ussery reported the incident, but nothing was done, he said.

Owens said he’s unaware of any such complaints, adding that officers would immediately look into that situation if notified. He said his department is trying to prevent shootings like those that took place in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14.

“Some demented individual will eventually try to trump this, and it’s a sad situation,” Owens said. “It’s a fact of life that we live in.”

Comments (44) Add comment
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JRC2024
12951
Points
JRC2024 01/10/13 - 11:00 am
4
0
Just stupid, stupid, stupid.

Just stupid, stupid, stupid. Had BB guns all my younger days and never killed anyone.

oneofthesane
2201
Points
oneofthesane 01/10/13 - 11:04 am
1
0
I don't know which is more stupid.....
Unpublished

the "shooter"....or the law....smh.

shrimp for breakfast
5762
Points
shrimp for breakfast 01/10/13 - 11:06 am
4
0
Nerf gun considered a firearm?

This is ridiculous. I can see it now.
Bank robber: Give me all the money or I'll shoot you in the face with a foam rubber ball.
Teller: Well you're just gonna have to shoot cause you ain't getin a cent!

CobaltGeorge
201691
Points
CobaltGeorge 01/10/13 - 11:18 am
2
2
I Really Think That God Didn't Create Liberals.

I come to that conclusion, that If he had created them, he sure would have provided them with a Brain, Common Sense and the ability to be a Productive Citizen. I believe the Devil was there someplace when they were created.

punkin14
17
Points
punkin14 01/10/13 - 11:21 am
0
0
Growing up in Grovetown
Unpublished

Growing up in Grovetown friends and I would ride our bikes around town with our red riders shooting trees and other crap. We'd run out of bb's and head to Pooles Grocery to buy more. My parents would have been flat broke if this law was in effect then..it's amazing what's happened to this country in the last 20 years

LLArms
470
Points
LLArms 01/10/13 - 11:28 am
2
0
If that had been my home here

If that had been my home here is how this would have gone down...

*Cop banging on back window*

Me: Yes?

Cop: We got a report about a BB gun. I demand you let me in!

Me: Please come back when you have a warrant. Until such time please exit my property. Have a nice day.

( I would pay good money to see that LEOs reaction to that as he clearly has a "respect my authority!" problem )

ohcanwesee
20
Points
ohcanwesee 01/10/13 - 11:48 am
1
0
Yes grovetown police a joke

I called in a missing person and they actually laughed they thought is was funny. Any mom would tell you it aint funny.

fiscallyresponsible
141
Points
fiscallyresponsible 01/10/13 - 12:23 pm
3
0
Local problems too

People these days are so concerned about the Federal government this and the Federal government that.....in the meantime, our state AND local governments are busy as little beavers acting like fools and making American life far less enjoyable and far less free.

Moral of the story, watch your local governments like a hawk. They are the targets of the UN's Agenda 21. And we all know what life under the UN directive would be like.....

Just because we live in Columbia County does not mean we can fall asleep at the wheel. This lunacy should wake a few of you up.

burninater
10855
Points
burninater 01/10/13 - 02:22 pm
2
0
I come to that conclusion,

I come to that conclusion, that If he had created them, he sure would have provided them with a Brain, Common Sense and the ability to be a Productive Citizen. I believe the Devil was there someplace when they were created.
--------
Bite your tongue CG, here's one Keynesian lib who's an income-tax payer that thinks BB gun bans are ridiculous.

Now, as far as the people that actually WROTE this law -- is Grovertown some kind of liberal hotbed? I'm not familiar with the area ...

scoopdedoop64
2614
Points
scoopdedoop64 01/10/13 - 02:28 pm
2
0
How stupid!

I think it was stupid to take away his gun and cite him for it. I can do what I want on my own property.

OJP
8488
Points
OJP 01/10/13 - 02:48 pm
1
0
Not investigating a reported rifle being fired near a school

would have been a clear case of bad judgment.

But he should have received a warning, not a ticket and fine.

LMB
37
Points
LMB 01/10/13 - 02:50 pm
1
0
Grovetown you suck. So glad

Grovetown you suck. So glad we moved from that cesspool 10 yrs ago!

Brad Owens
5200
Points
Brad Owens 01/10/13 - 02:59 pm
2
1
From one Owens to another...

This defies logic and you will pay a heavy price for buying into the leftist anti-gun jihad that is being waged right now.

Nerf guns are firearms? REALLY? WOW, all I can say is WOW!

It's been a good ride folks, 235 years...but the end is nigh.

Just so stupid I can't convey it. I want to know what the court date is so I can show up and help protest this idiotic rule and this incident for enforcement of the idiotic rule.

Brad

TruckChix
404
Points
TruckChix 01/10/13 - 03:42 pm
2
0
OH NO!!!

I got a slingshot for Christmas!!!!

daddyfrog1
4
Points
daddyfrog1 01/10/13 - 03:50 pm
2
0
BB Gun

You'll shoot your eye out, Kid.

urright
471
Points
urright 01/10/13 - 04:17 pm
1
2
Willow

Willow-get your "facts" straight. The Sheriff's Office has nothing to do with Grovetown. The fine would go to them, not the SO.
Poor Chief--he has to defend and enforce laws he doesn't agree with. He's just trying to make everyone happy and it can't happen. The city council needs to change that ordinance.

Willow Bailey
20606
Points
Willow Bailey 01/10/13 - 08:38 pm
1
0
Pardon me . The. fine goes

Pardon me . The. fine goes to The Three Stooges Grovetoen Police Department. I never intended to imply Sheriff Whittle would be part of this fiasco . That fix things for you?

oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 01/11/13 - 12:00 am
1
0
BB Gun
Unpublished

FIRE BARRNEY the DEPUTY. And if they don't, fire the Sherrif.

LLArms
470
Points
LLArms 01/11/13 - 11:21 am
0
0
The problem is that not every

The problem is that not every offense is a "must ticket" issue. LEOs have discretion to issue tickets on a lot of things. ie: Got a warning because your tag is expired by 2 days? He could have ticketed you legally, but he chooses not to because he uses DISCRETION to act in a respectable manner and treat others how he would want to be treated.

The LEO in this story? A real piece of work. He could have very much warned him and said, "Look I know its your property, but someone at the school got spooked. And while the law is dumb, technically you can't fire it anyhow. Please just put it up until the law can be changed I don't want to have to issue a $300 ticket for something so silly."

But no, he didn't. Do not believe anyone who says, "Well he has to write the ticket". That is so much bologna. Sounds like the LEO was desperate to fill his newest quota.

Bulldog1
223
Points
Bulldog1 01/15/13 - 09:31 am
0
0
Morons!

What a bunch of morons! Surely Grovetown can afford to hire police officers with more common sense than this! Or perhaps it was really the morons who wrote this ordinance. No wonder Grovetown continues to be a laughing stock.....

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