Loudoun County Courts

An Ashburn man charged with reckless handling of a firearm in September was found not guilty Wednesday in Loudoun County General District Court.

William R. Hymes III, the defendant, was connected to a case in which a woman was grazed in the arm by a stray bullet. The event occurred in the 39600 block of Gable Farm Lane between Leesburg and Hamilton.

Law enforcement determined the shots came from a private property nearby where people were target shooting. Suspects reportedly involved were identified, and the weapons were recovered, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

NBC4 Washington reported that the judge on Wednesday was unable to determine who shot the bullet that grazed the victim.

The incident occurred at the height of reported gunfire and stray bullets traveling across Loudoun County properties. County officials say at least 20 instances of errant gunfire have occurred in recent years, and in three of those cases people were struck. Three people have been charged in those cases, though none have been convicted.

On Dec. 11, the Loudoun's Board of Supervisors voted to amend its county ordinance, Section 684.03(d), to include in the 100-yard discharge ban “all occupied structures” and to adopt Section 684.03(e), which will make it a violation for projectiles to leave the boundaries of a property unless permission has been given by the adjacent property owner. (See full motions below.)

The Loudoun County commonwealth’s attorney’s office was not immediately available for comment.

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Motions approved on Dec. 11:

-I move that the Board of Supervisors approve and adopt amended language to the Codified Ordinances of Loudoun County Section 684.03(d), “the discharge of firearms is prohibited within 100 yards of a building with a current occupancy permit and/or regularly occupied structure, unless the owner or authorized agent has given permission” as provided in Attachment 1 to the December 11, 2019, Board of Supervisors Public Hearing Staff Report.

-I further move that the Board of Supervisors approve and adopt new language creating new Section 684.03(e) in the Codified Ordinances of Loudoun County stating, “The discharge of firearms for recreational or target shooting purposes shall be conducted in such a manner as to ensure that projectiles do not leave the boundaries of the property or parcel upon which the shooting is occurring, unless permission to do so has been granted by the owner of the property or parcel upon which the projectile lands. A projectile leaving the boundaries of the property or parcel shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section” as provided in Attachment 1 to the December 11, 2019, Board of Supervisors Public Hearing Staff Report.

 

(10) comments

btm11

Was the private property from which the shots were fired used by permission of the owner or were the shooters trespassing? Property owners should be liable for any shots fired from their property with their permission. Trespassers participating in shooting from a property should collectively be guilty of a crime if any injury or damage occurs, irrespective of whose bullet did the damage.

LoCo Bob

If the Government did not have conclusive evidence identifying the shooter then why was this case prosecuted?

amerigirl

Agree, waste of taxpayers money. They should hold the property owner that allows people to shoot responsible and make them make reparations and do some time.

marv

I taught Fire Arm Safety and Marksmanship for 30 years, certifying thousands of students. A paramount rule was "make sure of your target and what's behind it", should you miss and always know where the round is going. Also, "keep your finger off the trigger until the instant your ready to fire".

CindyLou

Target shooting by land owners, it's a problem, but wow, what a big deal, maybe gun courses and working with people who like to shoot guns and target practice. Weird article. I am still wondering how a baby and mother can get run over by a driver texting in broad daylight and doesn't get arrested and didn't get much coverage over things like this. It's still a "good ole boys" network I guess.

More Cowbell

Guess they didn't recover the bullet? Or the gun used by another person in the group was MIA. As usual, most facts/research missing from article.

AFF

Nothing to see here. Just another responsible gun owner practicing his quick draw. It was only a graze- lady shouldn’t have gotten her knickers in such a knot.

Locojrt

I DO hope you being facetious ... 2nd Amendment "rights" should come with ramifications if your "rights" infringe on my "rights". This whole issue is NOT about 2nd Amendment or rights, it's about being responsible and using common sense! If someone shooting a gun lacks either of these, then ramifications need to happen. No matter what decisions are made, SOMEONE is going to be offended or stamp their feet. Not everyone can be made happy, deal with it. I'm not happy driving 70 mph to keep up with traffic flow on Rt 7 next to an idiot texting and using a laptop! If there are laws in place and no one does anything about it...then once again the lawyers make all the money filing lawsuits after someone gets hurt or dead. Welcome to 2020!

AFF

The First Amendment doesn’t apply to the Second Amendment. It’s my god given right to spray bullets wherever and whenever I want with whatever I want and you hate America if you try and say otherwise.

amerigirl

At least she wasn't shot in her knickers, or the back of the head like that 2 year old in Tenn.

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