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Discharge of firearms, A254 Revised Penal Code

1. Concept and legal basis

Article 254. Discharge of firearms. – Any person who shall shoot at another with any firearm shall suffer the penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods, unless the facts of the case are such that the act can be held to constitute frustrated or attempted parricide, murder, homicide or any other crime for which a higher penalty is prescribed by any of the articles of this Code. (Act 3815, Revised Penal Code)

2. Elements of the offense

Elements of the offense:

1) That the offender discharges a firearm against or at another person; and,

2) That the offender has no intention to kill that person. (Dado v. People, G.R. No. 131421, 18 November 2002)

a. Discharges a firearm against or at another person

The discharge of the firearm should be against or at another person. The discharge of firearm is against another person if the offender is pointing the gun towards the other person who was looking at the accused. The discharge of firearm is at another person if the other person was not looking at the accused, such as his back was turned or the other person’s attention was somewhere else other than the accused.

Thus, the discharge of firearm to another direction, such as to the sky or the ground, is not covered by this offense. However, such a discharge in another direction may constitute a different offense or violation.

b. No intent to kill

To commit the offense of discharge of firearms, the accused should have no intent to kill. This means that the discharge of firearm was for another reason other than to kill, such as a warning shot or to scare the other person.

Otherwise, if there was intent to kill by the accused, then it may constitute as a different offense, such as homicide or murder, depending on the circumstances.

References

Title 8 – Crimes Against Persons, Book 2, Revised Penal Code

/Updated: January 18, 2023

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