Most jurisdictions in this country have adopted the rule of Rylands to impose strict liability on owners and users of land for harm resulting from abnormally dangerous conditions and activities.
Miller v. Civil Constructors, Inc.
Plaintiff was injured when a bullet hit him after ricocheting from a nearby gravel pit where some police officers were practicing with their firearms.
Circuit court dismissed plaintiff's strict liability counts.
Is firearm practice an ultrahazardous activity?
- Page 747, Paragraph 3
See Also:Rylands v. Fletcher
- Page 748, Top
Section 520 of the Restatement sets forth several factors which we will consider in determining whether an activity is abnormally dangerous (ultrahazardous): "
- existence of a high degree of risk of some harm to the person, land or chattels of others;
- likelihood that the harm that results from it will be great;
- inability to eliminate the risk by the exercise of reasonable care;
- extent to which the activity is not a matter of common usage;
- inappropriateness of the activity to the place where it is carried on; and
- extent to which its value to the community is outweighed by its dangerous attributes."
Reasonable care will virtually eliminate the risk of firearm use.
Guns are commonly used and have no inherent danger. All danger of firearms comes from the misuse of their users.
It is assumed that a gravel pit is a safe place to practice with firearms as it has not been alleged otherwise.
Law enforcement officers practicing their weapon handling skills benefits community.
No, firearm practice is not an abnormally dangerous activity. Affirmed.