California Penal Code 247(a) PC is the state law making it a crime to deliberately shoot a gun at an unoccupied airplane or helicopter. Violating PC 247(a) is a felony carrying 16 months, two years, or three years in prison.
The statute reads as follows:
247(a). Any person who willfully and maliciously discharges a firearm at an unoccupied aircraft is guilty of a felony.
As used in this section and Section 246 “aircraft” means any contrivance intended for and capable of transporting persons through the airspace.
California Penal Code 247(a) PC makes it a crime to willfully and maliciously shoot a gun at an unoccupied aircraft. An aircraft is any device capable of transporting people through the air, such as an airplane or a helicopter.
Example: Jonah just bought a new pistol in Los Angeles. To test it out, he shoots at an empty helicopter in a private airfield. Even though no one got hurt, Jonah could be arrested for violating PC 247(a) by shooting at an unoccupied aircraft.
Willfully and maliciously firing at an unoccupied aircraft is always a felony. Penalties include a California State Prison sentence of:
- 16 months,
- 2 years, or
- 3 years.
In addition, the court can impose a $10,000 fine.1
See our related article shooting at an unoccupied motor vehicle, uninhabited building/dwelling (PC 247(b)).
- California Penal Code 247(a) PC – Discharge of firearm at unoccupied aircraft or motor vehicle or at uninhabited building or dwelling house.