"Good fences make good neighbors," says poet Robert Frost in "The Mending Wall." Perhaps a good fence could have prevented problems for one Oklahoma City man and his neighbors.
Reports say Allan Mullins, 29, shared a driveway with his neighbors, but did not appear to be too happy about it. Children living next door say that on January 17, Mullins lined the driveway with nails in an effort to keep their family from driving and parking too far into his side of the driveway.
As the three children were outside trying to sweep the nails out of the driveway, they say, Mullins threatened them with a gun. A 12-year-old girl says that he approached them with a handgun, which he loaded in front of them. The girl says he racked the slide and told the children, "Come in my yard and see what happens."
The children's family called police to report the disturbance, but when police arrived, Mullins was no longer around. A judge issued a warrant for his arrest, and he was arrested later that month on three felony counts of pointing a firearm. This week, he was charged in Oklahoma County District Court.
There are two criminal laws in Oklahoma related to pointing a firearm at another person. One of those states that pointing a firearm is a misdemeanor; the other describes it as a felony.
According to 21 O.S. § 1279, "Except for an act of self-defense, it shall be unlawful for any person to point any pistol or any other deadly weapon whether loaded or not, at any other person or persons." Under this statute, pointing a pistol or weapon at another person or persons is a misdemeanor offense.
However, because most acts of pointing a firearm are done with the intent to threaten or intimidate, pointing a firearm is more commonly charged as a felony. Oklahoma law in 21 O.S. § 1289.16 reads as follows:
"It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully or without lawful cause point a shotgun, rifle or pistol, or any
, whether loaded or not, at any person or persons for the purpose of threatening or with the intention of discharging the firearm or with any malice or for any purpose of injuring, either through physical injury or mental or emotional intimidation or for purposes of whimsy, humor or prank, or in anger or otherwise . . ."
The law makes exceptions for lawful pointing of a firearm as part of one's duties in the military or law enforcement, in self-defense, or in the performance of a play or similar production.
The penalty for feloniously pointing a firearm is a sentence of one to 10 years in prison. Additionally, any person convicted under this law will have his or her handgun license revoked and will be subject to a fine of $1,000.