No Charges Filed Against Cessna Machine Gunners

Earlier we posted about Mark Serbu, his daughter Val, and a YouTuber called Dan shooting an MP5 from a Cessna circling above the Gulf of Mexico. The new stories let on that the police had been called by one of the wet blankets that help run the Peter O. Knight airport prompting a full investigation by the FAA as well as a cursory investigation by the Tampa Police.

For those of you that missed the initial round of coverage, Mark Serbu loaded his Cessna up with his daughter Val as well as YouTuber Do It With Dan. They took off from Tampa and flew out over the gulf before settling on a random bit of ocean to dump some 9mm into. No word on how much ammo they ran through during their aerial target practice session, but I would imagine it was several hundred rounds.

The FAA has issued a statement about the investigation saying “We were unable determine that any Federal Aviation Regulations were violated. If new information becomes available, we will reopen the inquiry,” and has filed no charges, Tampa police also closed the investigation saying that no one called the police during the gunfire, therefore no one must have been put in danger.

Check out the video on Do It With Dan‘s YouTube channel:

While you are at it, you should probably check out 50 Cal Val’s channel, she seems to talk about cats, guns, and video games. You can also check out the Serbu Firearms website to see what they are building now or Mark Serbu’s YouTube channel.

Patrick R

Patrick is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and TFBTV Host. He likes guns and has liked shooting guns for as long as he can remember. You can follow Patrick on Instagram @tfbpatrick, Facebook, or contact him by email at

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Swarf

    What law would they have been breaking?

    What a waste of resources and human energy to even investigate this.

    • ostiariusalpha

      If, for whatever reason, they had found out the Serbus had been taking potshots at Mexican fishermen or whales, etc., then there would have been legal repercussions.

      • john huscio

        What would mexican fishermen be doing that close to FL?

        • Rick O’Shay

          Probably more like Mexican “fishermen…” as in cartel drug runners. Or boaters? Submariners?

        • ostiariusalpha

          Mark, Dan, & Val went well out past the coast, with the implication that it was international waters, so it wouldn’t be any big surprise to see Mexican registered ships out there, even of the innocent, harmless variety.

          • Anonymoose

            If they went into international waters they would have legal problems bringing NFA items back to land.

          • ostiariusalpha

            You can sail or fly a legally owned NFA item over international waters no problem, it’s not considered exporting. If you fly from Texas to Florida, there’s no law prohibiting that.

          • Anonymoose

            Oh, I thought there was. Nevermind then.

          • Gregory Markle

            While it is true that you have only exported an NFA firearm if it actually enters another country, there is a law prohibiting flying from Texas to Florida with an NFA item. In this case if the firearm was registered on a Form 2 or 3 under Mark’s FFL it would be transportable interstate without any issues but if it was a personally owned firearm registered on a Form 4 it would not be legal without an approved Form 20 (a dealer’s FFL affords no special privileges to personally owned NFA items.)

    • USMC03Vet

      Anything to distract from the current plague of illegal invaders killing and raping the citizenry.

      • SP mclaughlin

        This is bait.

        • Paul Rain

          Убей себя

        • USMC03Vet

          Sadly it’s reality.

          • SP mclaughlin

            If you mean refugees from Africa/Middle East, then yeah that has some merit.

      • Swarf

        What?! Where?

    • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

      A gun was involved in doing something interesting and fun.

      A law HAD to have been broken.

      That’s how these people think.

      Or put even more simply: Someone’s doing something I don’t like! That has to be illegal! And if it’s not, it should be!

  • EdgyTrumpet

    I might be a little slow on this, but when has TFB turned into a gossip website?

    • Phillip Cooper

      About the time they cashed in and sold it.

  • C. Her

    If it pleases the Crown for a citizen to have fun with personal toys in the middle of no where.

  • SJB

    A bit of silliness, but I bet it was fun.

  • Ebby123


  • Nicks87

    “Pseudo gun celebrities avoid prosecution for not committing crime”. Is TFB turning into The Daily Mail or what?

    • Russ

      Hey, at least they didn’t make it “BREAKING” this time.

    • Paul Rain

      Must have been a reference to TFB figures that aren’t James’s guns.

  • John

    So this is what he’s doing instead of working on his SU-15?

  • Major Tom

    He should sue the FAA, the airport and the Tampa PD for wasting everyone’s time.

    • Anonymoose

      If they actually did press some charges.

    • A.WChuck

      Ah, no. They are required to investigate, so they did and found no evidence of wrong doing.

      • PersonCommenting

        The investigation consisted of Jim asking Bob if anything was done wrong and Bob saying “No, case closed”

      • Major Tom

        They have discretion whether or not to investigate at all, same goes for Tampa PD.

        A call saying “Somebody was boasting about how he was shooting a machine gun from an airplane!” is subject to discretion. In the absence of initial evidence such as a given (populated) location, or somebody being harmed, it’s an obvious discretionary call not to investigate unless evidence exists that a law was in fact being broken.

        A simple investigation can ruin someone’s life and reputation even when ultimately cleared of wrongdoing. It’s wastes of time and abuses of due process like that which is the problem.

    • John

      The FAA has declined to press charges at this time.

      Translation: “do it again and we’ll drop the hammer on you.”

      • PistolPete037

        Drop what hammer? The worst that the FAA could do is revoke his pilot’s certificate, but he didn’t break any FARs. He didn’t endanger anyone in the air or on the ground by doing this so he didn’t break FAR 91.13 or 91.15.

        The TSA can get angry all they want about this, but because he was flying an aircraft with a MTOW of less than 12,500 lbs from a general aviation terminal they have no jurisdiction.

        Local law enforcement can’t charge him with anything unless he broke a law while on the ground or endangered the life of someone on the ground in their jurisdiction.

        And all of this is moot because the thing that everyone is so up in arms about – shooting a gun out of an airplane – took place over international waters and outside of federal airspace.

        • sauerquint

          I would think that his various permits and licenses would be at risk. They don’t really have to prosecute him, just make his paperwork a problem for him in the future.

          Bureaucracies can create problems for him that his business depend on.

  • derpmaster

    If you can shoot pigs from a helicopter, I don’t see why you can’t shoot a 9mm from a cessna.

    Only thing I can possibly think of is that they probably took an NFA item out into international waters. But I have no idea how maritime/FAA law works regarding Class 3 stuff.

    • Eurk Burkell

      On ships you have to be compliant with the law where you come from. No one outside your home country knows what this is anyway, though when you are in port you can come under local laws according to some local opinions. They are companies that specialize in providing weapons at sea to crews whose home countries don’t allow them.

  • Anonymoose

    Sounds pretty fun, like playing Contra but in real life and with less helicopter rides.

    • El Duderino

      I need to find me a cheat code that allows me to have full auto. And unlimited ammo.

      I’m too old to become a Navy SEAL, and the USMC doesn’t want me back.

  • Pete Sheppard

    Dropping or firing objects from an airplane is ONLY a violation when carried out near populated areas, which a patch of open ocean is not.

  • Looks like a hell of a lot of fun.
    Also, Val is adorable.

  • DanGoodShot

    More of the anti-gun crowed throwing bologna and cheese against the wall hoping some of it will stick. My question to you TFB, why even report on crap like this. Don’t help bring more attention to the anti-gun crowd’s cause.

    • PersonCommenting

      Eh its good to stay informed so we know how to answer or know what is going on. I mean how many antis even know about this website and follow it. Yeah I see the occasional anti come on here and comment but it is still rare. Then again I go read the huffpost and daily caller for some reason so who knows…

      • DanGoodShot

        Yeah, I thought about it after I put the comment. Its not so much the story but how it came across. I guess it would jave been better if there wasn’t so much emphasis on the possibility of legal ramifications. Instead focused of how much of a jackass charge and waste of the time and taxpayer money. I read huffpuff too. It’s good to know how they think so you can be prepared if a discussion/debate comes up. I’m sure they look through websites like this for the same reasons. I know they do. My douchy brother is one.

  • Wang Chung Tonight
  • PersonCommenting

    The only laws I could see them breaking would be state laws concerning firing from vehicles which I know some states have. I will say I dont know if those laws apply to aircraft. Not sure if state can make laws concerning aircraft.

    • Ben Bushong

      And once they leave the state, those state laws don’t apply to them.

      • PersonCommenting

        Im guessing they went outside flordias ocean state line. When I was in the Keys the state had their own boats and LEOs. Not sure what agency but they had them. Doesnt state lines go out 10 miles on to water or something like that.

  • Zapp Brannigan

    Stupid actions like this need to be roundly condemned by those who want to keep their Second Amendment rights. Idiocy like this is what pushes people who are on the fence about the Second Amendment into the anti-Second Amendment camp.

    • Major Tom

      No it isn’t.

    • Paul Rain

      قتل نفسك

  • The_Champ

    Any pilots here that can comment about the safety issues of numerous loose pieces of brass free to float around the cockpit? Just curious.

    • .45

      My step father is a flight instructer. From what I gather from random conversations, the main concern, barring any truly unlikely events like a casing winding up caught in the base of a control lever or somehow impeding a petal, would simply be that they could hit passengers or damage something if the pilot decided to get a little crazy with barrel rolls and such. Reminds me of a story he had where he took a plane upside down or something like that and damaged an unsecured camera that bounced off the ceiling.

      • FarmerB

        Cessnas don’t fly upside down or do barrel rolls.

        • Bill

          Um, that she read “supposed” to..,.

          • FarmerB

            Sorry? I didn’t mean to say Cessnas are “not supposed to” do that stuff, the words used were “don’t do”.
            If the plane still has wings attached, you didn’t do it 🙂

  • Red State

    Must be pretty hard up for entertainment. Glad they didn’t shoot themselves down.

  • Dindo

    I would please to join the “Mile High Club” with 50 Cal Val’s assistance. Her dad can video us if he wants!

  • Capn Jack

    Oh ! But the lead contamination of the water…..Horror of horrors..Maybe a fishie got kilt.

  • Some Rabbit

    The FAA forbids firing weapons or dropping objects from aircraft over populated areas. Same with low altitude passes. So many pilots make low altitude runs over open water just for kicks. You really get a sense of the speed close to the ground.

  • Zapp Brannigan

    You are equating what is being shown in this video to target shooting? Really?

    • roguetechie

      Since the second amendment has nothing to do with target shooting… No, that’s not at all what I’m doing… Keep digging

  • Joe Schmo

    They didn’t break any laws, and they shouldn’t face any serious public backlash… But I really don’t like any of these people. See TFBTV’s SHOT Show coverage with RoyalNoneSuch and Serbu, where the girl flags Royal in the face and proceeds to make it seem like its nothing to worry about.