Last February, the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board wrote an op-ed about backyard gun ranges being legal in Florida. That’s right–you can build a gun range in your own yard in the state of Florida and nobody can stop you! And it doesn’t matter whether you live in a thickly settled area or not. Local governments can’t do a damn thing about it!
Sun Sentinel Editorial Board:
That’s right. Florida law allows people to build and maintain shooting ranges in their backyards. And unless an owner becomes negligent or reckless, there’s nothing a neighbor can do.
* There’s no restriction on the type of firearms or ammunition that can be used in a backyard shooting range.
* There’s no restriction on the time of day or night your neighbors can use their gun range.
* And there’s no restriction on gun ranges near a public school, day-care center or neighborhood playground. Talk about the need for duck-and-cover lessons.
Daily Kos writer pajoly wrote about a neighbor of his son’s best friend having recently built a shooting range in his front yard.
My son is 9. His best friend is 10 and that little boy has a 7 year old little sister. My son loves playing at their house. These are no computer game kids. They have a tree fort, rope ladders, tree swings and even a zip line. It is perfect place for the sort of innocent, creative, and active outdoor play I enjoyed as kid so many years ago. There’s just one problem:
The outdoor “gun range” next door. That’s right, the homeowner behind their property has decided his front yard, which is 8 feet from my friend’s back yard property line and a few houses away from mine, is the perfect spot for a gun range. This is a residential neighborhood in the city limits of Saint Petersburg, Florida. The lots are as small at 1/4 acre. A gun range. With real guns. With real bullets.
On Sunday, WFLA reported that Lakewood Estates, the Saint Petersburg’s neighborhood where this front-yard shooting range was built, “is filled with families and children. On any given day, you’ll see kids climbing trees and playing on swing sets.”
Melanie Michael (WFLA) said that the residential gun range does not “sit well” with neighbors. One neighbor, Patrick Leary, said, “I don’t know if this idiot is going to start popping off rounds. I’m furious.”
Moms and dads are extremely upset after their 21-year-old neighbor, Joseph Carannate, told them he built a homemade gun range.
“I don’t want to hurt myself or any neighbors. I don’t want to hurt anybody. I just want to use this as my enjoyment,” Carannate told News Channel 8. “I don’t want to have to go to a gun range, when I can just go outside my door.”
Michael said, “…Carannate wants to fire his 9mm in his St. Petersburg yard, which happens to be just feet away from children.” She added that the St. Petersburg Police said that he’s legally allowed to do it.
Evidently, the homeowner’s association president isn’t happy about a gun range in the neighborhood. “In an email to the community, he wrote that the crazy neighbor with the gun range in his front yard isn’t just your ordinary, run-of-the-mill gun guy.”
Crooks and Liars:
This is not a “back yard” gun range. It’s an amateur and reckless set-up in which a man has to stand in his front yard and fire toward his house (and therefore at the house behind him), at a pile of sand held together with an old wooden palette.
The pile of sand is 8′ from a neighbor’s property where small children live and about 20′ feet from the children’s bedroom windows.
The owner of this house has arrests for DUI, cocaine and hydrocodone, and has had 2 domestic violence cases filed against him. His son has announced he is coming to the house with a “variety of guns,” including an assault rifle.
Karoli of Crook and Liars said that shooting an assault rifle in a neighborhood with little kids didn’t seem like such a good idea. Karoli wrote: “That doesn’t seem like a very smart thing to do but in Florida you don’t have to be smart, just armed.”
The Sun Sentinel Editorial Board explained how the state of Florida came to such a pretty pass:
The law allowing home gun ranges has been on the books for 27 years. However, as local governments began passing ordinances that banned them, the National Rifle Association convinced state lawmakers in 2011 to fight back. Now, local leaders who create restrictive ordinances face fines of $5,000 per offense. They can even be removed from office and forced to pay their own legal fees if sued over a gun ordinance.
Ah, the NRA. Gotta admire an organization that’s always looking out for the rights of gun lovers. Who cares how many children’s lives may be put in harm’s way by gun nuts who build shooting ranges just feet away from neighbor’s homes, schools, or daycare centers???
Gun ranges in residential neighborhoods in Florida are legal? You gotta be kidding me!!!!!
Florida Ammosexual Builds Homemade Shooting Range In His Front Yard (Crooks and Liars)
Hear local leaders on backyard gun ranges (Sun Sentinel)