Neighbors Protest Residential Gun Range

A St. Petersburg resident has begun circulating a petition to ban backyard shooting ranges after a neighbor built a range some 50 feet from where his children play.

The petition, started by Patrick Leary of the Lakewood Estates neighborhood, asks the Florida Legislature and the governor to “prohibit by law the creation or use of outdoor gun ranges in all land zoned primarily for residential use and within 500 feet from any occupied dwelling ….” The petition can be accessed at tinyurl.com/m9acnqg. It aims to get 1 million signatures.

Current law says shooting ranges are legal so long as paved roads and occupied buildings are not in their line of fire and shooters do not act negligently or recklessly. The law gives the state exclusive jurisdiction over gun-control and has harsh penalties for local officials who attempt to regulate gun use.

Lakewood Estates residents launched an aggressive anti-range campaign last week after Joey Carannante of Granada Circle West informed neighbors he had built a range in his back yard. A number of public officials also spoke against such ranges, including St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and a spokesperson for the National Rifle Association.

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