Shooting Range Dismantled, But Still Legal

In the wake of the public furor, and after receiving offers of free membership from an established shooting range, Joey Carannante has dismantled his backyard shooting range.

Lakewood Estates residents launched an aggressive anti-range campaign last month after Carannante, of Granada Circle West, informed neighbors he had built a range in his back yard. A number of public officials also spoke out against such ranges, including St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and a spokesperson for the National Rifle Association. One neighbor began circulating a petition to ban backyard shooting ranges shortly after, saying, “My 21-year-old neighbor decided to erect a makeshift gun range in his front yard just feet away from where my children play and I was helpless to stop him.”

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 http://tinyurl.com/m9acnqg. It aims to get one million signatures.

Current law says shooting ranges are legal as long as paved roads and occupied buildings are not in their line of fire and as long as shooters don’t 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.

State lawmaker Darryl Rouson, however, is looking to tighten regulations on residential gun use. He filed a bill February 7 to ban discharging a firearm on any zoned residential property in Florida, excluding properties approved for hunting or where “a person is lawfully defending life or property or performing official duties.”

A petition update on change.org now states that Carannante is currently selling his gun range pallet pieces on eBay.

 

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