Neighborhood gunfire? It might be legal
When Ryan Dietz heard gunfire from the wooded lot across the street from his Trillium Court home this week, he became concerned.
The plot of land sits in a neighborhood off Timberlane Road and is situated not far from Interstate 10, an elementary school and a cemetery.
体育在线365However, by state statute, the owners of the 17-acre property – Eve Haney and her family – may be enjoying some Second Amendment fun — legally.
体育在线365In fact Haney, a competitive sharpshooter, said she makes sure that target practice on her property is done safely.
体育在线365Dietz said he's worried not only for the safety of his 5- and 2-year-old children but for others in the area.
体育在线365“My concern is that this is a very densely packed area of the Tallahassee general area,” he said. “Even though it’s in a small peninsula of the county, a bullet from an assault rifle can travel 3 miles. Just one stray ricochet off a tree or rock can cause damage to anybody.”
One Sunday in late November, when Dietz last heard gunfire, he called the Leon County Sheriff’s Office. He’s done so three times in the three years he has lived in the neighborhood.
Deputies went to the property and spoke with someone whom Haney said was her nephew. Deputies found his shooting to be in compliance with the law and left.
Dietz isn't anti-gun. He spends time at the gun range taking target practice with rifles and shooting clay trap. But, he feels that going to the gun range is the place to shoot, not in the backyard.
“I do think it’s their right to have guns,” he said. “But to shoot them off that close to a neighborhood and with so little care is not right. I was shocked that someone was shooting back there.”
Haney’s father bought the plot of land in 1965. She has lived there her whole life.
The area where she and others shoot on the property is at the bottom of a steeply sloping ravine sliced by a creek.
She got into competition shooting six years ago and most recently was featured on a CBS Evening News segment in October about the growing number of women getting involved with shooting sports.
Shooting on the property might not violate state law nor does it violate the county’s noise ordinances.
体育在线365LCSO Lt. Grady Jordan said investigators are doing follow up after this week’s report to determine the legality of shooting on the property.
State statutes bar firing weapons in a primarily residential area with a density of one or more dwelling per acre.
“It lends some interpretation of the statute,” Jordan said.
Within the city of Tallahassee, discharging a firearm is only allowed on parcels of land 5 acres or larger zoned only for agricultural use, according to municipal codes.
体育在线365But more importantly, Haney said, it is being done safely in a controlled way.
体育在线365“We’re extremely concerned with gun safety and we shoot in a very safe manner and in a safe direction,” she said. “There is no danger to anyone.”
She said LCSO has been to the property several times to speak about shooting and she has even taken strides to tell them when she has an afternoon of target practice planned.
She has been told before that it is legal to target shoot on her land. She shoots into a natural embankment and away from her neighbors’ houses. She also tries to avoid shooting in the morning so as not to disturb anyone.
“We enjoy our Second Amendment rights. We enjoy target shooting and it’s done in a safe manner,” Haney said, adding that she would love to meet with her neighbors to help waylay any concerns they have. “I wouldn’t put anybody in harm’s way. If my neighbors want to come and learn, I’d be happy to show them.”
Contact Karl Etters at firstname.lastname@example.org or @KarlEtters on Twitter.