Residential Shooting Ranges: Good Idea or Accident Waiting to Happen?

Some call it a loophole, others a permissive policy, but according to Florida Statute 790.15, one can discharge a firearm in a residential area so long as the pathway of the projectile does not cross any paved public road, highway, street or any occupied premises. In other words, one can set up one’s own private shooting range in one’s yard.

Obviously, this raises the question: just because you can put a gun range in your backyard, should you?

That’s probably the question one should direct at Joey Carannante, a St. Petersburg resident who recently constructed a range in his front yard in the Lakewood Estates neighborhood. Needless to say, Carannante has the neighborhood in quite a tizzy.

“I don’t know if this idiot is gonna start popping off rounds,” neighbor Patrick Leary told WFLA. “You heard him say, ‘Oh, I’ll tell the neighbors when I’m getting ready to fire,’ — what, then we call gather our children and then we hide in a safe room or something ridiculous? Come on.”

County Commissioner Ken Welch, also a neighbor of Carannante, added, “Even to the most pro-gun person to have a gun range in the middle of a residential neighborhood makes no sense whatsoever. So I’m hoping we can get to some common ground and some common sense.”

Well, what are your thoughts on this situation? Is Carannante acting like a fool? Does Florida need to rewrite the law?

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • tweedmus August 24, 2017, 8:52 am

    As public ranges continue to disappear, this may be the only way to acquire a place to shoot. However, pissing off you neighbors is never a good idea; safety and noise control have to be uppermost in any attempt to do this. A sufficient and well maintained berm and an enclosed firing line are essential basics.

  • Mario Trentanelli May 19, 2017, 10:59 am

    This presents a similar problem to open-carry of firearms: One can be as safe as the day is long, but it’s exceedingly troublesome for around you. Think of it like smoking in public: While over 90% of non-smokers were never subject to any epidemiological effects, yet the psychological effect of public smoking was more than enough to get it banned. Try putting a trampoline or swing-set in your front, and then get ready for all the lawsuits from neighbors with children. In other words, unless you can afford at least a $10 million insurance-rider on your property, building a public nuisance is NOT a great idea!

  • Jay May 19, 2017, 5:44 am

    Misreading the statute. Reckless, negligent and foreseeable risk of harm control for discharge in residential area all of which may apply in the described situation.

  • Richard McIntyre March 4, 2017, 6:44 am

    I live in Florida in a golf club community where according to the statute some of us could set up a range. Is it a good idea? Not in my opinion. My default on doing this would be noise and visual related. Will the noise bother my neighbors? If yes then don’t do it. Would someone be able to see me standing outside while shooting? If yes then don’t do it. Common courtesy would be a guiding principle. However if I lived on a 2 acre parcel I would be thrilled to be able to shoot on my property. Fortunately there are enough agricultural properties near by where the owners are happy to “lease” some of us space to shoot as long as we keep the area clean and safe.

  • don waters December 30, 2016, 5:28 pm

    The city closed down a great public range in St Petersburg, the St Pete Police pistol range. It was open to everyone and was fantastic! Now you have to go to shoot straight, which is an absolute horrible and expensive experience. The range just sits there vacant. My lifetime membership to it is totally worthless! The city of Clearwater shut down 2 great public ranges also.

    There is a beautiful state of the art shooting range at the city dump, our tax dollars built it, but it is for Police and Deputies only, no public allowed. So it sits vacant and unused 90 percent of the time.

    So I say shoot were ever it is legal if the city keeps closing down ranges.

  • John February 3, 2015, 7:35 pm

    IT’S ASHAME THAT YOU CAN’T OUTLAW STUPID. All this will do is cause overreaction and new more restrictive laws.

  • Slim February 3, 2015, 5:21 pm

    If he would have kept his mouth shut and put up a private fence and only shot silenced BB guns or silenced 22lr during daylight hours in his backyard he may have got away with it. Why did he set it up in the front yard obviously to get attention we’ll sir you got it now everybody knows how crazy you are. I hope you can live with that for the rest of your life.

  • John February 3, 2015, 4:42 pm

    Yes, acting like a fool. This will result in a new law that will probably over compensate for what should be sound judgement. You “can” drive a car with your feet, but that don’t make it a good idea.

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