Florida Backyard Target Practice a Bulls-Eye for Some Critics

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Target practice is something Doug Varrieur does in his backyard in Big Pine Key. But up in Fort Lauderdale, gun owner Russ Rector says there is no way such target practice is safe. NBC 6’s Christina Hernandez reports. (Published Monday, Mar 3, 2014)

    Target practice is something Doug Varrieur does in his backyard in Big Pine Key.

    He keeps an eye out for people, and shelled out $600 on a backing behind his target to ensure safety – and it is all legal.

    "If you decide to do this, make sure you do it in a safe, non-negligent, non-reckless manner," Varrieur told the Miami Herald.

    But for one Fort Lauderdale gun owner, there is no way this kind of target practice is safe.

    "I wouldn't want him shooting this way and I'm sure he doesn’t want me shooting that way," Russ Rector said about his neighbor.

    Rector said just because it's legal doesn't mean it's right.

    "You don't want to fire an assault rifle in your backyard. At least I wouldn't,” he said. “Because you see a small backyard. Big gun."

    Building your own gun range in your backyard is OK – as long as you are not shooting over a road or residence and are not being negligent or reckless.

    "One thing about bullets, they can ricochet. If a bullet ricochets you have no control over it," Rector said. "It makes no sense to fire any weapon in a residential backyard."

    This past weekend in Texas, a 9-year-old girl was shot in the head. Her neighbor was doing target practice in his backyard when a bullet went through a fence, then a window – hitting her as she stood in the kitchen.

    Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan said, "This is one of the most irrational things I've ever seen."

    It's something the mayor of Sunrise does not want to see happen in his city. He's been fighting the state to change the law, and until then, he is powerless.

    "It's not about gun control. It's about safety and rationality," Ryan said. "What I'm hoping between now and when this gets solved, is that nobody else out there starts building a range because then we're really going to have a problem."

    Rector said he will not be pulling the trigger on this one.

    "You don't just shoot a weapon for fun. It's not a toy," Rector said. "It's a weapon, and it's designed to do one thing and one thing only – and that's not what you want to do in your backyard."