Guns
1:24 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Mayors' Hands Tied When It Comes To Backyard Gun Ranges

Credit Bar Jack/Flickr

On Monday, Sunrise Mayor Mike Ryan released a series of letters between him, Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi, in which he questions the logic of a state law preventing municipalities from implementing their own gun controls.

In response to gun owners' ability to set up backyard shooting ranges, he asks if the state would exercise its authority in punishing any official who passes or enforces local gun regulations. Officials who do would face removal from office and up to $5,000 in fines.

“We’re not looking to stop the ability to construct outdoor target shooting throughout the state,” says Ryan. “In a dense residential urban environment there simply is no way to construct a firearm target range in a backyard that can be done safely over time."

But gun owner Richard Durden says regulating these ranges on a community to community basis is not the solution.

“You end up having this kind of jigsaw puzzle of rules and regulations,” says Durden. “The state can make a law addressing this issue. I have no problem with regulation of backyard gun ranges but what I’m not ok with is them making laws to prevent the practice of backyard gun ranges all together."

The Attorney General's office responded to Ryan’s letters saying there are open cases challenging the law and would remain silent until the courts had spoken.

Hear reporter Wilson Sayre's interview.