The house was hit 27 times by stray bullets and the owner was only awarded $175,000? If there's any miscarriage of justice anywhere in this case, this is it.
Some old ranges were never designed to really keep bullets from leaving. They were built in places where there was nuttin' behind the berm and used the empty space, they did not own or have control over, as their safety net. To ask folks that own that property and pay taxes on it, not to use it or make a profit off it, just for the sake of the range is ridiculous and pretty self serving. We have a small local Sportsman Club range like that close to me. It has a berm about ten feet high and is built parallel to a very busy state hi-way. You can easily see the traffic, less than 100 yards away thru the trees when the leaves are gone and the weeds have died off. 60 years ago when the range was constructed, the highway was not so busy. 60 years ago, the range's primary purpose was for trap shooting with the occasional member shooting 5 rounds the week before deer season to make sure his rifle was still on. These same members were very safety conscientious and their shooting deliberate. Move on to today and the huge increase in interest in the shooting sports. This range is open to the general public with a $20 range pass, that is not actively enforced. Folks will shoot thousands of rounds off in a days shooting. From what I have observed, many times these folks aren't experienced, not are they worried about safety. Two years ago because a coupla guys didn't want to wait for me to finish shooting my handguns, they set cans up on a snow bank and shot towards the highway at them using their brand new handguns that "needed" to be shot. When I said something about shooting towards the highway, their response was that they weren't shooting when they could see cars. Last time I was there a guy was sighting in his new rifle chambered in .50BMG. With every shot the FMJ rounds were throwin' dirt twenty feet into the air. I wondered how many of those rounds made it thru or ricocheted of the short narrow berm. While there is still coula miles of empty swamp land directly behind the berm, there are farms and other residences scattered off to the sides. The angle of the highway diminishes as distance increases also. When asked, neither of the folks in the two scenarios were members or had a range pass, even tho a pass is available at the bar next door. Being a member, I have brought the problems up at monthly meetings. But the club doesn't have the monies to combat the big changes, nor would the majority of the members want to. The majority of the members could care less if the handgun and rifle range get shut down, as long as they still have a place to shoot trap and play cards every Thursday night. But to me.....there is a tragedy waitin' to happen......and it won't take 27 rounds. While I am all for the shooting sports and enjoy them myself immensely, I also am concerned what happens to my rounds and the rounds of other folks, downrange. Blamin' folks for building on a empty lot is not the answer. It's one thing to know there is a range next door and you complain about the noise. But when stray bullets start hittin' your house because of a poorly designed range, it's not your fault.