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Old June 25, 2013, 11:57 PM   #1
BarryLee
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Stray Bullets From Range Hit Home

The Caldwell family of Carrollton, GA was awarded a judgment against Advanced Bullets Gun Range after claiming that over a ten year period 27 stray bullets hit their home. Apparently the Jury agreed awarding the family $175,000 the Judge also ordered the range closed until the NRA can conduct a safety review and make recommendations to the court. The family reports that they spoke to the range owners, but the problem continued.

So, sort of hard to believe this problem could continue without the range owners taking some action. I’m curious what the specifics are and if members/customer were violating some procedure that contributed to the problem. Either way I guess it shows the need for responsible range management, liability insurance and a good backstop. Also, it is nice to see the NRA getting a little good press, but the negative image the range appears to be presenting probably outweighs that.

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local...range-b/nYT7p/

http://www.advancedbullets.com/
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Old June 26, 2013, 12:10 AM   #2
JimmyR
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While 27 bullets over 10 years doesn't sound like much, it really only takes one. I guess the range owners felt that 2-3 stray bullets a year wasn't enough to worry about, IF the family was telling thr truth. I guess the range learned differently.

Rule 4 might just apply here...
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Old June 26, 2013, 01:54 AM   #3
5.56RifleGuy
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I wonder when the range went in and when the house was built.
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Old June 26, 2013, 03:19 AM   #4
WNY_Whitetailer
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Re: Stray Bullets From Range Hit Home

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5.56RifleGuy View Post
I wonder when the range went in and when the house was built.
Whether the house was built before the range was set up or after, it doesn't really matter. Fired rounds should never leave the range...
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Old June 26, 2013, 03:48 AM   #5
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I was once helping another person check out a range with the idea of adding on an "Action Pistol" range, and trying to figure out where on the property to put it. In going behind the pistol berm which was quite tall, I was surprised to fiind many bullets all over the ground. Luckily it is quite a ways to the first house there, but the potential was there for real problems, and needless to say the Action Pistol range was finally placed in another location. From the close proximity to the berm of most of the bullets, I would guess maybe richochets that went pretty vertical?

Last edited by Old Stony; June 26, 2013 at 03:53 AM.
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Old June 26, 2013, 05:36 AM   #6
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If there's stuff behind the range, Murphy's law dictates bullets will hit it at some point.

There's uninhabited land for miles behind the range where I shoot.
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Old June 26, 2013, 05:45 AM   #7
Mike Irwin
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Some years ago here in Virginia a homeowner was trying to force the Issac Walton League ranges to close. It had been there for many years, the houses were new.

Shereported that a bullet had come through her living room window and narrowly missed hitting her.

Police investigated and found that she had apparently dug a bullet out of the ground and used a slingshot to fire it through her window.

She didn't get her wish of closing down the range.
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Old June 26, 2013, 07:40 AM   #8
NoSecondBest
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Quote:
Whether the house was built before the range was set up or after, it doesn't really matter. Fired rounds should never leave the range...
You are 100% correct. It doesn't matter if the stray bullets are hitting a house, a car, a pedestrian, or what ever. They should NEVER leave the range.
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Old June 26, 2013, 07:40 AM   #9
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We had an outdoor range on Hillsborough Ave. in Tampa, Fl. some years ago when it was the only thing around that area. The next thing you know subdivisions were built up all around it and poof, no more range. Residents complained of stray bullets from the range they built a house next to and they win. Amazing. Why does shooting seem to be a constant battle with one thing or another?
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Old June 26, 2013, 08:32 AM   #10
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They are pushing to get a range near my families property in WI closed. It is mainly used by LEO's or private training companies and the chief complaint besides noise is that when LEO's shoot steel targets you actually end up with fragments(not whole rounds but small fragments) landing close to nearby homes.

I don't know how you fix that little issue.


I don’t understand how the backstop isint high enough to stop this, I guess now I see why so many outdoor ranges require at least one RSO around at all times.
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Old June 26, 2013, 08:49 AM   #11
deepcreek
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I lived by a range on the Nth side of Boulder, CO(many anti gunners.) The gun range is old.. older then all the 90s condos and custom homes. They were always calling the police with false reports of bullets wizzing by, chips in windows, reports of "machine gun fire".

It is kind of funny because some people really don,t have a clue and call in about their house getting shot from "stray bullet" and they will be 5-7 miles away.

I have never heard of one that turned out to be true, but they keep calling and keep trying to get the range shut down.
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Old June 26, 2013, 09:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WNY_Whitetailer
Whether the house was built before the range was set up or after, it doesn't really matter. Fired rounds should never leave the range...
While I wholeheartedly agree that fired rounds should never leave the range, from a legal liability perspective, "which came first" can matter very much. If the house was built after the range, the range and insurer could argue that the homeowner assumed the risk of stray bullets by building there with full knowlede of the range's existence.
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Old June 26, 2013, 09:07 AM   #13
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People don't like the noise, and try to shut these places down after they move in, knowing that the range, and noise was there prior to their home. Same thing has been happening to small airports for decades due to urban sprawl.

They use perceived "danger" from bullets to make the argument when the real reason is noise.
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Old June 26, 2013, 09:27 AM   #14
spanishjames
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That house was shot up with way too many holes. I can understand one stray in ten years, but the news video showed bullet holes throughout the house. Passed through walls and everything. The range had to do something to prevent that.
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Old June 26, 2013, 09:41 AM   #15
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I agree, something was wrong with the design of that range, most likely the berms were not high enough or wide enough. The home appeared to receive direct hits, which means these were not mere ricochets. If the berms were high enough, you might get an occasional ricochet that falls to the ground or roof, but not direct hits. Something was wrong here.
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Old June 26, 2013, 09:42 AM   #16
deepcreek
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I was looking at google maps
35 Spruill Bridge Road Temple, GA 30179

I think they are the first place off of Spruill Bridge Road, right behind the gun range berm and off to the side of it. . A trailer house to top it off.

Building codes must be pretty no existent in those parts.
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Old June 26, 2013, 11:04 AM   #17
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The berms need to be higher. Yet, it still seems odd to me that the berms line up along a paved road (I'm assuming that's the case). I've never seen that before.
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Old June 26, 2013, 11:42 AM   #18
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Bullets sometimes leave well constructed firing ranges because shooters and range staff are not attentive to basics. IME: Guys fire weapons that are not sighted in: The bullet hits the ground well short of the berm, ricochets and goes zinging over the berm.

Example: The berm of the former private weapons range at Ft. Sill was the wide base of a 200 foot high hill at about 110 meters from the firing line. Muzzleloader bullets were impacting the ground short of the 50 meter line. Those bullets were going over that 200 foot hill and hitting a parking lot, buildiings and autos. The range was closed.

Last edited by thallub; June 26, 2013 at 11:49 AM.
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Old June 26, 2013, 11:50 AM   #19
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Punisher_1
...Why does shooting seem to be a constant battle with one thing or another?
This really isn't about shooting. It's about a basic legal principle of very broad application. It is usually thought to derive from the 1868 ruling by the British House of Lords (which is the British equivalent of our SCOTUS) in the case of Rylands v. Fletcher (BAILII Citation Number: [1868] UKHL 1):
Quote:
... The same result is arrived at on the principles referred to by Mr. Justice Blackburn in his judgment, in the Court of Exchequer Chamber, where he states the opinion of that Court as to the law in these words: "We think that the true rule of law is, that the person who, for his own purposes, brings on his land and collects and keeps there anything likely to do mischief if it escapes, must keep it in at his peril; and if he does not do so, is primâ facie answerable for all the damage which is the natural consequence of its escape. ..."...
In other words, in general if you engage in potentially dangerous activities on your property which could harm your neighbors, you are responsible if those activities do harm your neighbors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepcreek
....some people ...call in about their house getting shot from "stray bullet" ....

I have never heard of one that turned out to be true, but they keep calling and keep trying to get the range shut down.
Sometimes claims are bogus.

Here there was apparently a trial and the claims were determined to be genuine.
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Old June 26, 2013, 12:10 PM   #20
RickB
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The range to which I belonged was closed for a year, after a bullet was found near a broken window in a business park built downrange of the club.
It was interesting to tour the business park, which was the only construction for hundreds of yards in either direction, but directly downrange of the club; was that particular lot cheaper than those up or down the road, because it was downrange of the club?
I agree that there's no excuse for rounds getting out of the range, but I also thought that a broken window and a bullet was insufficient evidence. I would have liked to go on the roofs of the buildings, to see if any bullets landed there?
An analysis of the bullet showed no glass on it, and I figured someone hit the window with a hammer and dropped the bullet nearby.
Local news broadcast from another neighbor of the range, who'd found a "bullet" in her yard. The reporter and the neighbor looked sort of silly, holding a live cartridge.
The range did eventually reopen, but with sufficient restrictions that they could no longer host USPSA or IDPA, which was the reason I'd joined.
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Old June 26, 2013, 12:15 PM   #21
Jim Watson
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Our 35 year old range was shut down a couple of months ago on the basis of noise complaints from a nearby residential development about 10 years old, and a protest from a real estate saleswoman (on the city council) who complained that she could not sell a house so near a firing range.
There was no claim of overhead fire, just noise that "frightened an old woman so badly that she fell out of her rocking chair," and that "the children in the neighborhood ran and hid when the shooting started." Right.

It was on city property which they had let the club use and develop without charge but without lease or deed. So we had no recourse to the Range Protection Act that has kept another range in operation over the schemes of a greedy developer.

So the club sold lifetime memberships and increased regular dues to raise money and has bought rural land which is being graded for a new range. So the members now gripe about having to drive 15 miles farther to shoot.
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Old June 26, 2013, 12:57 PM   #22
Skans
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That's the risk you run by having a shooting range on public lands. Politicians will shut it down when some loud-mouth starts to complain about noise, etc. Still, there is no excuse for bullets fly outside of the 4-corners of the property designated as a shooting range.
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Old June 26, 2013, 01:36 PM   #23
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Suburban commando this aint and shouldnt be.While "what came first" should not and is not a good argument if rounds start hitting your home, I am sorry but you should have no rights to kvetch about noise if you buy or build a home near a firing range.

If you didn't know, oh freaking well.

That is like people who complain about noise from O'hare when the buy a home under the landing pattern. I live near a small airport and I got my condo 20-30K cheaper than comperable units not near the small airport.


I hate it when a new development gets put in then suddenly they expect the world around them to change and everything to turn into suburbia. That is what's slowly happening around my Wisconsin property, quality of life is being sold out for tax base and the greed of politicians.
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Old June 26, 2013, 02:25 PM   #24
johnwilliamson062
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I'll make a statement some won't like.

You absolutely can not stop every last ricochet from leaving an open air outdoor range.

THe berm should be plenty high enough that anyone shooting over it is making a BIG mistake and unable to control their firearm and can be removed from the range. It should be high and wide/circular enough that anything leaving the range has lost a lot of its momentum from an impact to minimize the danger.

Look at the wall and ceiling in almost any indoor range and tell me a 30 foot berm will stop EVERYTHING.

In Ohio the pre-existing range only effects sound complaints as far as I know(not that this is Ohio we are talking about).
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Old June 26, 2013, 02:58 PM   #25
Skans
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Quote:
You absolutely can not stop every last ricochet from leaving an open air outdoor range
While that may be true, there are better ways to deal with stray bullets than placing a berm right up against a public road. Assuming the road was there first, that is just bad design and planning. For instance, many outdoor ranges use natural barriers, hills, land fills, etc. to create a safe buffer between the range and other occupied properties.

And, a ricocheting bullet is a far cry different from a direct hit. Most shooters have experienced being hit by a ricocheting bullet fragment - not pleasant, but not life-threatening either.
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