Bill Would Limit Backyard Shooting

November 20, 2015

A Senate committee Thursday unanimously approved a proposal aimed at preventing people from shooting guns at backyard ranges in residential areas.

The vote by the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee readied the bill (SB 130) to go to the Senate floor during the 2016 session, which starts in January.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, would make it a first-degree misdemeanor for people to intentionally shoot guns in outdoor areas that are “primarily residential in nature” and include one or more residences per acre.

Ponce Inlet Police Chief Frank Fabrizio, who represented the Florida Police Chiefs Association at the committee meeting, said the bill addresses situations such as people using wooden palettes and dirt to fashion backyard gun ranges.

“This legislation clarifies the law without compromising the Second Amendment rights,” Fabrizio said. Committee Chairwoman Anitere Flores, R-Miami, said the bill also could help address problems with people shooting guns into the air during celebrations of events such as New Year’s Eve.

by The News Service of Florida


16 Responses to “Bill Would Limit Backyard Shooting”

  1. Kim on January 3rd, 2016 9:35 pm

    I live in Southwest Escambia County in a residential area.My neighbor behind me practice shoots most evenings in his yard.I have to make my kids come inside or go in the front yard.There is a empty lot between his yard and mine,mostly sand dunes and scrubs,the kids love to roam,climb trees and play back there.It’s sad that the kids can’t play outside but I’m not taking any chances on a stray bullet.I am a gun owner but would never target shoot in my backyard or any area where near an area where children play.

  2. Timmy on December 3rd, 2015 8:32 am

    if you are a member of the NRA you need to contact them and your state representative about this poorly written bill. It needs to be more specific not so open for interpretation leaving YOU subject for an arrest.

    1.The land size development has to be taken out. If the want to make it one acre or more fine but not the whole development just your specific lot.

    2. Two should state shooting in a safe manner.

  3. Jim on December 3rd, 2015 8:23 am

    What if you live on five acres in a neighborhood that is mixed? This is a very poorly written law. It should be clear if you are shooting on one acre or more period, not everyone has to own that some lots are one acre, three acres, half acre, who in the heck is going to be judging this the street cop who has to respond to these annoying complaints???
    I’ve not seen people getting injured I can understand making some teeth in the law requiring specific back stops and requiring at least 300 feet from the direction of your neighbors house which you are firing the gun… The sheriff who is stating people can now shoot at 3am 15 feet in the direction of children playing is providing false misleading information. That would be in violation of several criminal acts, it’s not true you cannot fire a gun 15 feet towards another person at 3 am or any other time. First off your recklessly endangering them, secondly your disturbing the peace at 3 am so I love how they pass laws based on lies and distorted half truths plus confusions about the land size area. As I stated in the state of Florida it’s very common to drive down a road and someone owns 20, 10, acres across the street being an older home across the road from 1/4 acre lots with all the growth we’ve experienced.
    The law needs to be rewritten for one acre or larger land owners can fire a gun in a safe manner period. This way it’s simplified for the patrol officer responding, simplified for the homeowner whether it be a shooting a squirrel, poisonous snake or just a target PERIOD.

  4. Milton on November 24th, 2015 3:58 pm

    The current law states that you can shoot any type of legal firearm on your property as long as you do not shoot over a occupied dwelling or right of way. You must also not be shooting in a reckless or careless manner. There is also a provision for fining public officials if they pass ordinances that would restrict a citizens right to shoot on their property (i.e. the Gulf Breeze noise ordinance).

    I believe that this ordinance is restrictive enough as long as we are all the responsible adults that we portray on our Form 4473. For you none gunners, that is form we fill out to purchase a firearm from a firearm dealer.

    I live in a neighborhood of single family houses on half acre lots. I have the right to shoot in my backyard but I also have a responsibility to my neighbors. I would be very annoyed to have a neighbor constantly shooting in his backyard so I do not shoot in mine.

  5. Jeff on November 23rd, 2015 5:00 pm

    One more step in the wrong direction. One day these politicians will appreciate and understand the reason we own guns and practice to use them safely.

  6. Jane on November 21st, 2015 8:19 am

    Maybe they just don’t have anything else to do in Tallahassee these days….it is already illegal to shoot a firearm in the city limits or where it endangers person/property.

  7. 429SCJ on November 21st, 2015 6:41 am

    Though it is legal, it does draw the attention of law enforcement.

    I have found the inquisitiveness of off duty LE officers at some public ranges to be annoying. People pay for the use of the range, not to satisfy the curiosity of others.

    I do believe that LE has a dedicated range, located near the land fill?

  8. SKINNY DIP on November 20th, 2015 5:33 pm


  9. Bob C. on November 20th, 2015 12:46 pm

    Shot in the backyard for years.
    Sighting in a scope or just checking the loaded rounds with targets and backstop.
    In season helped manage the squirrel population with .22 shorts when setting safe.

    Quit shooting in backyard when the new neighbors came in and built houses.

    Agree with many of the comments:
    One more layer of putting this onto LEO to determine if a violation or okay.
    One more dang law written by lawyers to be confusing and smoky.
    One more step toward controlling our 2nd Amendment rights.
    Nope….y’all in Tallahassee and locally need to back off.

  10. southerner on November 20th, 2015 8:26 am

    Watch out! Is this another unnecessary law? We can end up with layer after layer of laws instead of keeping it simple.

  11. John on November 20th, 2015 7:25 am

    I love how politicians do things without actually doing anything!!!! All they are doing with this bill/law is muddying up the waters even more. For those that don’t do research or read things for yourself, I’ll put it here for you to see. Pay attention to the following part.

    (b) If, under the circumstances, the discharge does not
    25 pose a reasonably foreseeable risk to life, safety, or property.

    Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
    10 Section 1. Subsection (4) is added to section 790.15,
    11 Florida Statutes, to read:
    12 790.15 Discharging firearm in public or on residential
    13 property.—
    14 (4) Any person who recreationally discharges a firearm
    15 outdoors, including for target shooting or celebratory shooting,
    16 in an area that the person knows or reasonably should know is
    17 primarily residential in nature and that has a residential
    18 density of one or more dwelling units per acre, commits a
    19 misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s.
    20 775.082 or s. 775.083. This subsection does not apply:
    21 (a) To a person lawfully defending life or property or
    22 performing official duties requiring the discharge of a firearm;
    23 or
    24 (b) If, under the circumstances, the discharge does not
    25 pose a reasonably foreseeable risk to life, safety, or property.
    26 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2016.

    This bill still allows a person to shoot on their property and just muddys up the water for an officer to make a judgment call on whether there was a risk to life, it’s not safe, or it was a threat to someone else’s property!!!!

    All politicians are good for is making up garbage laws.

    By the way, I am against trying to make this illegal for all kinds of reasons. But what they are doing is putting on a façade like they have done something when in fact, they’ve made it worse.

  12. Bob's Brother on November 20th, 2015 6:55 am

    Our neighbors occaisionally shoot. I occaisionally shoot in my yard. It would be un-neighborly to constantly shoot high powered rifle or even 9mm. There should be adequete back stops… and not a pile of wood.

  13. Don on November 20th, 2015 6:50 am

    Huh….I’ve been going down 40 miles of bad road for nothing?

  14. Joe on November 20th, 2015 5:53 am

    @Mike, I think it’s already illegal if you live within the city limits. Currently there is nothing that says those outside city limits cannot shoot on their property.

  15. John smith on November 20th, 2015 5:50 am

    Is this powdered guns specific or is my son going to get in trouble for shooting his pellet gun at a target?

  16. Mike on November 20th, 2015 4:11 am

    Hmm…I thought shooting a gun in a residential area was already illegal.

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