Pressure Mounts to Close Gun Range Over Safety Concerns - KOAM TV 7

Pressure Mounts to Close Gun Range Over Safety Concerns


There's growing concern about a gun range near Oronogo.  In March, we interviewed a 10-year-old girl who said she was on her swing set and heard a bullet whiz by her head.  The family claimed the bullet came from the Outdoor Addicts gun range.  Since then, another neighbor claims a bullet from the gun range could have killed her.

Janice Morris and her neighbors say there's no question they're in the line of fire of a nearby gun range.  She says Sunday afternoon...

"I heard a big bang on my back wall," says Morris.

Morris says it wasn't until Monday, when she looked over her home more closely, that she found a bullet hole in her bathroom and a .40 caliber bullet in her bathtub. 

"Scared!  I immediately called the sheriff's office," says Morris.

Morris says the bullet came from the Outdoor Addicts handgun range that's about three quarters of a mile away.

"It's plausible," says Jasper County Sheriff Randee Kaiser.  "It's also plausible that it came from someone's backyard, out shooting tin cans in their backyard."

Workers at the gun range say the possibility that bullet that his Morris' house is...

"Literally one in a million shot," says Outdoor Addicts worker Chris Calliotte.

Gun range workers say they recently spend $20,000 to renovate their gun and rifle ranges, hoping to eliminate any possibility of blame that any bullets from their range went haywire.

"We didn't have to.  We didn't have to do anything," says Calliotte.

Gun range workers say they turned an already safe 15 feet high dirt berm into a 25 feet high dirt berm.

"The improvements that they've made have been very good improvements," says Kaiser.

"You gotta shoot through our berm, through a tree line, to get to the house," says Elliott.


"One in a million shot," says Calliotte.

But Morris says people at the gun range are the only ones who could take that one in a million shot.

"There was no one else around shooting," says Morris.

The sheriff's office says more proof is needed to lay any blame.  That proof, and any solution to this ongoing feud, may never come.

"That's not something we'll probably ever be able to determine," says Kaiser.

"We never had a problem until after the firing range went in," says Morris.

"We're not going to spend the money to make something better just to turn around and run," says Calliotte.

Jasper County commissioners, Sheriff Kaiser, and a state representative we talked to today say there are no rules for how far away a gun range must be from a home.  State Representative Cody Smith, of Carthage, also told us he's not aware of any plans to introduce such legislation.


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