Skip to comments.In case of firing range, state law goes too far(TX barf alert)
Posted on 04/03/2012 6:34:15 AM PDT by marktwain
Courtesy of the same zealots who brought Texas its very own Stand Your Ground law, another piece of legislation protecting the rights of shooters to a fault is whizzing through the state like a stray bullet.
The Texas State Rifle Association, the regional arm of the National Rifle Association, lobbied last session for a law that a shooting range is now using to block efforts to stop it from firing rifles toward a local golf course where a man last month was shot in the chest.
Alice Tripp, legislative director of the TSRA, says the rifle association broached both laws, including one passed here in 2007 that mirrors a Florida law so far rubberstamping the fatal shooting in Sanford, Fla. of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin.
Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman is under investigation by the Florida state attorney and the Justice Department but was not arrested after telling police he shot Martin in self-defense.
It came from us. That was an NRA bill, she said of the law requiring police and prosecutors to disprove a shooter's claim of self-defense.
Tripp says the TSRA also convinced Republican state Sen. Craig Estes to author a bill last year that prevents local governments from suing shooting ranges or their owners absurdly, in the name of public safety.
That law is now a thorn in the side of Municipal Golf Association-SA, a public/private partnership created by the city to manage its golf courses.
The golf association has filed for an injunction against A Place to Shoot, a range less than two miles from the Mission Del Lago municipal golf course, where golfer Justo Flores somehow survived a slug to the sternum.
I thought I got hit with a golf ball, Flores told reporter Ana Ley. I saw a little bit of smoke coming out of my chest. I couldn't believe I got shot.
Nine days later, two employees at the golf course reported hearing what they described as a rifle shot and something whizzing overhead.
Brock Wilkerson, operating officer of the range, has called it impossible for bullets to reach the course accidentally because barriers prevent them from doing so.
Police say they don't know the source of the bullet that hit Flores. A source close to the investigation, however, told me it's possible the bullet came from the range.
It's reasonable, then, for the golf association to try to stop the range's patrons from firing toward the course.
But the TSRA, of course, won't have any interference in the rights of shooters to aim as they please.
Bennett Sandlin, executive director of the Texas Municipal League, said his organization lobbied unsuccessfully last session against the law.
If (the shooting range) was complying with industry standards at the time it was built, then, no, you can't shut it down, he said.
An attorney for A Place to Shoot, located on the far South Side, didn't return a call Monday, but it's clear from court filings that the business is citing the new law to fend off the injunction.
Tripp says the TSRA created the law to protect shooting ranges from frivolous lawsuits, and definitely not to protect an unsafe range.
She suggested the local case is frivolous because the source of the bullet is a mystery.
Somebody told me they have hog hunting in the area, she said. Right now we are in the middle of turkey season. It's hard to tell.
The courts, then, should have the ability to parse such obscure matters.
People, and houses all over the US have been hit by stray bullets in the past 20 years. Gee, a real estate developer wants some new land to build upon? Amazing how some bullets show up in sides of some houses down range. Range has to close: “Let me make you an offer for your shooting range land you can’t refuse”. Then there is also the political angle. Anti’s themselves, or pehaps paying others to shoot at homes. Just an extention of Fast and Furious.
Yeah - but the shooter apparently didn’t yell “FOUR!”
Here in CT there was a church group that owned land near a shooting range. They said bullets were hitting their meeting house. They went to court & showed the judge the bullets that had hit their meeting house......THEY WERE STILL IN THEIR SHELL!
They had never been fired. That's how unhinged these people were.
Gotta love CT!!