Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

New gun law victim: Sarasota County shooting range
Sarasota Herald-Tribune (that's "SHT" for short!) ^ | 9/30/2011 | Zac Anderson

Posted on 09/30/2011 6:47:19 AM PDT by Joe Brower

New gun law victim: Sarasota County shooting range
By Zac Anderson, Herald-Tribune
Thursday, September 29, 2011

Florida lawmakers thought they were making life easier for gun enthusiasts when they cracked down on local firearm regulations this spring. But in an ironic twist, Sarasota County’s popular gun range may soon close as a result of the state law.

The planned closure of the Knight Trail Park Pistol and Rifle Range Saturday — coinciding with when the new state law takes effect — would mean fewer legal opportunities for people to fire their weapons.

County leaders hope to reopen the gun range soon through a partnership with the state’s wildlife agency — perhaps even avoiding the closure altogether.

But in the meantime, local officials say they can’t risk personal liability and fines for gun range safety rules that could violate state law.

“We’re in a pickle,” said county Commissioner Jon Thaxton, a hunter and concealed weapons permit holder who said is concerned about closing an asset prized by local sportsmen.

The problem: Shooting ranges need safety rules, but the way county officials read the new state law, no local gun rules are allowed — not even safety regulations.

The driving force behind the new state law said Sarasota County is overreacting, and accused county offifcials of trying to make a political point.

“They need to read the law,” said National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer, who pushed for the legislation. “It is designed to stop local gun control. Having a gun range and having safety rules and business rules to operate a range, I would argue does not fall into this category.”

But county lawyers concluded that restrictions on municipally operated gun ranges are an “unintended consequence of the way the statute was written,” said Carolyn Brown, Sarasota County’s general manager for parks and recreation.

And with the state law allowing personal fines of up to $5,000 for each elected official who knowingly supports a local gun regulation, county leaders are not taking any chances.

A handful of municipal governments across Florida that operate shooting ranges at city and county parks could be in similar straits, although so far it appears that Sarasota County is the only government considering a range closure.

State lawmakers had a different intent when they passed legislation this year imposing the stiff penalties for local gun rules.

Legislators wanted to stop city and county officials from hassling gun owners with too many restrictions. Local rules prohibiting firearms in campgrounds, shooting within city limits and nearly a dozen other gun regulations recently were repealed to comply with the new state law.

But closing one of just two local gun ranges is a much bigger hassle, gun owners say.

A dozen people had already gathered at the range Thursday for the 9 a.m. opening. Regulars greeted each other by name. Bullet casings began flying as the sound of gunfire broke the silence of the surrounding pine woods.

Venice retiree Robert Fiebert, 80, has been firing his target pistol at the facility for at least 25 years.

“It’s a great recreational asset,” he said. “Not everybody’s a golfer.”

The dilemma may be quickly resolved. County officials are working on a plan to have the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission technically oversee the shooting range.

The FWC already manages gun ranges elsewhere in Florida and, as a state agency, is not subject to the ban on local gun regulations.

Brown hopes to strike a deal with FWC in time to avoid closing the facility Saturday, but it may take longer to reach an agreement.

The range could be closed for weeks, a concern for sportsmen as hunting season approaches and they look to tune up firearms.

Local gun owners said the situation makes them appreciate the Knight Trail range, which many laud as one of the safest and well-run in Florida.

Roughly 20,000 people visit the 27-year-old public facility annually. On weekends more than 200 people have been known to line up for one of 70 shooting spots.

A few years ago when the county considered closing the range because entrance fees did not cover the operating costs, gun owners lobbied for a fee increase to keep it open.

“The shooters, without hesitation, said charge us,” Thaxton said. “Their dedication is evident by their willingness to step up and cover the cost.”


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: banglist; fl; florida; rkba

1 posted on 09/30/2011 6:47:25 AM PDT by Joe Brower
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: harpseal; TexasCowboy; nunya bidness; AAABEST; Travis McGee; Squantos; wku man; SLB; ...
This is my local range.

Click the Gadsden flag for pro-gun resources!

2 posted on 09/30/2011 6:49:12 AM PDT by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Joe Brower
Bullet casings began flying

Ah, I see journalism is maintaining it's reputation for absolute ignorance on the subject of fire-arms.

/johnny

3 posted on 09/30/2011 6:52:49 AM PDT by JRandomFreeper (gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Joe Brower

I have used this range many-many times in the past, Its a nice place.


4 posted on 09/30/2011 6:53:56 AM PDT by JamesA (You don't have to be big to stand tall)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JulieRNR21; kinganamort; katherineisgreat; floriduh voter; summer; Goldwater Girl; windchime; ...
Here's the real truth behind this story:

Like many other county and city governments in Florida, Sarasota's elites have flaunted the state pre-emption clause in Florida law for decades. Sarasota is especially bad -- we have had more nit-picking anti-gun statues active here than our four neighboring counties combined.

With Tallahassee now finally tightening the reins on these cretins, they are responding by pretending that the local range is in violation; part and parcel with their illegal ordinances. Having their own skin finally in the game to the tune of a $5,000 fine has their panties in a wad, big-time.

So this is their version of having a tantrum -- let's retaliate against the common man, so that shooters in this area will join them in blaming Tallahassee for their own malfeasance. Politics in a nutshell, really.

Click the Florida state flag for pro-gun resources!

5 posted on 09/30/2011 6:57:11 AM PDT by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Joe Brower

I don’t know how big this range is but I think they might want the property for Condos.


6 posted on 09/30/2011 7:05:04 AM PDT by Rappini (Pro Deo et Patria)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rappini

That’s not it. The LEO range right next door is still open for business 24/7/365. Of course.


7 posted on 09/30/2011 7:07:28 AM PDT by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Joe Brower; All
This is just another example of Saul Alinsky’s lawfare. Pushing the rules to extremes in order to use them against established order.
8 posted on 09/30/2011 7:16:44 AM PDT by marktwain (In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper

Not to say that journalists typically don’t know jack about firearms, but could you tell me what’s wrong with that statement?


9 posted on 09/30/2011 7:41:38 AM PDT by green iguana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Joe Brower

I don’t understand liberal elites - they have endless compassion for criminals and NO understanding of lawful citizens owning and using a gun. It will never make sense to me. Thanks for taking the time to explain this...


10 posted on 09/30/2011 8:01:10 AM PDT by GOPJ (Muslims will want to go to the moon when the Jews set-up Israel there. - Dennis Miller)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: green iguana
Bullets are the pointy little things that fly out the barrel.

They don't have casings. They optionally have jackets. Those are bonded to the bullet. They don't fly off, they remain bonded to the bullet.

Cartridges include the case, bullet, primer and powder. They can fly out of the chamber when ejected.

'Cartridge casings flying' would be correct, or just 'casings flying'.

But 'bullet casings flying' is just an arrogant display of ignorance that the press seems to cultivate about this and many other technical topics.

/johnny

11 posted on 09/30/2011 8:06:03 AM PDT by JRandomFreeper (gone Galt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: green iguana

Hmmm... bullets don’t have casings; cartridges do? Quibbling, I guess.


12 posted on 09/30/2011 8:10:06 AM PDT by pingman (Durn tootin'; I like Glock shootin'!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Joe Brower

local politician BS


13 posted on 09/30/2011 8:10:24 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Don’t blaim the liberals. The elite legislature is to blaim. They think they can run roughshod over anyone.


14 posted on 09/30/2011 8:11:59 AM PDT by webboy45
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Joe Brower
Exactly what I figured when I saw this line:

But county lawyers concluded that restrictions on municipally operated gun ranges are an “unintended consequence of the way the statute was written,” said Carolyn Brown, Sarasota County’s general manager for parks and recreation.

What do you call 100 lawyers at the bottom of the sea?




A good start!

15 posted on 09/30/2011 8:12:10 AM PDT by liberty_lvr (Drill Gaia like a 3 am prom date)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: liberty_lvr

municipal lawyers for cities and counties trend toward crony jobs.

rare that you will find a competent one.

what happened is the commissioners got together and said they needed to find a way to force the issue.

seems these county officials need a slap in the face.


16 posted on 09/30/2011 8:24:06 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Joe Brower

a-holes and we know who.


17 posted on 09/30/2011 8:40:36 AM PDT by George from New England (escaped CT in 2006, now living north of Tampa)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Joe Brower

Leo range open no way it must have the same problems on regs and safety rules./s


18 posted on 09/30/2011 8:42:55 AM PDT by Ratman83
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Joe Brower

I love places that have municipal ranges!


19 posted on 09/30/2011 9:31:50 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: JRandomFreeper

Seems a bit nit picking to me. I hear the term ‘bullet case’ often. But maybe it’s a colloquial term around here.


20 posted on 09/30/2011 9:36:15 AM PDT by green iguana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: green iguana; JRandomFreeper

Most of the time in the shooting circles I know they’re called “brass casings” or just “brass”. Shooters who reload always “pick up their brass” at the end of a shoot.


21 posted on 09/30/2011 10:01:35 AM PDT by tarheelswamprat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: webboy45

You’ve got it bass ackwards; moreover, without penalties for violation of state standards the libtard hoplophobes would just ignore the law altogether as Sarasota would like to do. An anology would be the bully who threatens to take the ball and bat home when starting to lose the game. From what I see in the news, leftwing Sarasota and St Pete attempts to disarm the populace and go soft on criminals have backfired badly!

JC


22 posted on 09/30/2011 10:40:09 AM PDT by cracker45
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Joe Brower

I was just there a couple of weeks ago with several other Freepers! What’s up with this?


23 posted on 09/30/2011 6:49:10 PM PDT by Bushbacker1 (I miss President Bush greatly! Palin in 2012! 2012 - The End Of An Error! (Oathkeeper))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Joe Brower

Hey, here’s an idea! Let’s all meet up there Sunday morning. Whatcha think? I’ll put the word out...


24 posted on 09/30/2011 6:51:39 PM PDT by Bushbacker1 (I miss President Bush greatly! Palin in 2012! 2012 - The End Of An Error! (Oathkeeper))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Bushbacker1
"Hey, here’s an idea! Let’s all meet up there Sunday morning."

No luck -- the range is closed as of today, and won't re-open until mid-November (so they say). Boy, that sure didn't take long, did it?

Here's the latest: Sarasota County shooting range to close temporarily

Click the Florida state flag for pro-gun resources!

25 posted on 10/01/2011 6:41:16 AM PDT by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Joe Brower

Well, we have a couple of indoor and outdoor ranges here in Lakeland and we’re looking at going to a “private” range near Tampa in the near future. We’ll include you in the invitations.


26 posted on 10/01/2011 6:50:29 AM PDT by Bushbacker1 (I miss President Bush greatly! Palin in 2012! 2012 - The End Of An Error! (Oathkeeper))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Joe Brower

BTW, is the skeet club closed also? I can only surmise that the law enforcement part of the range will remain open?


27 posted on 10/01/2011 6:54:28 AM PDT by Bushbacker1 (I miss President Bush greatly! Palin in 2012! 2012 - The End Of An Error! (Oathkeeper))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Bushbacker1
"We’ll include you in the invitations."

Please do! I can never say if I can make it or not (family, business, etc.), but if I can, I will be there.

28 posted on 10/01/2011 6:54:38 AM PDT by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Bushbacker1
As I understand it, the shotgun range is a private enterprise, so it is not involved in this political chicanery.

Maybe a good business opportunity for someone... ?

29 posted on 10/01/2011 6:55:55 AM PDT by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: liberty_lvr

I prefer 100 lawyers hanging from tree limbs & street lights by their own entrails myself . But that’s just my opinion.8*}


30 posted on 10/01/2011 2:57:48 PM PDT by Nebr FAL owner (.308 reach out & thump someone .50 cal.Browning Machine gun reach out & crush someone)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson