Parents Say Bullets from Nearby Gun Range Traveled Within Inches of Children on Swing Set
Some parents want tougher regulations on gun ranges after they say stray bullets nearly hit their children. The parents say they were horrified at what could have happened this past weekend, and upset that there are no county rules to prevent near accidents like this from happening again.
10-year-old Allie Butler was on a swing set Sunday with her friend when…
Allie mimics the noises she heard by saying, “Veem! Veem!”
She knew the noises pointed to something bad.
“Sunday would’ve been a really bad dad,” says Shannon Rainey, dad of Allie’s friend who was also on the swing set.
“It was kind of scary,” says Allie.
Parents of both children say they instantly had a sickening suspicion of what caused the two noises.
“The gun range, they had been firing all morning long out here behind me,” says Rainey.
Right where the two children were playing on the swing set is in-line where rifles are pointed at a gun range, about 4,500 feet away. The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office took away one bullet lodged in Rainey’s home, near the swing set. Rainey says one of his dogs might have eaten another bullet that fell to the ground after directly hitting the swing set.
“I think that they did not take the proper safety precautions that are needed to install that range,” says Crystal Butler, Allie’s mom.
Parents of the two children say the “Outdoor Addicts” gun range has been open for about a month. The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office says they’ve, in the past, suggested to gun range workers they increase the height of berms.
“Supposed to trap the bullets,” says Rainey. “My thoughts were, OK, if someone is going to put in that type of facility, surely they took the public safety into mind when they were designing, when they were building this gun range. I’m realizing now obviously they didn’t.”
The owner of “Outdoor Addicts” is out of town, but told us by Facebook Message:
“There was a neighbor shooting a high powered rifle in the same direction and the people on our range at the time did not have a caliber of gun that could reach that distance. We are now making modifications to our range so there can be no question or blame placed toward us because we do run a safe range and don’t want anyone getting hurt.”
“This should never have been an issue,” says Crystal Butler.
The children’s parents say they’re thankful this is an issue without any deaths. Now, they want that issue solved immediately.
Former Jasper County Commissioner Jim Honey confirms that there are no county rules or zoning regulations over gun ranges.