Garland shooting range agrees to step up safety measures

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by CYNTHIA VEGA

WFAA

Posted on February 7, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 7 at 3:03 PM

GARLAND - Neighbors who say they've been dodging stray bullets fired from a nearby shooting range have scored a victory of sorts Tuesday.

The Garland Public Shooting Range has agreed to install significant safety measures over the next 30 days.

The City of Rowlett was ready to go court over the matter Tuesday. In a hearing scheduled for 10 a.m., city attorney David Berman was prepared to ask a judge to shut down the rifle range until it put more safety measures in place.

In an e-mail Tuesday morning, the lawyer representing the rifle range agreed to make those changes.

The rifle range has agreed to close the gap that enables stray bullets to exit the range property. The range will add thick, steel plating overhead and build up the berm from below from its current 11 feet to 20 feet. The range says it's also adding another rifle range officer to enforce the rules.

And, while the safety improvements are being installed over the next 30 days, the rifle range will prohibit the use of rifles with rounds of .30 caliber or more.

Neighbor and mom Janine Bowman says this is a step in the right direction. But, for the next thirty days, she still intends to keep her children close by.

Bowman said a stray bullet from the range recently came through her roof, straight through her young son's bedroom and into his closet. He wasn't hurt, but Bowman's peace of mind was shattered.

Berman said he and other neighbors will hold off on litigation for now, hoping the range will deliver on its promise. Berman says the real measure of today's victory will be in 30 days, when someone firing a rifle from the range can see no blue sky at all when taking aim.

No one representing the rifle range appeared in court today. News 8 contacted their attorney, Randy Mathis.

He says he has no comment at this time.

E-mail cvega@wfaa.com

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