Court Battle Over Garland Gun Range Continues

Rowlett, Garland Public Shooting Range to return to court Nov. 15

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Garland gun range targeted by neighbors who say a bullet stuck their home is going to court over city demands to adjust safety measures.

    A judge has reset a hearing over safety changes at a Garland shooting range to November.

    The judge decided that the city of Rowlett and the Garland Public Shooting Range would have to return to court on Nov. 15 so he can see all the evidence before making a final decision.

    The owner of the Garland range, James Day, agreed in February to make safety improvements after the city of Rowlett filed an injunction to shut the range down. Rowlett residents said stray bullets flew into their homes.

    "They haven't done what they promised to do," City Attorney David Berman said. "The only reason why he didn't is because finally now, he's going to have to spend a little bit of money to do the work."

    The city said Day did not complete the most important improvement -- a 20-foot berm that would make "no blue sky" visible to shooters and help stop bullets from leaving the range -- after two extensions.

    The Bowman family was present at Wednesday's hearing to push for safety changes. The Bowmans said a stray bullet hit their son's bedroom in January.

    "I still think back on what could have happened and it's still, it's scary," Janine Bowman said.

    But Day's attorney, Randal Mathis, said the gun range is safe and that the stray bullets were not from the range.

    "It's a lawsuit that doesn't have any purpose," he said. "Mr. Day is trying to comply with everything they are concerned about, even though the 40-year history would indicate that concern is misplaced."

    Both legal teams said they look forward to the final ruling.

    "It's frustrating," Berman said. "They could have done it. It was in his ability to do it long ago."

    "We are pleased with the ruling today, but not until he rules," Mathis said.

    Day is making long-term plans to reposition the firing range so it no longer faces homes. The gun range is about 2 miles away from the Bowmans' Rowlett neighborhood.