Garland Gun Range Under Fire Agrees to Make Safety Upgrades

Family said stray bullet struck their house last month

By Tammy Mutasa
|  Tuesday, Feb 7, 2012  |  Updated 9:10 PM CDT
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A Garland gun range owner avoided court and agreed to make safety upgrades after three incidents of stray bullets hitting homes in Rowlett.

Tammy Mutasa, Garland Reporter

A Garland gun range owner avoided court and agreed to make safety upgrades after three incidents of stray bullets hitting homes in Rowlett.

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Stray Bullets Hit Rowlett Homes

Stray bullets, possibly from a nearby gun range, have hit multiple homes in Rowlett.
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The owner of a Garland gun range owner agreed Tuesday to make safety improvements.

The city of Rowlett filed an injunction last month to shut down the Garland Public Shooting Range if such changes were not made.

A Rowlett incident hree incidents in which stray bullets hit Rowlett homes in the last two years.

A hearing on the matter was scheduled for Tuesday morning, but an attorney for the gun range signed an agreement that keeps the range open if it makes safety improvements in the next 30 days.

"Our goal in this whole lawsuit has never been to shut the range down," said David Burman, attorney for the city of Rowlett. "All we wanted was a safe environment for the people that live in the subdivision."

Firing rifles .30 caliber or more will not be allowed during the next 30 days.

Berman said the agreement includes raising the berms form 11 feet to 20 feet and extending overhead visors at shooting stations. These measures should stop bullets from flying off the range, and a “No Blue Sky” will be visible to shooters taking aim.

After 30 days, the city will evaluate the improvements. If the gun range does not comply with the safety upgrades, the city could take it back to court and set another date for an injunction hearing.

"There were serious life-safety concerns for our residents, and we needed action," City Manager Lynda Humble said. "Something needed to happen, and it needed to happen quickly."

The Bowman family, whose home was struck by a stray bullet last month, said it was happy with the agreement.

"It's just phenomenal how fast and far this has gone, and I'm just thrilled about it,” Janine Bowman said.

The bullet hit her 5-year-old son's bedroom on Jan. 16. No one was injured.

"It's just a parent’s worst nightmare,” Bowman said. “The idea of a child getting hurt or killed -- especially in a house. It shouldn't happen in a house."

The Bowmans live about a mile away from the gun range.

"It's a step in the right direction,” Bowman said. “Right now, we're not going to change anything as far as where we let the kids play in the house, but we'll take it one day at a time."

Randal Mathis, the attorney for the owner of the gun range, said it was not appropriate to comment during the lawsuit.

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