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In Florida, state preemption laws have local city and county governments running gun shy when it comes to regulating firearms, which as far as the Second Amendment in concerned, is a good thing. Using this to his advantage, an XD owner seeking to get in some trigger time set up a backyard shooting range-- but quickly drew return fire from his neighbors.

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The town

Down in South Florida, in Pinellas County is "Old St. Pete" The fifth largest city in the Sunshine State, it's just over the Bay from Tampa on the Gulf Coast. The city, founded in 1888, has grown over the years with retirees from Northern states, which may be one reason why St. Petersburg boasts the "World's Largest Shuffleboard Club."

In the state, one of the most gun-friendly in all of the Union, strict preemption laws preclude local governments from making any law stronger than what the state legislature in Tallahassee sends to the Governor for signature. This means that as long as someone abides by state law, the local authorities can go fish. A by-product of this is that private backyard gun ranges are very popular.

The controversy

A St. Pete resident, Joseph Carannante, 21, set up a berm in his parent's backyard made of pallets, sand, and cinder blocks to shoot his Springfield XD-S 9mm into. You see Joey works 16 hours per day as a byproduct of holding down two jobs and would like to blow off steam in little bit of free time by shooting in his yard. This, depending on how the state laws are interpreted, is legal. However, his neighbors, whose homes are on the other side of his berm, weren't as impressed with his construction as he was.

The collective pearl clutching led to a Change.org petition and a local lawmaker pushing statewide legislation to help outlaw not only Joey's range, but also others like it.


The outcome

Before ever using the range, Joey decided to tear it down and keep the peace in the neighborhood. As a byproduct of the controversy, he was given an annual membership at two different commercial ranges (that he still has to find time to go to, which was by and large the problem in the first place).

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To recoup his losses on building materials, he has listed the target stand on eBay, saying, "This will be part of Florida's history due to the law being changed because of this. You can keep it as a history piece or shoot the hell out of it like I planned on."

Hopefully Joey can get a chance to wear out that XD at an approved range in the future.

What are your thoughts? Comments? Concerns? Drop them below.
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