Florida Man’s Very Own Backyard Gun Range Is Perfectly Legal

And you thought your neighbor’s barking dog was annoying. Try living next door to Doug Varrieur.

The Miami Herald published a story Sunday about the latest addition to Varrieur’s home in Big Pine Key, Fla.

A month ago, after hearing rumors of a little-known state law, Varrieur constructed his own makeshift shooting area in his backyard.

Sure enough, a statute that’s been on the books since 1987 places very few restrictions on discharging firearms in residential areas.

Monroe County, Fla. Sheriff Rick Ramsay told the Herald he “hoped no one would catch wind of [the law] and it would become public knowledge.”

According to the Herald, some Florida municipalities used to simply ignore the statute and pass their own laws banning the firing of weapons in residential areas. But in 2011, the National Rifle Association and the GOP-controlled legislature collaborated on a bill to penalize local governments that violate the state law.

Along with fear of stray bullets, some of Varrieur’s neighbors are upset about the noise generated by the shooting. One woman circulated a petition in an effort to stop the shooting. But the Monroe County attorney said the county cannot put any noise ordinances in place to stop the residential shooting.

“And if they want to shoot a fully automatic weapon, and have a class 3 license, technically they would not be in violation of anything,” Ramsay told the Herald.

Photo via Shutterstock / Netfalls – Remy Musser

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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