Bill moves ahead to ban backyard gun ranges

- From the start, as soon as she heard her neighbor was building a gun range on the other side of her backyard fence, Kendra O'Connor knew that she didn't like the idea.

"I told him, straight up, my kids are playing 8, 10, 12 feet from where you plan to be shooting."

In February, Joe Carannante made a backstop out of wood, cinder blocks and dirt, in order to take target practice in his urban backyard.

The law allowed it as long as he did it without being "reckless" or "negligent."

"I am at work 15-16 hours a day, it's hard to get to the range before they close," he said then.

He agreed to take down the range after neighbors voiced their concern and alerted public officials.

Public officials like State Rep. Darryl Rouson, who swore then that they'd change the law, are doing so now.

"Ray Charles could have seen there was a problem," he said during a state house committee meeting on Wednesday.

The St. Petersburg lawmaker's bill unanimously passed a House committee.

It bans anyone from firing a gun outside on properties that are smaller than an acre or are in a residential area.

'When our police chief, and our state attorney said our hands our tied, there is nothing we can do with existing law, that's why we are here today," said Rouson.

The bi-partisan push behind the bill encourages O'Connor.

She is a self-described supporter of second amendment rights, but that doesn't mean she wants a gun range next door.

"Everybody should be able to agree that that pile of sand, and those pallets next to a children's playground didn't make sense."

Carannante told us he was unsatisfied with the media's coverage in February, and that he did not want to comment this time.

The law does not apply when someone is defending life or property.

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