• Fruitland Park residents concerned about backyard shooting range


    LAKE COUNTY, Fla. -  The owner of a backyard gun range, just blocks from a Lake County elementary school, said he is not doing anything wrong.
    His gun range is in the middle of the Fruitland Park's downtown -- just three blocks from an elementary school and near a church.
    Channel 9's Myrt Price learned that although city leaders are meeting about the gun range Thursday night, there isn't much they can do about it.
    "If it wasn't safe, I wouldn't be doing it," Richard Dickinson, owner of the gun range, said.
    Dickinson built the shooting range in the backyard of his home.

      Photos: Backyard shooting range

    "And it's just me shooting, and it's just when I get parts and pieces for my guns. I put them in there and I want to test fire them because if I'm going to carry this gun to save my life, I want to know it works," said Dickinson.
    He said he lets law enforcement know when he's shooting and he said the range isn't something he just threw together. He said he made sure that its safe.
    "There's 30 yards of dirt. There are 35 railroad ties. It's 10 feet thick and it's 10 feet wide," he said.
    Although Florida law says what Dickinson has in his yard is legal, some of his neighbors aren't happy.
    "No, I don't like it. I've called the law and they told me it was legal and to leave him alone," one neighbor said.
    Some neighbors worry bullets could end up outside of Dickinson's yard.
    "If he misses, that bullet is going someone where, with all these houses and all these people, who's going to get it?  Whose house is going to get it?" a neighbor asked.
    Dickinson said that is not going to happen.
    Fruitland Park commissioners will discuss the issue at their Thursday evening meeting.

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