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Florida man's front yard shooting range irks neighbors

By Ben Hooper

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Feb. 3 (UPI) -- A Florida man's front yard shooting range has raised the ire of his neighbors, but police say he is not breaking any laws.

Neighbors in St. Petersburg's Lakewood Estates neighborhood said they were outraged when Joseph Carannante, 21, announced he was building a shooting range in his front yard, just feet away from where children play, but Carannante said he just wants a place where he can shoot his 9mm in peace.

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"I don't want to hurt myself or any neighbors. I don't want to hurt anybody. I just want to use this as my enjoyment," Carannante told WFLA-TV. "I don't want to have to go to a gun range, when I can just go outside my door."

Carannante said he will inform his neighbors each time he plans to shoot his weapon, but neighbors said they are not comforted by his promise.

"You heard him say, I'll tell the neighbors when I'm getting ready to fire. What, do we gather our children and hide? Ridiculous. C'mon," neighbor Patrick Leary said.

Police said they visited Carannante's home and determined his homemade gun range doesn't violate any laws.

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"Code enforcement came out and said I'm within my rights. Police came out and said I'm within my rights. There's nobody who can say I can do this or not," Carannante told WTSP-TV.

The controversy has drawn the attention of state Rep. Darryl Rouson, who lives nearby.

"No one wants to take away the rights of a gun owner to own a gun, nor does anyone want to take away their right to legally shoot a gun, but we should look at the law in terms of restrictions and be sure that neighbors and communities feel safe," Rouson said.

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