Makeshift gun range has neighbors in New Tampa concerned about safety

Posted at 6:28 PM, Jan 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-09 18:47:09-05

People living in a New Tampa community are wondering how long it will be before someone is accidentally shot. 

They say someone has set up target practice right behind their homes and now they want answers as to how it’s even legal.

Michelle Latkvoic moved into the Grand Hampton community about two years ago. She says she never imagined her kids might have to dodge stray bullets.

“My kids aren’t going to be outside for a while,” said Latkvoic. “Not until it’s controlled. I have two young boys and they ride their bikes all around the neighborhood. So it’s very concerning.”

The private property, next to her community, is home to a makeshift gun range. Latkvoic says she first could only hear the gunshots, but now, it’s getting real.

One neighbor posted pictures to Facebook, showing a hole in the wall and her window in her home with a bullet inside. Tampa Police say they are investigating that incident, but that there is no proof it came from the range shooting.

Fabian Gonzalez lives in the neighborhood with his family and says this has nothing to do with trying to take anyone’s rights.

"Most of the people who are worried are gun owners,” said Gonzalez. “It’s not about that. It’s about being safe at home."

Florida law states in part: Any person who recreationally discharges a firearm outdoors, including target shooting, in an area that the person knows or reasonably should know is primarily residential in nature and that has a residential density of one or more dwelling units per acre, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided.

Hillsborough County deputies have responded to the land in the past. They say when they were there, the people were on private property with a proper setup, complete with berms. 

Intentional or not, Gonzalez says that answer is just not good enough.

"Its frustrating because something being legal doesn't make it right. What we are saying is, there has to be some control to this: where they can do what they want, but in a place and a way that this is safe," said Gonzalez.

ABC Action News reached out to the owner of the private property land on the day this story aired, we have not heard back.