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Johnson County considers fines for reckless shooting

August 23, 2021 GMT

Johnson County Commissioners are considering a measure that would impose up to a $1,000 fine for firing bullets onto or over property without permission.

Over the past year, stray bullets have lodged in vehicles and homes, uncomfortably close to children, KCUR-FM reported.

The measure is meant to enforce safety measures that have not always been used by target shooters in the unincorporated area of the county, Sheriff Calvin Hayden told commissioners Thursday.

“Nobody involved in this is anti-gun whatsoever,” Hayden said. “You guys know me, I’m a pro-Second Amendment guy. This is all about safety.”

Some 22 complaints were filed at 19 addresses from August 2019 through early June of this year. In one case, a bullet hit an SUV as it traveled on U.S. Highway 169, nearly missing an 11-year-old girl.

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State lawmakers have been reluctant to put limits on firearm use and target practice because the state relies on revenue from hunting, Hayden said. So the sheriff’s office, the district attorney and county legal services worked out a plan to give rules against reckless shooting some teeth by creating an actual code violation.

The new rule would be a civil infraction, but could become criminal for repeated violations.

Commissioners will vote on the proposal next week.