- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Residents of a small St. Petersburg, Florida, community are outraged after one of their neighbors built a legal homemade gun range in his front yard.

“I don’t know if this idiot is going to start popping off rounds,” parent Patrick Leary said of 21-year-old Joseph Carannante. “I’m furious.”

The St. Petersburg Police Department say Mr. Carannante is legally allowed to fire guns in front of his Lakewood Estates home, just yards from where children live, a local NBC affiliate reported.

Mr. Carannante insists that he only wants to use his yard as a matter of convenience and is not intending to scare anyone.

“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,” he told the station. “I don’t want to have to go to a gun range, when I can just go outside my door.

“I wouldn’t have done all this if I didn’t know the reaction,” said Mr. Carannante, who insisted he will inform neighbors when he intends to fire his gun, which he hopes to do every other weekend.

Neighbors said they feel they’re being held hostage by Mr. Carannante.

“You heard him say, ‘I’ll tell the neighbors when I’m getting ready to fire,’” Mr. Leary told the NBC affiliate. “What, do we gather our children and hide? Ridiculous. Come on.”

“I don’t consider it responsible. I don’t consider it reasonable,” said another parent, Kendra O’Connor. “He’s asking me to go inside my house, go to the other side of the house, as he’s informing me he’ll fire his weapon.”

County Commissioner Ken Welch said he has made calls to the police department and the city attorney to look into the residents’ concerns.

“Even to the most pro-gun person, to have a gun range in the middle of a residential neighborhood doesn’t make any sense at all. I’m hoping we can get to some common ground and common sense,” Mr. Welch told the station. “People don’t want this near their homes.”

Police said they have been to Mr. Carannante’s home and will continued to “monitor the situation closely.”

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