- Associated Press - Monday, May 25, 2015

STONEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - The fight over whether a homeowner should be allowed to build a pit on his land to fire his guns is quieting down in Rockingham County.

Army veteran Bobby Young said he built the firing pit to teach his children to handle guns properly. He put it 10 feet underground to keep bullets inside.

But neighbors said the noise from the gunfire was annoying and they worried that any stray bullets might be a danger to the residents of the 63 houses in the neighborhood near Stoneville.

However, just as quickly as the problem heated up, it died back down. Two months after a March meeting of the Board of Commissioners meeting where a commissioner who suggested a ban on some gun pits was removed as chairman, the issue hasn’t been discussed again. “That issue is dead in the water as far as I know,” County manager Lance Metzler told the News & Record of Greensboro (https://bit.ly/1SyDhpT ).

Then commission chairman Keith Mabe suggested weeks before the March meeting an ordinance that would ban firing guns within 500 feet of a property line or commonly occupied building.

At that meeting, several people spoke about the gun pit. “I don’t feel like I should have to wear a combat helmet to pull weeds,” neighbor Ruth McCumber said.

But during the meeting, the other four commissioners voted to remove Mabe as chairman because he was facing two misdemeanor drug charges. Mabe remains in office.

The other commissioners also rejected the gun pit ordinance, saying it was specific to one neighborhood and didn’t need to become a county-wide issue.

The neighborhood itself is quieter too these days. Young said he isn’t in his gun pit as much as he used to be.

“I still shoot, though not as often,” Young said. “I’m on my Harley Davidson most of the time when I’m not working.”

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Information from: News & Record, https://www.news-record.com


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