Gun owners must practice safely after a high-powered rifle bullet smashed through an occupied home's window in the Barfield community last week. Rutherford County Sheriff's Sgt. Dan Goodwin says a projectile from a .30-caliber centerfire broke through a screen and two layers of insulated glass before bouncing off a storm window pane on the sill. An 18-year-old woman sleeps in that bedroom, he adds.
Evidence suggests the bullet was tumbling end over end as it struck the home on Laramie Court and was probably fired by someone on either Stones River Lane or Crescent Lane, he said.
Goodwin says a forested area lies between those roads and Laramie Court, and too many people foolishly believe wooded areas will stop high-powered rifle rounds.
He says folks need to read the warning on ammo boxes. A .22 Long Rifle rimfire round is dangerous to 1.5 miles, a .308 or .30-'06 centerfire rifle can cause death or injury several miles away.
The sergeant adds they investigated a case where a Christiana man was showing off by firing a 9mm pistol upward at a 45-degree angle. He says that slug punched into an occupied vinyl siding home more than 700 yards away and was found lying in a bathroom tub. He was arrested and convicted."
While residents outside municipal limits can legally shoot firearms in Rutherford County, they should have safe, wide and tall enough backstops that can stop any round they fire, said Goodwin, a firearms instructor with more than 20 years of experience in training.
Goodwin reminds residents if you can't build a safe personal range there are at least two public outdoor ranges not far over county lines. Adding a little bit of gas and a small fee is better than getting charged with homicide or reckless endangerment for an errant bullet.
Those outdoor ranges are:
- The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency's Stones River Hunter Education Center, at 2618 Hobson Pike in Antioch. (615) 641-8896.
- The OK Corral Shooting range at 3175 Pleasant Ridge Road, Woodbury, TN. (615) 653-3779 or www.facebook.com/pages/Ok-Corral-Shooting-Range