Target the irresponsible gun owners

A bullet from a Russian sniper rifle tore through a target, flew three-quarters of a mile, bored a hole through a wall and lodged in another wall of an Olive Township home earlier this month.
Apr 16, 2013


Had a resident of the home stood up at the moment that the bullet whizzed through her family room, this story would have likely included an injury or fatality.

The woman and her husband are understandably upset about this near-miss.

Neighbors have chimed in with their own harrowing stories of close encounters with bullets.

Their target? The wildlife area that’s often used for target practice near their homes.

Spent bullet casings and shotgun shells litter the ground. The sounds of birds and swaying trees are among the things that attracted residents to this area, but the sound of rifles and shotguns being discharged has them ducking for cover.

Why? Because of irresponsible gun owners.

Responsible gun owners make sure they know exactly what’s behind every wooded row before they pull the trigger. Responsible gun owners make sure they are shooting into a backstop, and that their bullet won’t go astray. Responsible gun owners don’t shoot high-powered rifles in a relatively flat area that has houses nearby.

Now the residents and Olive Township officials are taking aim at the range. We can’t blame them for doing so.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources officers maintain and regulate this wildlife area. After the most recent incident, they are surely considering whether they should ban target practice with rifles and other high-powered firearms at this unofficial range. They’ve done so at other wildlife areas, so it makes sense that they’re setting their sights on this option.

We urge them to pull the trigger and introduce regulations that will keep this neighborhood secure, but will still allow responsible gun owners the opportunity to safely practice shooting their firearms.

That’s a fair solution all around, and one that unfortunately must happen because too many irresponsible shooters have created a safety problem that must be resolved.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.


Back to the Wall

they (the MDNR) are surely considering whether they should ban target practice with rifles and other high-powered firearms at this unofficial range
end quote>

And the tribune knows this HOW?


Just asking as I honestly don't know. When was this shooting range established? Before or after the homes were built? Were the home owners aware of the shooting range when they "moved" in? I know for a fact that target practicing is allowed in rural areas as we have some late teens that live next door and they have shot from their rooftop of their mom's house. They target practice and only once did the Ottawa County dept come out and established that they needed to change the direction that they were targeting.
State of Michigan states "Safety zones are all within 150 yards(450 feet) of an occupied building, house, cabin, or any barn or other building used in a farm operation. No person, including archery and crossbow hunters, may hunt or discharge a firearm, crossbow or bow in a safety zone, or shoot at any wild animal or wild bird within a safety zone, without the written permission of the owner or occupant of the property. The safety zone applies to hunting only! It does not apply to indoor or outdoor shooting ranges, target shooting, law enforcement activities or the discharge of firearms, crossbows or bows for any non-hunting purpose.


” but will still allow responsible gun owners the opportunity to safely practice shooting their firearms.” I think you forgot what you are arguing here. Let me remind you…banning “target practice with rifles and other high-powered firearms at this unofficial range” so you are advocating limited use to responsible gun users as well as irresponsible. If you find that as a “fair solution all around” then you’re not seeing the whole picture.


"Unofficial range" sounds an awful like "someplace in the woods people like to shoot".
Wouldn't it be better to ban "target practice" at anyplace other than OFFICIAL gun ranges, with the safety features and practices built in?
I don't see how this would harm the "responsible" gun owner, assuming they are responsible enough to WANT to target shoot as safely as is possible.
IF, as truthhurts states, I am not seeing the whole picture.....bullets going into somebodys house because a gun owner, responsible or not, is target shooting in the woods.....that is a big enough picture for me. How much of a bigger picture do YOU ambulance and/or a post-funeral dinner at that house?


so you're saying that it is not possible to safely shoot a gun at an "unofficial range"? Since when have we become a nation where the actions of one, affect the whole? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to have a berm built for certain target shooting rather than to just ban it all together? How many bullets have hit houses in how many years? Granted one bullet is to many, you still need to evaluate the overall risk. I was simply stating that the article contradicted itself. I hope that no one ever gets hurt, I am just looking for an equilibrium; especially at a time when gun owner rights are being stomped on by our lovely brothas in office. Its sounds to me like you have one result in mind and anything else is unacceptable which is simply narrow minded, un-American, and unfair to the majority.

retired DOC

When did this become a sniper's rifle. didn't say that in earlier articles. The Russian 7.62X39 is not a sniper's round. Does not shoot flat enough. Other reports said 3/4 of a mile. That is over 1200 yards. Winchester lists the trajectory as sighted in at 100 yards drops 61.1 inches at 400 yards. At what angle to you have to point the rifle to have it hit 5 foot up on a wall?


True that retired DOC but ya got to follow along with the Tribs need to sensationalize. Doesn't sniper rifle sounds so much more evil.

The guy was most likely carelessly shooting the rifle if it hit the home that far away. We never heard from the expert reporting how and what the guy was shooting at. Far as we know he could have put a can 6 ft up in the crotch of a tree to shoot at. That doesn't matter, what matters is the Trib can continue to run with this story to gin up anti gun sentiment in the community. You need to keep up with the agenda please.


Firts of all it is posted on state land used for hunting and target practice is not allowed. The problem is you have to many stupid people shooting guns because all they care about is themselves. I am a hunter and many guns owner. To shoot guns you have to use your head and make sure what you are shooting at will stop your bullets. I like going to the range because I have looked around my house which I can legally shoot my weapons. I could not believe how many homes are with in range of my house if I shot my weapons. Its not like hen i was a kids you would have miles between house. Now you have four or five houses stuck in the woods and you dont even know there are there until yo realy start looking. The other problem I think about if I am out in the woods traget practicing I walk out to put up my target as I am walking back to my guns away from my target I dont know that there is a kid o family walking into the woods from the other side of the woods walking in the direction of my targets with me not knowing because of the trees and ver growth.Then when I fire my weapon at the target and I kill a kid or family it is my fault and I have to live with that for the rest of my life. So I am all for gun ranges, but you have idiots like the ones at north ottawa gun range that over shot the burms and hit those houses so now we have a hard time finding a safe gun range. You have those rich snotty people at that sub division that have been complaining about the range because of the noise well you moved there not the gun ranged moved in so deal with the noise or move out dont ruin it for so many people that want a safe place to shoot so other people dont get hurt.


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