Neighborhood, city wait for make-shift gun range builder's next move

Published Feb. 4, 2015

ST. PETERSBURG— Lakewood Estates residents and city officials say they're waiting to see if a 21-year-old man carries through on plans to fire a gun on his makeshift, backyard firing range this weekend.

Until then, the city doesn't have much power to make Joey Carannante remove the pallet and sand contraption behind his father's house at 2350 Granada Circle W, said Ben Kirby, Mayor Rick Kriseman's spokesman.

A state law allows backyard gun ranges unless used in a reckless or negligent way. Kirby and police department spokeswoman Yolanda Fernandez said the city would refer any discharge of a firearm to the state's attorney's office on grounds that an active range, in a densely populated neighborhood is de facto reckless and negligent. A police sergeant recently visited Carannante to advise him that using his range could violate environmental and noise laws, Fernandez said.

Meanwhile, neighbors are circulating an online petition to change the state law.

They're also considering an array of tactics, including lawsuits and notifying the property's mortgage holder and insurance carrier that dangerous activity is taking place.

For now, everyone is waiting to see what Carannante does on Saturday, the day that he told neighbors that he planned to shoot on the range.

"Common sense hopefully prevails here," said Patrick Leary, a neighbor who organized the petition.