They've been shooting at my home?

I live in a rural area. I have about 1.5 acres of land with a tiny bit of lake front. I have what you might consider a mobile home, though once installed, it really is no longer mobile, more like a low end modular. It cost me about ,000 and being lower middle class doesn’t mean I don’t have rights.
About 1/4 mile away is a fenced in lot of about 4 acres. When they cleared the land somewhat and fenced in a part of it last fall, I had no idea what was going in there.
Now I know. It is a pellet gun or air rifle range. It opened about a month ago. Initially, the dirt bank at the end of the range was about 5′ tall. There was nothing on the sides. Now the back is about 7′ tall and part way down the side towards my house is a dirt bank about 3-5′ tall.
I’ve got several holes. I’ve got a broken window. My car has been hit. My dog house has been hit. My kid plays out back. The owner offered to pay for damages. The cops say it was accidental, there’s nothing they can do. This is ridiculous
The police recovered two pellets. They told me they looked larger than the standard .177 caliber pellets. They figured .20 or .22 caliber pellets.
The dog was never hit, as far as I can tell, but her house was hit. It is plastic, and there’s a hole in it.
Since they added more dirt, to the best of my knowledge, nothing his hit my home. They offered to pay for the repairs to my siding and car. They already paid for the window. I probably will make them pay for the dog house, but this one isn’t ruined. I was thinking about replacing it with a slightly larger one, as she is not going to be a puppy much longer & wouldn’t want the exact same thing. We’re talking a difference, which I’m not sure is enough to worry about it.
I have been watching. I have binoculars. They are open Friday evenings 4-7pm. They are open Saturday from 8am-7pm. They are open Sunday 10am-7pm. They will expand their hours May-September and close for the season some time in November. I can’t watch them that much.

13 Responses to “They've been shooting at my home?”

  1. Inquisitor-2006 Says:

    Your best bet is to hire a lawyer and file a civil suit — my guess is that you can find someone to take your case on a contingency basis.

  2. quelisto Says:

    Well, ‘accidently’ shoot back at them with a 50 cal and I think they’ll quickly learn their lesson.

  3. ruthiecrue2 Says:

    i agree with you that is ridiculous. I’d take the offer up on damages. Maybe the owner of the range will get tired of paying you damages.
    They should put a higher border around the range.

  4. Scotty Says:

    The pellets entering you land have put you in fear of being hit, so this constitutes the tort of assault. You also have destruction of property, but there you would have to prove intent.

    I’d go into small claims court and sue for my damages only, against the owner of the land and anyone that you know is shooting at your property. Make it clear that if this continues, you will sue for much more the next time.

    Using the court system isn’t fun, but it proves that your neighbor knew about the problem and let it continue.

  5. gunplumber_462 Says:

    As much as most people claim to despise the profession, this is what lawyers are for. Hire a good one to either get them to alter their operations next door to accommodate your safety or make them shut down.

  6. Chuck_junior Says:

    Okay, if I have this right, this pellet gun range is causing damage to your home and placing you and your family in danger.

    #1 The owner of the range is responsible to provide a safe environment to shoot, and that includes you.

    What I would do is to contact your local zoning agency and have them come out and do an inspection. I’d bet the Dirt Berms aren’t to code. They’ll cite the owner and force him into compliance as far as the height and depth of the berms.

    As far as any damages you have, the owner of the range is responsible to repair/replace the damaged items.

    The bigger concern here is how this place was allowed to open and place peoples lives in danger. A good pellet rifle can reach the velocities of a .22 caliber cartridge. I’m wondering if they have permits at all.

    Good luck to you.

  7. BlueGus Says:

    First thing to do is find a lawyer (it’s going to cost you) and file a motion for an injunction to stop the range from operating. You shouldn’t be put in danger for something like this.

  8. Dan S Says:

    It may sound ridiculous but the cops are right. The owner surely didn’t intend to shoot your dog, and your property.

    However, he is responsible for the safe use of his property and any damage that is done by those that use his property. You can sue him for damages and as part of that suit require him to increase the height of his dirt berm, or better yet to install a steel backdrop that will protect your property.

    You can’t stop him from using his land in a lawful manner, but you can require his use of that land will not endanger your land and your family.

    First I would collect the police records for the times you have reported him, and it had better be more than twice, you want to establish a pattern of abuse. Second you need to have an evaluation of the damage that has been done to you, and then you need to contact a lawyer and present him or her with this case.

    Your neighbor has clearly made attempts to protect your property; the second berm and increasing the height of the first berm. So he has showed good faith, just not very effective actions. Since he has done this then any damage that occurred is indeed accidental.

    I would talk with the lawyer and then talk with the owner of the property and inform him that his protection for your property is inadequate and you cannot allow him to keep doing this. You don’t want to shut him down, but you don’t want your children to be shot either. He needs to put up a more effective barrier and he needs to pay for the damage that has been done to your property. Then I would suggest that he buy a lot of corrugated tin and build a wall of that on top of the existing berm. Then support that wall with either telephone poles or steel poles, or thick wooden poles that are placed in concrete footings.

    You can then say that no you will not help him pay for this because you are not responsible for what happens on his land and you are not sharing in the profits that his land is generating (if he offers to cut you in on the business, then refuses him; you are trying to make a home for your family, not run a business). If he doesn’t build this wall in a reasonable time and if he doesn’t stop operations until the wall is built then you will threaten to sue him.

    Be polite and give him a chance to fix the problem first, then if he keeps messing up or refuses you can sue him. Contact a lawyer first to see what grounds you have for the suit and to make your threat a real one. Tell him that if he doesn’t do what you ask then he had better contact your lawyer, and give him that lawyer’s card.

    Make sure you bring a witness, preferably a legal aid from the lawyer’s office to witness the event and to give independent testimony that you acted in a fair, legal, and proper fashion. If tempers are going to be lost let it be on his side because that will work in your favor in court.

    Take pictures of all the damages done, the wounds to your dog and collect the bills for repairing that damage, the vet payment and anything else that you have had to do in response to the misuse of his land. You will need to create a summary to show your lawyer and then supply him with a copy of them.

    If your case is successful then the losing party can be held responsible for court costs and your costs for the lawyer. If your neighbor refuses to met your demands then your lawyer can at least get an injunction preventing any more firing on his land in the direction of your house. If your neighbor breaks that injunction then he can be charged with a crime.

    Please contact me via, my avatar and let me know how things turn out. I would be interested in how effective my advice is. Remember that I am not a lawyer so you need to talk with one to see if my line of reasoning is valid. I would very much like to know what your lawyer says.

  9. lil pit cat 71 Says:

    small claims court…move,good luck that really sucks!!

  10. reckless_republican Says:

    1/4 mile with a pellet rifle? Perhaps with the upper 10% of them. I honestly don’t believe most under $100 (which is probably more than 90% of the total in use) could reach that far and still do damage, let alone be accurate enough to be intentional.
    So this is what I think, somebody, probably a teenager or very immature adult has a powerful rifle, a .22 or even a .25 caliber. This is certainly no toy. Probably set them back $400-500 or more. You can buy a cheap .22 rifle for 1/3 of that and it will still have twice the firepower of even a top of the line air rifle.
    The owner of this range has a problem. He needs to watch for this problem. Better yet, go to Wal-mart and get a $40 Daisy and ask to shoot there, don’t shoot too much, but watch the others. If you see someone shooting at your home, notify management and insist the deal with it immediately and have the shooter arrested.
    The shooter will have no idea that you live next door. All the other shooters are probably OK, or couldn’t get at you even if they wanted to with the distance involved.
    It is sad one jerk can ruin things for everyone. Air rifles are NOT toys. They are less restricted that firearms and more people will be using them in the future. Maybe this range owner needs a security camera to gather evidence of crimes being committed at his business.

  11. Billy T Says:

    It sounds as if the owner is trying to cooperate.Make him pay damages and if it happens one more time then sue for all you can get.I have a modular home no where near 80.000 dollars worth and it is my castle

  12. zippyriver Says:

    Instead of having him pay you directly, I would get policy information and file a claim with the insurance company providing coverage for his business. If it is a repeat problem and his insurance cancels, he would have to close down or risk getting sued for the whole lock, stock and…… barrel

  13. Froggy ^_^ {yea! Says:

    i 2 live in a mobile home and there’s been some illegal immigrants shooting at my neighbor’s house, i’m probably just about 2 move but that’s just not in the bugdet rite now. mayb u should get a body gaurd or a detective 2 follow the shooter around – then again – THAT’S PROBABLY 2 PRICEY 2!