Man defends gun use in yard

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2016

LaGRANGE — A local man on Friday defended his right to shoot his gun in his yard in unincorporated Troup County during a County Commission work session.

Robert Terrell of Beaver Cove Drive spoke to county commissioners during a work session at the government center and gave his side of the story after complaints of his gun use by two neighbors.

Jan and Les Stanley of Beaver Cove Lane spoke about the matter at a Sept. 2 commission work session, requesting an ordinance to limit gun use in residential subdivisions. The sheriff’s department has been called frequently due to complaints between the neighbors.

“They (deputies) have to show up at my house every time he (Stanley) calls,” Terrell, who works for American Medical Response, told commissioners. “And they’ve shown up so many times, I almost want to make a pot of coffee before I shoot my gun because I know they are going to be there, and that is a waste of valuable resources.”

Terrell said he shoots safely at an embankment.

“I have a 5-year-old son; I’m not going to go out and just start shooting my gun at birds and trees and airplanes,” Terrell said.

The County Commission has reviewed the complaint since the Sept. 2 meeting when the Stanleys expressed their concerns, said Commission Chairman Patrick Crews, but they are still working to get all the details and verify claims.

“I spent my own time going out and talking to some people in your neighborhood, researching some facts, pulling data off the county computers,” said Commissioner Tripp Foster. “… But one of the things that I did pull up off of the county computers is that from your front porch to his is approximately 829 feet — is what it shows. That’s just shy of three football fields. That’s a considerable distance away.”

Jan Stanley emphasized to commissioners at the Sept. 2 meeting they live in a small neighborhood, eight lots apart, so noise and safety were issues.

“If you live in the county, and you are shooting a weapon, and it’s not 3 o’clock in the morning, and you are shooting at a safe direction, there is nothing in the current law that we can do to prevent him from shooting his gun,” said Sheriff James Woodruff at the Sept. 2 meeting.

Les Stanley told commissioners he suggested Terrell use a shooting range located about 3 miles away from his residence instead of inside the neighborhood.

“It doesn’t matter what direction he shoots in,” said Jan Stanley at the previous meeting. “He is aiming at someone’s house, property or lake. … He is putting all of our lives in danger.”

Crews said Friday the issue is a personal matter between the neighbors, and the sheriff has looked into current ordinances. The commission is not taking any action to change current ordinances, Crews said, but has not ruled out the possibility of further investigation at a later date.

The Stanleys were not present at Friday’s meeting. The Daily News was unable to reach them for comment as of press time.

The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to next meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday on the first floor of the Troup County Government Center, 100 Ridley Ave.

By Alicia B. Hill

Daily News correspondent

Alicia B. Hill is a correspondent for LaGrange Daily News. Reach the office at 706-884-7311.