The Porter County
Sheriff’s Police is reminding residents of unincorporated county that the
discharge of firearms on private property is legal, so long as all safety
precautions are observed.
Readers of the
Chesterton Tribune have been reacting to a story in the Tuesday, Sept. 5
edition, reporting that two Valparaiso residents are facing a possible
charge of criminal recklessness after rounds fired during a target-shooting
session on Monday, at a residence located south of the 200 east block of
C.R. 650N in Jackson Township, struck a vehicle and a home.
“This shooting, w/o
proper backstops, happens all over Jackson Twp.,” a reader commented on the
Tribune’s Facebook page. “Why does it take houses and vehicles hit
before something is done?”
“We hear it in
Westchester Township constantly,” another reader commented. “My husband has
nearly been hit, twice, on our own property. Something has to change.”
Today PCSP Sgt.
Jamie Erow confirmed that target shooting in unincorporated Porter County is
not prohibited--as, for instance, it is in the Town of Chesterton. “The
discharge of firearms in unincorporated areas of Porter County is legal, so
long as there is a suitable backstop for the caliber weapon and the
ammunition being fired and all safety precautions are taken.”
added, any unincorporated resident who has an “immediate concern” with
shooting in his or her neighborhood should report the incident at once to
the PCSP, by calling 911 or the Sheriff’s Office business line at 477-3000,
so that an officer can promptly investigate and determine whether the
shooter in question is observing all necessary safety precautions.
firearms and hunting questions, folks should contact the Department of
Natural Resources’ Law Enforcement Division, Erow said.
afternoon, a PCSP responding to complaints of errant rounds hitting a
vehicle and a house on C.R. 650 found that a Valparaiso couple had fired
some 50 rounds each at a pair of plastic barrels. The officer determined
that no suitable backstop had been erected and that the barrels--with
“numerous bullet holes in them”--were empty, “just two hollow plastic
The man and woman
in question “were very apologetic and stated that they had no idea their
shots could travel so far.”
The PCSP is seeking
to charge the couple with criminal recklessness, a Level 5 felony punishable
by a term of one to six years.