It’s legal, but is it smart?

sheriffNow and then the activity log of the Benton County Sheriff's Office contains an item that makes you wonder what your fellow citizens are thinking. I ran across an item like that when I reviewed the log for the last week or two.

The incident happened on April 27, a Saturday, just before 3 in the afternoon. "Shots fired." That's how the log described the call. Deputies went to an address on Marlon Street in Philomath, where a woman told them she could hear automatic gunfire somewhere north of her home.

The deputies must have heard it too and followed the sound, though the log doesn't say so. In any case, they went to an address in the 2300 block of West Hills Road, about a mile or more away from the caller's house. There they spoke with a man who was shooting a fully automatic submachine gun on his property.

The man had a federal license for the gun, and the deputies noted that what he was doing was legal. But they suggested that the next time he planned to shoot on his property he should call the sheriff's office first. "So when people call, we would know what was going on," the log explained their reasoning.

That would be one way to handle it. Another would be to think not just of the neighbors but of all the people living within about a mile of his place and then take his submachine gun to the nearest range. (hh)

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