DNR to close shooting range at state game area

6:15 PM, Jun 5, 2013   |    comments
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OLIVE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- There is an update to a 13 On Your Side story about a state game area in Ottawa County, where bullets went flying into a neighborhood and even through one family's home.

WZZM has learned the Department of Natural Resources will close the shooting range on 112th Avenue in Olive Township, but hunting will still be allowed.

Some neighbors have been complaining about the danger for years. "I heard a bullet come past me, and I've been in the military enough to know it was close," says Dwayne Neinhuis.

There was another close call across the street. In April, a bullet went through a neighbor's living room. WZZM 13 also reported about several other properties that had bullet holes from the state game area.

In the meantime, Neinhuis used a camera and other tools to document the situation himself. He took the camera out to the shooting range.

"I would say I'm taking a picture of your guns and your ammo," says Neinhuis. He also collected a jar of the ammo used for high powered weapons.

Last week the DNR responded, deciding to shut down the shooting range but still allow legal hunting. The department released a statement saying, "We never want to limit anyone's ability to enjoy or pursue recreation opportunities, but in this case there were too many instances of potential harm to residents."

"I'm not against guns, I'm not against hunting, but I'm mighty glad this has stopped simply because it's a safety issue," says Neinhuis.

"Now it's like 'wow,' we can sit on our patio and we don't hear the gunshots anymore," says Darlene Neinhuis, Dwayne's wife.

DNR representatives say they are aware of at least six incidents connected to the game area. They say the shooting range wasn't closed sooner because many of the incidents weren't officially reported to them.

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