Parents, Neighbors Worry When Shots Ring Out Near Public Places - WSPA.com

Parents, Neighbors Worry When Shots Ring Out Near Public Places

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SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. -

It’s two reports from the Spartanburg County Sheriffs Office that have parents and neighbors in the County concerned. People are firing shots in places that aren’t safe and if it continues, it could pose a threat to others they tell 7 On Your Side.

The first report came in Monday. Reverend Manning Strickland of Legacy Outreach Church in Pauline showed 7 On Your Side bullet holes scattered through his sanctuary and outside near the storage shed.

Strickland said there no way no major damage and no one was injured.

He said at first he and some of the congregation thought it may be neighborhood kids fooling around but he said law enforcement officers said it could also be hunters sighting their rifles.

Friday afternoon, a Spartanburg County Sheriffs Office report showed a call for response from Carlisle Fosters Grove Elementary School in Chesnee.

The report explains that the principal of the school and some teachers were concerned about gun shots they heard nearby. The school was dismissing students and the shots didn't stop.

The report said the deputy rode around the neighborhood and found a man who was shooting a high powered weapon in an area away from the school, but not into a backstop. The man also said he did not know how far the bullet could travel.

The deputy said the man also wasn't aware students were being dismissed at the school. He stopped shooting and the deputy told the man what he needed to do to be safe with the weapon.

Parents who live across the street from the school weren’t sure where the shots were coming from but were in shock that they same so close to the school.

"They were very powerful and I was just very frightened. I got up and looked out the door and didn’t see anybody but it seemed like it was in my backyard,” said Lillie Shaw.

A bus driver who lives right in front of the school heard the same shots as she was preparing to leave to get her bus and pick up students.

“I heard pop pop pop and my daughter looked at me and said what's that? I said I don't know I'm scared to go outside," said Frederica Humphries.

According to SC State Law it's illegal for a person to possess a firearm of any kind on any premises or property owned, operated, or controlled by a private or public school, college, university, technical college, other post-secondary institution, or in any publicly owned building, without the express permission of the authorities in charge of the premises or property. 

This does not apply to a person who is authorized to carry a concealed weapon, for example a law enforcement officer on duty or security guard.

State law also reads that it's illegal for anyone to carry a weapon while on any elementary or secondary school property, a knife, with a blade over two inches long, a blackjack, a metal pipe or pole, firearms, or any other type of weapon, device, or object which may be used to inflict bodily injury or death.

There are also regulations for firing a weapon near a public place. You cannot shoot into a house or enclosed structure regularly occupied by people.

The law also reads that you cannot discharge or cause to be discharged unlawfully firearms at or into any vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or other conveyance, device, or equipment while it is occupied.

A person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

More on state gun laws can be found here at the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division website.

The Department of Natural Resources  has multiple firing ranges throughout the state where you can receive more training and education on where you can and cannot and how to use a firearm properly.

Officials there said some newly licensed hunters can be more unfamiliar with hunting laws and where you can and cannot fire a gun. Officers said more people begin to fire where they're not supposed to when fall arrives and hunting seasons begin.

You can visit the SCDNR website here.
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