Series of close calls near popular target shooting area in Davis County causes concern

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DAVIS COUNTY, Utah -- A popular site for target shooting in Davis County has turned into a dangerous place for the public, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Over the last year, they have responded to multiple reports of stray bullets coming too close to visitors near the entrance of Antelope Island.

"Those who are not being safe are basically putting everything at risk," said Jason Curry, who is a spokesman for the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands.

DNR presides over the wetlands, which spread over thousands of acres near the Great Salt Lake.

While the space has been used for target shooting in the past, recent concerns prompted the state to implement new rules three months ago. They now prohibit shooting within a certain proximity to nearby properties, as well as restrict the use of lead bullets due to environmental concerns at the lake.

However, few abide by the new regulations. Two weeks ago, a nearby sewer treatment plant took a stray bullet to a window, and those using the trail system reported some close calls.

"People are literally diving for the dirt when they hear shots fired and the cracking over their heads," Curry said.

A violation of the rules is considered a Class B Misdemeanor, which comes with up to $2,500 in fines and 6 months behind bars.

If the public continues to not abide by the regulations, state officials will consider closing the area off to all shooters.

"If this keeps up, we are going to look at closing it to all shooting activity," Curry said.