Sheriff requests cease & desist against gun range after vehicle struck by bullet
HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Following years of concerns from neighbors about stray bullets, the Hampton County sheriff is requesting a cease-and-desist order against a gun range in Yemassee.
In the cease-and-desist request sent to a 14th Circuit judge on Feb. 16, Hampton County Sheriff Anthony Russell says one of his deputies, Tamika Carter, found a hole in her car on Jan. 1. She lives near the range on Tulifinny Road, according to the letter.
“The continued use of this shooting range poses as a threat to the lives of residents, businesses and passengers traveling through the area,” Russell wrote. “I can’t imagine how the citizens in that area of Hampton County feel right now.”
Russell wrote that despite many complaints, “incidents continue.”
“Several letters have been written by residents to the governor, state senators, a state representative, SLED, Attorney General’s Office, FBI, South Carolina DNR and SCDOT in effort to resolve safety issues. This is ultimately a local matter,” he wrote. “I hope and pray that you will honor my request and grant an order to cease-and-desist at this firing range.”
Jay Seibels, the attorney representing the gun range in the lawsuit, says the business has no comment on the cease-and-desist and is operating business as usual.
Since 2018, several incident reports from Yemassee Police and the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office detail bullets just barely missing kids playing in yards. Other bullets have shot through people’s cars, their homes or have landed on their property, according to the reports.
Neighbors claim the bullets are coming from the Maltese Arms Shooting Club, located on Pocataligo Road in Yemassee.
Some of the neighbors filed a lawsuit filed against the gun range’s owners and a state senator requested a joint investigation by authorities.
Previously, both the Yemassee Police Department and the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office have addressed residents’ concerns saying that nothing can be done because the gun range is inside Yemassee town limits. The properties where the bullets land, according to residents and their lawsuit, is outside of town limits in an unincorporated portion of Hampton County, just across Pocotaligo Road, where several plaintiffs live and work.
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