September 7, 2008

Law Protects Hunters Shooting Near Dallas

Hunters are allowed to fire gunshots in densely populated Dallas suburbs, provided they remain a certain distance from people's homes, Texas law says.

While most cities forbid discharging firearms within city limits, the Texas Legislature enacted a law in 2005 to stop growing cities from using such laws to end hunting on large tracts annexed after 1981.

"We wish it wasn't allowed in a densely populated area such as McKinney," McKinney police Capt. Randy Roland told the Dallas Morning News.

McKinney, 30 miles north of Dallas, has a population of 116,000 and is one of the nation's fastest-growing midsize cities.

Many residents of McKinney and other Dallas-area communities do not know of the law, especially city dwellers following urban sprawl into "the country," police say.

"A lot of the people moving here are from other cities," Roland told the newspaper. "They don't look at their home as being in a rural environment; they see it as a growing development."

The law lets hunters use a shotgun, air gun, BB gun or bow and arrow on tracts of 10 acres or more, provided they remain at least 150 feet from homes or occupied buildings.

Rifles and pistols may be fired on tracts of at least 50 acres, the law states.