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Know the West

Bullet holes in bungalows

  Bullet holes in


In Prescott, Ariz., living near a national forest can be dangerous. Stray slugs from target shooters have pockmarked residents' hot tubs, porches, roofs and patio furniture. "They think they're out in the middle of nowhere and they can just shoot," says Carol Brownlow, a Prescott homeowner, in the Arizona Republic. On Nov. 29, the Forest Service took action, banning all shooting within 3 square miles of the 1.2 million-acre Prescott National Forest. Licensed hunters may still shoot game during hunting seasons, but other shooters could pay up to $500 and spend six months in jail. Although known for its pro-gun stand, the National Rifle Association took a different tack on this issue. Bob Corbin, the president of the National Rifle Association and former state attorney general, happens to own a home bordering the Prescott National Forest. "I'd be griping too," he said. "We're not going to step in and defend irresponsible people." Prescott forest staffer Malcolm Hamilton says that he has warned several target shooters since the ban, but no one has been arrested. Hamilton worries that irresponsible shooters will move their spray of bullets to areas outside the ban. Residents bordering other parts of the forest have already filed new complaints.