Grayson County is North Texas. The largest city is Sherman but much of Grayson County is rural. For 38 years Ralph Williams has offered the community his 106 acre, family-owned land, to use as a shooting range. There has never been an injury or an accident.
A while back a neighbor, not directly down range, and .8 of a mile away called the local Sheriff and District Attorney to complain about bullet holes in her garage door. She was incensed and absolutely certain the bullets came from the range.
The Sheriff and DA drove out and viewed the damage from inside their vehicles, it was a rainy day, and they agreed with the neighbor.
When contacted Ralph Williams gladly met with the DA and unhappy neighbor to determine the problem and what course of correction should be taken. He did not debate whether the holes were bullet holes, or whether they had actually come from his range or not. He's a responsible person and good neighbor.
When asked to close down the range, Mr. Williams agreed to minimize activity with the exception of concealed handgun instructors with classes while he worked out a plan of action to enhance range safety.
This plan would include raising berms to near 20 feet, adding video cameras at the shooting line, adding range officers, and limiting the use of high power rifles. The District Attorney suggest during a first meeting that if Mr. Williams made changes, he could expect everything to be "okay".
Finally this seems to be the case. Sheriff Gary is removing a sign in his office telling deputies to stop anyone coming onto the range; as per the original agreement. Ralph's Range will be open for handgun and limited use while Mr. Williams makes a plan to enhance range safety.
This is the only outdoor public shooting range in Grayson County! The only place where 4-H shooting sports folks can go to practice, the only place to site in your deer rifle, the only place a CHL can do the shooting portion of their class at an outdoor public range.
It still appears that every errant shot fired in Grayson County in half a decade is being blamed on Ralph's Range but that's past history. Ralph Williams is committed to the future with the help of District Attorney Joe Brown, Sheriff Gary, Rep. Larry Phillips, and Senator Craig Estes.
Alice Tripp, Legislative Director