NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach CountyLake Worth Beach


2 victims struck by stray bullets from target practice hope for new state law

Proposal to make it a crime when bullets from backyard target practice land on someone else’s property. 
Posted at 6:22 PM, Nov 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-08 18:25:44-05

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — Nikki Adams was shot in the back and yet cannot call herself a victim of a crime.

"It's crazy, and the more I tell people that, everybody says, 'no way!,'" said Adams, who can hardly believe her own story.

On Sept. 10, while feeding her horses at her farm near Lake Worth Beach, she said she heard gunfire came from the direction of a neighboring property that frequently has target practice.

"I see the gunshots, the bullets hitting our trees again, so I call my husband," she said. "All of a sudden, I got hit in my back and went flying. I've been hit by a paintball; I've been hit by a BB gun. It was nothing like that."

Nikki Adams was shot in the back November 2023.png
Nikki Adams explains how she was shot in the back by a stray bullet at her farm.

WPTV reached out to Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and they said since the beginning of this year, they have responded to five similar calls in this general area.

Nikki Adams is not alone in her story.


Woman shot by stray bullet from target practice files lawsuit

Meghan McRoberts
10:56 PM, Jun 21, 2022

"I think my words were, 'Oh man, I think I've been shot,'" Heather Sitton told WPTV.

The Indiantown mother was shot in the shoulder last summer by, what deputies said was, a stray bullet from target practice at a neighboring property.

"I had some hope, even though I really thought that was it for me," Sitton said.

State Representative Katherine Waldron Democrat Wellington
State Representative Katherine Waldron Wellington explains how police cannot help you if you're struck by a stray bullet from target practice.

In both cases, the zoning density was less than a home per acre and a quarter, making it legal to shoot firearms on their property—even when bullets miss their targets and stray to their neighbor's property.

"The police force doesn't have any legal recourse," State Representative Katherine Waldron, D-Wellington, who is sponsoring a bill that would make it a first-degree misdemeanor when bullets from target practice land on someone else's property, said.

Indiantown mom Heather Sitton struck by stray bullet.png
Indiantown mom Heather Sitton explains how she was struck by stray bullet and filed a lawsuit.

“It's not a gun bill. We’re not taking anyone’s rights away,” Waldron said. “All we’re saying is, do what your entitled to do in your back yard with your firearms. But just keep your bullets within your property.”

Adams continues to recover from her wound from a stray bullet, and is active in the fight to get a new law passed.

"God had his hand on my back that day,” Adams said. “He was protecting me but also setting me up to help somebody else."

Waldron said she is building support for her proposal but facing headwinds from lawmakers who worry the measure will be seen as taking rights from gun owners. She has even asked the National Rifle Association to consider supporting her bill but has not heard a response.