Worried mom credited with helping to ban shooting in woods near Monroe homes

VIDEO: It's now illegal to shoot in a well-forested area near Monroe

MONROE, Wash. — A local mother is credited with helping to ban shootings inside a forested area near Monroe, following an incident where several children were nearly shot.

“I just assumed you couldn’t shoot near houses. I just assumed that it was common sense,” said Elly Britt, whose backyard borders the forested area.

Britt’s assumption was blown away on the evening of the Fourth of July.

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“All of a sudden my husband hears ‘Bang, bang, bang.’ He goes, ‘Those are gunshots. We hear gunshots,’” she said.

A stray bullet missed Britt’s house and her kids by just a few feet.

“Talk about a family picnic, and a bullet interrupts it. Everybody got out of their seats, ran to the front, ran to the street,” she told KIRO 7 News.

Yet, Britt knew there was no "ducking around " her children’s safety.

The following two months, she found that her “ammunition” was to speak out and try to get county leaders to declare the woods behind her home a “no shooting” area.

“The area used to just be forest land and land that would’ve been great for shooting,” Britt said. “It would’ve been perfect. But now it’s packed with homes.”

Banning shooting in the woods behind Britt’s home required the county to hold public meetings and get input from some of the shooters themselves.

“I don’t think my rights to continue to shoot on my property should be infringed by someone doing that on their property,” said Chip Brown.

After several days of hearings, county lawmakers came back with a vote.

In a 4-1 decision, they backed Britt’s request.

It was a triumph for a mother who said she’s all in favor of the Second Amendment but also frantic to keep her family safe.

“The momentum that this got, and the feelings behind it … I’m encouraged that it was a success,” she said.

As part of the changes, nearby homeowners will be getting letters saying shooting is now banned.

If any people break the rules, they could be fined or even arrested.