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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

York County Considering Firearms Discharge Ordinance

The YorkCounty Assistant County Administrator contacted me today to let me know the Board of Supervisors have scheduled a working session tonight to discuss a proposal related to the discharge of firearms in the county. Work sessions do not include public comment opportunities and no action will be taken tonight.

As you can see from the information linked below, it is a bit confusing as to where one would and would not be able to discharge a firearm. There are improvements from the current ordinance. For instance, they are proposing to make a distinction between firearms and Pneumatic (BB, Pellet, Paintball) guns. The proposal would remove current restrictions on pneumatic guns, make exceptions for self defense, and for culling the growing deer herd.

The material that the Board will be discussing can be viewed here.

The memorandum from the County Administrator explaining the proposal can be read by clicking here.

Lafayette Gun Club, which is located in York County, has some analysis of the proposal:

1) The Proposal is much too difficult in many cases to understand exactly where it is or is not allowed to discharge a firearm within in the county;

2) The Proposal is much too difficult for the authorities to enforce; and,

3) The proposal as drafted brings into question whether it is permissible to discharge a firearm within 300' feet of a dwelling/school or if it is not permissible anywhere on property that is 300' of a dwelling/school) How will someone know if they are greater than 300' away from the border of a restricted area?

Not withstanding the concerns listed above, Lafayette believes the proposal is moving in the right direction but could be greatly simplified.

VSSA will continue monitoring the process as it progresses and will alert members when action is needed.

Hat tip to Philip Van Cleave of VCDL for passing along the Lafayette Gun Club analysis.

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