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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

York County Proposed Shooting Ordinance Update

VSSA has been working with the County Administrator's office in York County to keep apprised of proposed changes to the county's shooting ordanance. The York County Board of Supervisors held their regularly scheduled meeting last night. As previously posted one of the items on the agenda was a proposal to add several neighborhoods to the list of those where discharge of a firearm would be illegal, repeal the ban on discharge of pneumatic guns, make discharge of a firearm within 300-1000 feet of a school illegal unless verbal notification (not a voice mail) had been given to a school official, and make it clear that discharge would be legal for self-defense.

The Sheriff of York County had made it clear previously that he believed York County should repeal its ordinance and let state law govern as no one had ever been charged under the local ordinance. He restated this belief at last night's meeting. However, as I posted previously, repeal of the current ordinance was not on the agenda and no prior notice of such action had been given to the public. The Board then moved to approve the repeal of the ban on shooting pneumatic guns and made it clear that it is legal to discharge a firearm in defense of property and in self defense. The Board did not add any new neighborhoods to the current list of neighborhoods where discharge is prohibited. The Board also did not approve the ban on on discharge within 300 feet of the perimeter property line of a County school site and a requirement that the school be notified by personal oral communication (not merely by answering machine) of any intention to discharge firearms in the 300 feet to 1,000 feet distant zone around a school site. This is a big win for gun owners and sportsmen in York County.

VSSA will continue to follow actions in York County. It is likely the Board will hear a proposal to repeal the county's current shooting ordinance. If further changes are proposed, they will be posted here and we will notify members of our legislative alert list. If you are not a subscriber, simply click the link to the right and join today.

Correction 6/17/10 - After a more careful review of the document forwarded to me by the County Administrator, the Board did add the new neighborhoods that had been proposed to prohibit discharge of a firearm with the exceptions (law enforcement officers, animal wardens and game wardens in the line of duty, military personnel in the line of duty, the discharge of firearms on firing ranges or target ranges operating in conformance with the county’s zoning regulations, the discharge of a firearm in conjunction with a managed hunt to control the deer population pursuant to Code of Virginia section 29.1-529, and any discharge of a firearm in lawful defense of property or persons or to kill a dangerous or destructive animal).

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