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Friday, June 17, 2011

Blacksburg Reluctantly Passes New Air-gun Ordinance

The Roanoke Times reported yesterday that Blacksburg unanimously passed an ordinance Tuesday that loosens restrictions on air-powered guns that are in line with new legislation (SB757), that will take effect on July 1, though the town did so with some reluctance.  Councilman John Bush told the Times that "It's probably not safe."

The new law, which was a priority for VSSA during the legislative session this year, prohibits localities from banning the use of pneumatic, or air-pressure-powered, guns on private property, so long as the guns are used reasonably and the property owner has given permission.

While Blacksburg did not make an issue of the legislation in the way that Fairfax has done, the comments make one think back to things like repeal of the restaurant ban, or "shall issue" concealed carry, where opponents predicted there would be dire consequences.  To date, restaurant carry has caused no issues, and shall issue concealed carry has been the law for almost 20 years with the prophecies of "blood in the streets" still unfulfilled.

Regarding Fairfax, the Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing at 5:00 PM, June 21st, to hear comment on  amendments to the County Code related to where firearms and pneumatic guns may not be shot, to bring the county in line with SB 757. An alert will go out on this later today.  We need a large turnout for the public hearing to show that there is a perfectly safe way to set up an air-gun range in a backyard or garage without causing harm to others.  Those wishing to speak at the meeting can register online here.

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