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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fairfax County Fixes Air Rifle Ordinance Passed June 21st.

Freddie Kunkle reported yesterday on the Washington Post Virginia Politics blog that last Tuesday (July 19th), the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors revisited action they took at their June 21st meeting and backed down from a possible clash with the Virginia General Assembly over the new state law related to pneumatic weapons (air guns).  The Board voted to relax local prohibitions on air guns, giving up an attempt to at least continue restrictions on air guns on parkland and school property.  That action, which was included in the amended ordinance passed on June 21st, had the consequence (unintended or not) of negatively impacting the county's school air rifle teams.

Previously, the county restricted air guns to more open areas of the county and required their owners to register them with police. Senate Bill 757, which took effect July 1, allows people to shoot air guns on private property with the owner’s permission as long as reasonable care is taken to make sure the projectiles do not cross property bounderies. 
Virginia being a commonwealth guided by the Dillon Rule, which jealously guards the state government’s preeminence over local authority, the board has always recognized that they had little choice but to go along with the new state law. But Supervisor Jeff McKay (D-Lee) and others balked at letting people traipse across parks and school properties with BB guns.
One Supervisor,  Gerald W. Hyland (D-Mount Vernon), reiterated at last week's meeting that he would like to see the county’s delegation in the General Assembly find a way to give some control back to the county on regulating pneumatic weapons when it convenes next year.

Don't look for them to have much success.  Those on various county boards and town councils who oppose the new law predict it will cause all sorts of mayhem and be a danger to communities.  As will all such predictions, they never come true.  So, there will be nothing to which they can point to justify a change.

1 comment:

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