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Thursday, September 29, 2011

James City County Approves Gun Ordinance Changes

The James City County supervisors voted 3-2 to approve changes to the county’s firearm ordinance. According to the Williamsburg Yorktown Daily, the changes clarify the definition of a subdivision.
It specifies property that is divided into two or more lots after August 31, 1964; that has a recorded plat; and that has lots created for residential or commercial purposes. The changes also add an option that make getting an exception from the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries easier than it is currently and update a part of the ordinance on pneumatic guns to bring it into line with state code. The board approved the changes, with supervisors Jim Kennedy and Bruce Goodson dissenting.
Goodson said he believed the proposal was a solution looking for a problem instead of a real problem that needs to be addressed and that was why he could not support it.

County staff explained that residents can currently discharge weapons anywhere in the county to protect property or life, or to shoot dangerous animals such as coyotes.  In addition, the county pointed out that citizens can currently get an exception to hunt from DGIF through a permit.  The hange will allow citizens to apply for a DGIF wildlife management plan, which is a somewhat simpler process.  The DGIF change would allow more people to hunt on their land with smaller acreage, compared to offering a large-acre exception, according to staff.  Additionally, wildlife plans would have to be approved by the Chief of Police, who can control variables such as what types of guns are used to execute the plan, or when the plan can occur. The Chief can also choose to deny a plan, but a police spokesman on hand could not recall a time when a plan had been rejected.

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