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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sussex County Attorney Comments Infer Noise Ordinance Shooting Restrictions Aimed at Sunday Hunting

Yesterday this blog inferred that the new Sunday shooting restrictions in Sussex County's new noise ordinance was aimed at Sunday Hunting.  It appears from an article on the proposed ordinance in the April 9th Sussex Surry Dispatch (SSD) that at least one person may have had that in mind.  When asked by the reporter whether the shooting restrictions were a way for the County to get around the Sunday Hunting law, County Attorney Michael Packer said that he did not see the ordinance conflicting with it because state law governs hunting.  He then followed up with this comment:
The folks that feel they have a need to hunt on Sunday would have to figure out a way to do it in a way that does not bother other people, from a noise point-of-view," Packer commented.

Now, as a county attorney, he should know that the county does have some limited powers that allow them to place some restrictions on hunting, like, the kind of firearm that can be used.  But, his comment gives the hint that he helped craft an ordinance that would make it all but impossible to hunt on Sunday, unless of course people used a bow. The SSD article also mentioned that the Board had previously passed a resolution opposing Sunday hunting.

The last time the issue of shooting restrictions for noise came up in Sussex was 2012.  At that time the Board heard from gun owners that the proposed restrictions were not acceptable and the Board sent the proposal back to the Planning Commission.  It never came back up, until now, and the Board was able to slip it through with little notice from gun owners and gun rights groups on April 17th.  A backlash has now ensued.  Board Chairman Eric Fly is holding his quarterly constituents meeting tonight at 7 PM at the Sussex County Courthouse.  He is likely to get an earful.

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