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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Stafford County to Consider Change to Noise and Shooting Ordinances

There was an item on last night's agenda of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors that would authorize the county administrator to advertise a public hearing for the purpose of amending the county's shooting ordinance.  According to the background document:
The Board is asked to consider changes to the Noise and Weapons chapters of the Stafford County Code as it pertains to the discharge of firearms, pneumatic guns, arrows, and shooting in prohibited areas (No Shooting Zones). Many of the proposed amendments are technical in nature and are based on changes to the Virginia Code, practical application of regulations, and the effects of land development and urbanization in certain areas of the County. 
The proposed change to the Noise chapter of the County Code would clarify that the “average,” rather than the “geometric mean,” of three sound level readings would be used to determine sound levels. This measurement would apply to all activities, not just sound related to shooting. This change would make the Noise provision easier to understand and enforce.
While the information provided appears to mostly changes to bring county ordinances in line with state law, VSSA has major concerns with any noise changes that would make it harder for gun owners to shoot or hunt on private property.  Gun owners just beat back a change in Sussex County that would have all but prohibited shooting on Sunday.  Additional information related to the specific ordinance language and the date of the public hearing will be posted here when it is available.

Hat tip to jfrazerlaw.com.

Update: A few of the supervisors were very concerned about the boundaries of some of the proposed no-shooting areas, and possibly about some other issues.  They voted to delay authorizing a public hearing to allow further review.  VSSA will keep gun owners updated as the process continues.

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