Newton, Connecticut has been debating recreational gun usage on private property for over a year now, and after 200 hours of public testimony the Legislative Council has come to an agreement that restricts how gun owners can fire guns on their own property.
According to NewsTimes.com, the new ordinance restricts gun usage in the following ways:
- No resident may shoot for more than four hours after police are notified.
- Any recreational shooting must be restricted to one person shooting at a time.
- Target backstops must be at least 10 feet above the target.
- No shooting must take place within 1/2 mile from a school.
This ordinance is supposed to only apply to “recreational shooters” and does not apply to hunters or law enforcement. Also, gun salutes at memorial events will be exempt from the ordinance as well.
The debate over recreational shooting in Newton began months before the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, but many gun owners in the town are wondering what problem this ordinance actually solves.
Residents say there have been no reports of injuries or property damage caused by target shootings, so the ordinance just looks like an attempt to limit gun rights as a political posture.
“I don’t believe this ordinance is necessary,” said Andrew Buzzi, a member of the local Fish and Game Club, who spoke at a public hearing back in September 2012.
He explained that while police receive complaints about gun owners firing their weapons, very rarely are there situations where the public is at risk. Moreover, in a majority of cases, the shooting stops the second the officers arrive.
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