“Right now it’s not even legal to shoot a pellet gun or slingshot in the city,” city attorney John Rea said.
The ordinance, if passed by the council, will not only allow the use of those weapons, but also any legal firearm, as long as state laws are followed. The ordinance was recommended by the city’s Planning and Zoning Board.
“It is a significant change to our existing law,” Rea said.
Council President James McGowan said the city should hold a public hearing so residents could voice their opinions about the proposed ordinance.
The ordinance is “intended to supplement exiting Alabama laws and regulations regarding the discharge of firearms. …” the proposed ordinance states.
City officials said the ordinance was reviewed and approved by the city’s Police Department, the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, and the Alabama Department of Conservation game warden.
The drafted ordinance would allow the operation of an indoor shooting range as long as the facility is approved by the city’s Planning and Zoning Board.
The proposed ordinance also allows the discharge of a firearm for protection or in legal defense of person or property, as allowed by state laws.
If the ordinance is approved by the council, gun owners can hunt within the city, as long as state and federal hunting laws are followed.
The ordinance also allows “turkey shoots.”
“… at functions known as turkey shoots with shotguns only whose dates, times and location are advertised and held by civic, community or charitable groups in furtherance of their civic, community or charitable purposes and held no more often than two times per week nor more often than 25 times a year,” the proposed ordinance states.
City officials said the ordinance would also allow people to hunt Canada Geese, which lake residents have complained about as nuisances, as long as state and federal migratory waterfowl hunting regulations are followed.
“Nothing in this ordinance shall be constructed to allow any action, which otherwise would be considered a nuisance pursuant to state law or other city ordinance, or a violation under the city noise ordinance in effect at this time and as it may be amended,” the proposed drafted ordinance states.
Rea said the ordinance is patterned after what the city of Guntersville has in place.
Contact David Atchison at firstname.lastname@example.org.