Bucks County town­ship re­jects ma­jor firearms re­stric­tions

The Morning Call - - LOCAL NEWS - By Charles Mal­in­chak

The an­tic­i­pa­tion of an or­di­nance that would bring sweep­ing re­stric­tions on shoot­ing firearms on pri­vate prop­erty brought out at least 70 peo­ple Tues­day to the Spring­town Fire De­part­ment to hear what rules would be im­posed by Spring­field Town­ship su­per­vi­sors.

While many from the up­per Bucks County town­ship at­tended to op­pose any rules, the su­per­vi­sors agreed to only one pro­vi­sion, which was al­low­ing shoot­ing be­tween 7 a.m. and dusk.

Su­per­vi­sors Chair­man David Long pre­sented a list of pos­si­ble re­stric­tions, such as prop­erty size, the num­ber of peo­ple per­mit­ted to shoot on a prop­erty, days of the week and noise.

In all the cat­e­gories, ex­cept the 7 a.m. to dusk rule, none of the other four su­per­vi­sors ex­pressed a need to en­act any re­stric­tions.

“I think com­mon sense does a bet­ter job than get­ting into rules and reg­u­la­tions,” Su­per­vi­sor Jim Nilsen said.

Su­per­vi­sors ex­plored the or­di­nances in re­sponse to nu­mer­ous com­plaints of ex­ces­sive shoot­ing.

“We’ve had com­plaints of peo­ple blaz­ing away for three hours,” town­ship Man­ager Michael Brown said.

Town­ship solic­i­tor Scott MacNair said what the su­per­vi­sors de­cided on is not a pro­hi­bi­tion against shoot­ing, only the hours.

Nilsen said there’s a so­lu­tion if peo­ple are not abid­ing by safe shoot­ing prac­tices, such as not shoot­ing over prop­erty lines, us­ing in­ad­e­quate or no back stops or not tak­ing other ob­vi­ous safety mea­sures: “If they are be­ing reck­less, that is al­ready cov­ered by state law.”

Charles Mal­in­chak is a free­lance writer for The Morn­ing Call.

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