Licking County News

Pataskala

Committee to review shooting restrictions Sept. 16

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Members of Pataskala City Council's agriculture committee will make another attempt Sept. 16 to finalize new restrictions to the city's legal firearms discharge zone.

Council on Sept. 3 tabled an ordinance adopting the proposed restrictions, pending one more committee review.

City Councilman Bernard Brush, who chairs the agriculture committee, asked Pataskala Police Chief Bruce Brooks and Law Director Rufus Hurst to attend the 5:30 p.m. meeting Sept. 16 to help finalize the wording of the restrictions.

City Council on Sept. 3 considered new language that reads: "No owner, lessee or other occupant or person having control or exercising control of land within the discharge zone shall discharge or permit any other person to discharge any firearm outside of an enclosed building from dusk to dawn, other than for hunting permitted in compliance with the rules and regulations issued by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, or in the act of self-defense.

"In addition and other than for lawful hunting, the discharge of firearms otherwise permitted shall be restricted in duration to a time period that shall not exceed two continuous hours within a given day."

Brush said the committee needs to work with Brooks and Hurst to ensure police can enforce the two-hour shooting violation.

"For an officer to make an arrest on a misdemeanor, it has to happen in front of the officer," Brooks said.

Brooks said officers can consider video or other recordings when determining if the shooting has been continuous.

Brush said the ordinance as presented Sept. 3 addresses most of City Council's questions from previous meetings and attempts to alleviate residents' concerns about firing guns in the city.

The city's discharge zones allow hunting and gunfire in areas of the city that are zoned agricultural and rural residential -- about two-thirds of Pataskala.

Several residents have complained to City Council about neighbors who shoot close to their properties and for several hours at a time.

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