Licking County News

Gun-discharge zones

Committee denies two requests to amend boundaries

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Despite two requests from property owners, Pataskala's agriculture committee Oct. 21 did not recommend any changes to the city's legal firearms-discharge zones.

Hunting and recreational gunfire are permitted in the zones, which mostly are in areas zoned as agricultural and rural residential -- about two-thirds of Pataskala.

Evangeline Fouras requested 175 acres northeast of Summit and Cable roads be removed from the legal discharge zones, and Licking Heights Superintendent Phillip Wagner asked that 41 acres owned by the school district be removed. The high school football field, track and some vacant property are included in the district's 41 acres.

Pataskala City Councilman Bernard Brush, chairman of the agriculture committee, said there are other laws that protect both property owners. The school district property is designated as a "no-weapons zone" and both property owners could post signs prohibiting hunting or trespassing, he said.

Brush said the agriculture committee typically recommends Pataskala City Council amend the firearms-discharge zone boundaries when changes are made to zoning designations or property uses.

He said the use of both properties has not changed.

Committee members Mike Compton and Mike Fox agreed with Brush that both property owners can use other laws to prevent people from trespassing on their property.

Fox made a motion to keep the boundaries the same. Compton seconded the motion and all agreed in favor.

Committee members encouraged Fouras, who attended the meeting, to work with the Pataskala Division of Police and Ohio Division of Wildlife when people trespass or hunt on her property. They asked her to report any issues to both agencies.

Brush said the agriculture committee will follow up with the police to see if any firearms-discharge zone violations occur in the future.

Pataskala City Council on Sept. 16 amended the firearms-discharge zones ordinance, restricting shooting to daylight hours and including language to prevent shooting from becoming a nuisance or an unreasonable disturbance to neighbors.

The ordinance references the National Rifle Association's Range Sourcebook for safety standards and guidelines.

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