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The Challenge Continues: Suburban Hunting

January 15th, 2009

No Hunting!When I started this thread a few days ago, I never thought it would lead me to where I am today.  I thought it was a challenge that would certainly affect some hunters, but it seems that the concept is steamrolling, especially in Maryland, and will be causing significant problems for hunters if it is not stopped.  I am speaking of the proposal to change the safety zone for hunting to the “maximum range of a legal firearm” as I reported in my last post.

It seems that more reasonable heads have not prevailed, and this is an issue that will be taken up in a County Council public hearing next week.  An article published on theviewnewspapers.com reports that the NRA is urging residents to fight against the proposal that will be taken up next week.  Essentially, the County Council has proposed that it be made illegal to shoot in the direction of a building that is within the maximum range of a weapon.  As I outlined before, this would essentially make it illegal to hunt in most areas of the county, as many firearms (shotguns and muzzleloaders in Maryland) have a maximum range of 2 miles or more.

The proposed bill would extend the current safty zone from 150 yards to 300 yards, and would make the stipulation that is stated above–no shooting toward a structure from a distance shorter than the maximum range of the weapon in use.

It appears that this bill has really got its legs under it.  It has vast support on the County Council.  According to the article linked above, the County Executive, Kenneth Ulman, is in favor of the measure and 4 of the 5 County Council members co-sponsored the bill.

This is, as the NRA has stated, a knee jerk reaction to an isolated incident in the county during hunting season.  A day care center had a window shattered by a hunter’s bullet.  Essentially, the County Council is now trying to make restrictions that will protect everyone against this unsafe condition.  The problem is, you can’t really legislate stupidity!  Think about it.  If this hunter was so unsafe as to shoot through a window of a day care center, how is changing the law going to help him?  Obviously, he was already violating some law, as he was cited for “negligent hunting.”

Much of this issue has been extended by anti-hunters jumping on board.  I have seen articles (can’t remember where at the moment) where some have complained simply because they heard guns being fired during season.  They argued that if they could hear the shots, the hunters were too close to their homes or properties.  As any outdoorsman knows, you can hear a gun shot from several miles away given the right conditions!  Will this be next?  No hunting within the maximum audible range of your weapon?  I know that sounds ridiculous, but when I wrote the first post in this thread, I thought “maximum range” laws were ridiculous!

So far, this issue is being fought out in one county of Maryland.  But, if it passes there, we can all be sure that it will be in our backyards next.  If this continues, there will be thousands upon thousands of acres that will be declared as being “unhuntable” due to being in a safety zone.  This could be the most powerful tool that anti-hunters have had in a generation.  If this measure is successful, you can bet that they will start using it nation wide.  It should be intersting to see just how far this gets, and how long it takes to get to our neck of the woods.

This is a continuing reminder that we must work hard to be safe, so that we don’t give opportunity to those that would take our hunting traditions away from us.

3 Responses to “The Challenge Continues: Suburban Hunting”

  1. Wow! I hope it doesn’t go through, it’s already hard enough and expensive enough to find a good place to hunt.Sounds like more antis b.s.

  2. I’m glad you’re bringing this to everyone’s attention Kris, because it will definitely be in all of our backyards before we know it.

    Maybe all of us could send an email to this particular city council. Do you know if they have a website?

  3. Arthur, I will do some research and see what I can come up with!

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