by Saja Hindi
The Stallings town council approved an amendment to its firearms ordinance Monday, Nov. 28, increasing the distance from which a hunter can discharge a firearm.
Residents filed seven complaints this year during dove season about the close proximity of discharged firearms. Officers investigated the complaints and determined there was no violation of the law, but the Public Safety Committee took on the issue, according to council member Reed Esarove.
Chief of Police Michael Dummett said residents complained that they had pellets coming down on their houses but officers couldn’t find any damage.
“The council’s decision [to increase the distance] represents both communities,” Dummett said.
The Public Safety Committee met with the Department of Wildlife to learn more about other town’s ordinances and found that in the state, less than one percent incidence of hunter injury is recorded, Esarove said.
“When looking at that and the fact that we’ve never had enforcement action either by arrest or warning … I made a motion in Public Safety to increase the distance from 500 feet – the current distance – to 750 feet,” Esarove said.
The council voted unanimously in favor of this motion at Monday night’s meeting.
“My rationale behind that was there was somewhat compelling interest regarding the safety of the residents of the town of Stallings,” Esarove said.
Dummett said the town’s police will be utilizing resources from the Wildlife Department as well as posting a link to more information on the town’s website during hunting season.