By Polly Lynn
KILLINGTON — On Tuesday, Aug. 25, the Killington Selectboard reviewed a draft firearms discharge ordinance which would prohibit the discharge of any firearm within 200 yards on either side of five roads:
- River Road, from its intersection with Route 4 to Route 100 North.
- Schoolhouse Road, from its intersection with Killington Road to its terminus
- Roaring Brook Road, from its intersection with Dean Hill Road to its intersection with High Ridge Extension Road
- Barrows Towne Road, from its intersection with Vermont Route 100 North to its terminus
- West Hill Road, from its intersection with Killington Road to its terminus
The purpose of enacting a firearms discharge ordinance is “to regulate the discharge of firearms within the areas of the town specified below in order to promote the public health, safety, and welfare,” according to a public draft of the ordinance being considered.
After reviewing the proposed ordinance at Tuesday’s meeting, several residents expressed additional concerns over shooting after dark and requested that this be included in the ordinance as well. The board was sympathetic to those requests and asked for a townwide restriction on gunfire between sunset and sunrise to be added as well as clarification about the “destruction of animals” exemption, which some found too broad.
“The Board does not want to be in the position of giving authorization for people to dispatch livestock,” Town Manager Seth Webb explained. “As the harvesting/dispatching of livestock is omitted in the current draft, the Board believed the omission implied they would need to grant authority to those who wanted to do this OR that it was a restricted activity.”
Board Chairwoman Patty McGrath stressed that the ordinance is not meant to take the rights of certain individuals away, but rather strike a fair balance between several groups.
The selectboard plans to consider adopting the updated Ordinance at their meeting on Sept. 15.
The idea for the ordinance was developed after a selectboard meeting on April 21, when over a dozen residents raised concerns over increased recreational gun use on River Road and its proximity to the recreation areas and library. In May selectboard meetings the Killington board received additional public input on the subject and specific Restricted Firearms Discharge Areas (RFDA) to be considered.
As a result of that feedback, an ordinance was drafted to restrict gun use near recreational areas and the schools. It included exemptions for the destruction of animals, police action, hunting, self defense and sport shooting ranges.
The proposed RFDA’s includes approximately 7.5 miles of Killington’s 54 total miles of roads.
The complete draft of the ordinance the selectboard will consider is posted at www.killingtontown.com under “Boards and Commissions/Selectboard/Meeting Handouts/8-25-15.”