The Alexandria Safety Committee agreed to consider revisions to the city’s gun ordinance in their meeting earlier this month.
Although the issue had been brought up in city council meetings in the past, this is the first time it has been fielded by the safety committee.
A resident who wanted to hunt deer on their property previously brought up the gun ordinance, which currently prohibits the discharge of firearms within the city limits except on large rural properties of at least 10 acres. Even then, no one can fire a gun within 1,000 feet of another property. The ordinance has been in effect since 2006.
Police Chief Lucas Cooper said he believed the resident who initially brought the issue to the council “wanted it lowered from 1,000 feet to 100 yards, which would be 300 feet.” No residents were present at the committee meeting or the subsequent council meeting to offer comment.
Cooper went on to say the city had to be careful in its consideration of changing ordinances. Even when all safety precautions are followed, he said that “there are some high-powered rifles now that will shoot 500 to 600 yards easy.”
He also said it would be difficult to add new stipulations to the ordinance to allow shotguns, which have a shorter range than rifles.
“I just don’t know how we police it,” he said, fearing that the only way to effectively enforce such an ordinance would be after someone shoots “a hole in somebody’s wall or some freak accident hits somebody.”
Mayor Andy Schabell, who also sits on the safety committee, said that consulting with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife would be a good first step in exploring if revisions are warranted. He also recommended that consulting neighboring cities to see how they handled the issue may be worthwhile. The issue is not likely to come to vote before the end of deer hunting season.
The next safety committee meeting will take place on Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m., and the next city council meeting will occur on Sept. 15 at 7 p.m.