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Wednesday, September 11, 2013
BEDFORD - Bedford Town Council decided not to pull the trigger on a proposed firearms ordinance Tuesday.
Council took aim at an ordinance allowing hunting with shotguns on parcels of five acres or more, under certain parameters, and provided shooting is not within 100 feet of buildings, parks or public land. Hunting with firearms was prohibited in the former city of Bedford, which reverted to a town in July.
Mayor Bob Wandrei said the intent of the ordinance was for hunting purposes since the town annexed areas of Bedford County where the practice was permissible.
"It's not gun control at all," Wandrei said.
Several residents spoke at the hearing, voicing opposition to the ordinance, which scales back hunting rights in the annexed areas.
Scott Thomas, a county resident, said for years he came to hunt on a 133-acre farm near U.S. 460 that was annexed by the town. Under the ordinance, he would go from hunting seven weeks to only two weeks since muzzle loaders were not allowed.
Eddie Harmony, of the town police department, said he opposes hunting with firearms in the limits of what was once the city out of concern for safety. He said he did not oppose hunting in the annexed territories.
Wandrei said the town could not discriminate and residents should be treated equally.
"I think you have to," Harmony replied.
Several council members said they were willing to grandfather in the annexed areas and oppose hunting with firearms in the former city limits.
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