Harnett County leaders OK new ordinance on guns
Posted February 2, 2015
Lillington, N.C. — In a 4-1 vote Monday, Harnett County commissioners approved an ordinance restricting where guns can be fired in the county – a move that comes after complaints to the sheriff about guns being fired on smaller properties.
The new rule prevents a person from firing a gun on property less than 10,000 square feet. Violators can be fined up to $500, and there are exceptions for hunting, turkey shoots and self-defense.
"The purpose of this ordinance was not to eliminate anyone's rights to shoot guns in the county, but we did want to make it safer for people, as far as shooting in subdivisions and in lots that aren't conducive to that type of activity," said Brian Haney, a public information officer for Harnett County.
It was standing-room only when the ordinance was first introduced in August, when many called it an anti-gun ordinance.
A committee was selected to work on the ordinance, and several parts were removed, including one that restricted a weapon from being fired within 500 feet of a school, church, day care, playground or park.
Jon Gainey, manager of American Gun and Pawn in Lillington, however, says the ordinance could have an effect on his business.
He tests guns in a safe discharge area out behind the shop – something he says he won't be able to do under the new ordinance.
"If I have to go to a firing range, then I have to start paying fees, which is an additional business cost that I will have to factor into the cost of doing business."
Commissioners had voted last month on the measure but had to vote again because the vote was not unanimous. A unanimous second vote was not necessary.