Local News

Residents fire back at proposed Harnett gun ordinance

Posted August 18, 2014 11:06 p.m. EDT
Updated August 18, 2014 11:16 p.m. EDT

— Hundreds of residents packed the Harnett County commissioners room Monday night to fire back at a proposed gun ordinance.

The measure would restrict firing a gun:

  • Within 500 feet of the property line of a school, church, daycare, playground or park.
  • Within 200 feet of a private or public road, or of a permanent building not belonging to the gun carrier.

The measure would also restrict explosives from being detonated within 1,500 feet of buildings and roads.

County officials said the ordinance is modeled after rules in neighboring counties.

“This discharge ordinance has absolutely no power over anyone hunting,” said Randy Baker, the county's senior zoning inspector.

Residents returned fire.

"I have the right under the second amendment, in the pursuit of happiness, to shoot on my own property," Jim Dorman said.

Dorman, who spoke directly to Harnett County Sheriff Larry Rollins, called the ordinance “anti-gun” and wanted a public referendum.

“And you don't need to put in a law to teach me ethics, because I got 'em and I believe in 'em,” he said.

Others, like Jerry Revis, mocked the measure.

"How are they gonna enforce this,” he said. “Are there gonna be two deputies show up, one to hold one end of the tape measure…while the other goes over here?"

Rollins, who advocated for gun ownership during an Aug. 4 community meeting, said the new rules are for densely populated areas in the fast growing county.

"We've got to give a little bit for other people's concerns,” he said. “Good neighbors, unfortunately, sometimes have to be told by a law how to be a good neighbor."

Commissioners voted to table the measure and form a subcommittee.