Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

Town may limit shooting
Certain spots may face firearms restrictions

by Jade Bolack

April 25, 2013

TOWN OF WALWORTH — Most villages and cities strictly prohibit the discharge of firearms within municipal limits.

Not so with towns in Walworth County.

Because of their rural nature, towns frequently lack any regulations regarding firearms.

Walworth Town Chairman Joe Abell said he wants that to change.

“There was an incident when a bullet went through a window of a house and lodged in a wall,” he said. “It was due to inappropriate shooting. We want (with the proposed ordinance change) to put the densely populated areas in our town, such as subdivisions and where houses are grouped together, into a no-shooting area.”

This change, Abell said, won’t prohibit hunting in the town.

“I’m a hunter,” he said. “I don’t want it to affect shooters at all, but I want safety. This doesn’t prohibit shooting in other areas. It has nothing to do with hunting at all.”

Since the incident, the town board had discussed implementing a “red zone ordinance.”

Through the sheriff’s department, the Regional News found a record of a pellet or BB gun sending a shot through a window of a recreational vehicle in January.

Deputy Jason Rowland, sheriff’s department liaison for the town, said this was the only incident since the beginning of this year.

“The residents came to us and said we don’t want this shooting going on,” Abell said. “They came to us. We started at that time to produce this ordinance to protect people in closely populated areas.”

The town will send out notices to residents about the proposed change and invite them to a public hearing May 14 at 6:30 p.m.

The proposed ordinance and map will be posted outside the town hall before the public hearing.

All town residents are welcome to speak at the public hearing, Abell said. After the public hearing closes, the board will vote on the ordinance.

“It will hopefully prevent any further instances of inappropriate shooting if the ordinance is passed,” Abell said. “There are other towns in the county that have no-shooting or red areas. The town of Delavan is thinking about creating (this ordinance).”