This summer the Spartanburg County Council formed a ‘Citizen Committee’ to review complaints of firearms discharge in the County and determine if an ordinance was necessary to limit or control the actions of residents.
This week, the Committee wrapped up its meetings and recommended no changes to the County’s ordinances.
In coming to this conclusion, the Committee considered the make up of Spartanburg County, the existence of municipalities within the County that can already control the discharge of firearms in densely settled areas, the existence of restrictive covenants and home owner associations that can control the discharge of firearms within neighborhoods, and the property rights of landowners within the County.
With more than 3/4 of the acreage in Spartanburg County qualifying as “open land” the Committee felt that controls at the municipal or neighborhood level are much more appropriate for limiting the discharge of firearms than County wide proposals. The Committee was particularly troubled with the arbitrary nature of the proposals it considered, and they noted it was impossible to make a principled determination based off of the size of a tract of land or the distance from a home due to many other factors such as precautions in shooting, topography, vegetation, type and caliber of firearm, etc.
The Committee recommends that a citizen concerned about gunfire in the County call the Sheriff’s Department if they believe a law is being broken. (Such as firing within a municipality, firing into a home, or firing onto or over someone else’s property.) If the Sheriff’s Department determines that no law is being broken, or if the citizen already knows this, then the citizen should discuss their concerns with their neighbor. If this does not accomplish the desired results, then the citizen should consider civil action if their safety or property rights are being violated.
This recommendation is a positive outcome for the gun owners in Spartanburg County. It remains to be seen what the County Council will do with the recommendation, and we will keep an eye on this situation.