Lincoln County commissioners need to use caution when considering restricting shooting activities.
Several concerned citizens from the county’s eastern end spoke at the board’s meeting on July 21 about a resident of the Forest Ridge neighborhood who has an affinity for shooting his guns. Neighbors said the gunfire is a nuisance and has caused them to fear for their safety and contemplate moving.
None of that necessitates commissioners making a change to county ordinances.
If the man’s target practice is in compliance with county regulations and noise ordinances and is done in a manner that doesn’t not put anyone in any physical danger, but still disturbs his neighbors, a compromise needs to be made between the parties, possibly with a county commissioner acting as a mediator.
Restricting shooting activities, which many county residents enjoy on their own private property, will do more harm than good. There needs to be a balance between a person’s enjoyment of target practice and their neighbors’ comfort.
That’s where calm, rational conversations between neighbors become the vehicle through which these disputes should be resolved.
It’s a given that target practice should be done in a safe, controlled manner. If commissioners want to make any kind of judgment about those activities, it should be related to the manner in which bullets fired at a target are stopped, not the inherent noise from a gunshot.
Editor’s note: This editorial has been updated to reflect the deletion of a sentence regarding a county resident who has spoken at commissioner meetings about his neighbors’ complaints about his shooting activities. That resident, and the resident of Forest Ridge described in the editorial, are two separate individuals.