Weapons discharge ordinance moves ahead
By Ben Rodgers
HOBART – Residents in Hobart may soon have new specific zones where they can discharge firearms.
Village staff is bringing a refined weapons discharge ordinance draft to the full board on Feb. 20 for a first reading.
“This is still a proposed draft,” said Aaron Kramer, village administrator. “We are working on a couple of issues. The map as we put it together did not include our fire stations, 4 Seasons Park and a couple of other sites. So the map will have some additional areas that will be added, but they’re mostly municipal properties.”
The map drafted is based on housing density, the previous map and input from law enforcement.
Under the proposed ordinance there will be no firearms districts where residents can only discharge bows and arrows, BB and pellet guns, .22 calibers with bird shot and slingshots.
Outside of those zones residents will be able to shoot freely, whether it is for target practice or hunting.
“There’s no perfect ordinance in any other community that will fit Hobart, just the same Hobart’s ordinance is not going to fit other communities,” Kramer said. “You have to make something unique as far as where residents live and terrain and topography.”
Kramer said the village staff created this ordinance over a few months and pulled pieces from different places.
“We used portions of the Lawrence ordinance as well as reflecting the state law,” he said. “We kind of frankensteined parts of other ordinances and put this together.”
Still it is a draft and things will change before the final version is approved.
One citizen contacted village staff and it was discovered that this ordinance may not conform with the current concealed carry law.
More changes to the map and ordinance will likely come before the final draft is approved.
“I’m fairly confident you’ll see a few more minor tweaks and changes to the map as you’ll get public input and comment,” Kramer said.
One major change from the previous ordinance is if people want to be removed or added to different zones, that request would come before the Planning and Zoning Commission, who would then give the full board a recommendation.
Previously there was no way update the map.
Even with ways to alter the existing weapons discharge map Kramer wants to make sure people have a chance to make their voices heard.
“I will likely ask the board to have a second and final vote at the first meeting in March to allow for the maximum time to allow the public for input and suggestions,” he said.