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|Opposition surfaces to arrow ordinance|
The Monroe City Council is expected to decide next week on whether to revise its current weapons ordinance to prohibit the shooting of arrows within the city's corporate limits.
The city council was set to adopt a new ordinance governing the matter at its last regular meeting, but councilmen decided to hold off to give them more time to review it.
Monroe businessman Bob Sale and several others spoke against the proposed changes during the city council's last regular meeting.
"I think that's a little unfair," Sale said. "I know a bow and arrow can be dangerous, but I have an eight-foot fence in my backyard. I don't just go shooting around town."
"I think it would be unfair if you could not shoot an arrow into a backstop in your backyard," Sale continued. "If you are going to do that, then why not say people cannot hit a golf ball, or throw a baseball, or a football. All these things can seriously hurt someone."
The proposed changes were brought before the city council by its legal department after a local resident complained of someone shooting an arrow through her window.
"I think it's unfair to have one incident and then someone wants an ordinance passed to not allow people to shoot a bow," Sale said. "This is not a city-wide issue. From what I understand this is two neighbors. If they can't handle their business, then let the Monroe Police Department or whoever handles it."
I don't think you should pass an ordinance to not let everybody shoot a bow," Sale added.
City attorney Nanci Summersgill said there were two instances related to bows and arrows involving different people.
"So, it was just not that one instance," she said. "Someone could have been hurt, obviously. She did call police, but there was nothing police could do because it is not against the law to shoot arrows in the city of Monroe."
The city's legal department and police officials looked at other city ordinances throughout the state and found there are several cities that outlaw shooting arrows.
"We came to the decision that we should adopt an ordinance similar to what other cities have," Summersgill said. "So, if something does happen, we can do something about it. Right now there's just nothing we can do."
"Is there enough against this that warrants passing an ordinance?" Sale said. "I could understand this if you had incident after incident of something happening. Most people who would be shooting a bow of this type are responsible. We take it serious because we are responsible for anything we do."
One of the reasons people shoot in their backyard is because there is no other place in the city to shoot a bow and arrow, according to Sale.
Several opponents of the proposal told the city council that many people practice for archery tournaments in their yards. They also told the council that the majority of people who shoot arrows in their backyards do not use the "razor sharp" arrows. Instead they use the arrows with blunted tips.