Monroe council delays action on archery ordinance
by Scott Rogers - posted Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 @ 5:04 pm
Archery enthusiasts pleaded with the Monroe City Council Tuesday not to implement an ordinance prohibiting the shooting of arrows in city limits.
The city council declined to act on the matter during its regular meeting. Instead, the council will take action on it at its June 23 meeting.
Councilman Arthur Gilmore said the delay should give the city enough time to "come up with an amended ordinance that would satisfy most people."
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.
At a city council meeting earlier this month, several archery enthusiasts, including Monroe businessman Bob Sale, asked the city not to impose the ban on shooting a bow and arrow in city limits. They said one or two incidents did not warrant an ordinance prohibiting this activity.
Joseph Foster of West Monroe told the city council Tuesday that anything could be deadly when used improperly.
"I feel bad about this incident," Foster said. "I don't know who is the one responsible for this, but someone should give him lessons on how to shoot a bow."
"I've knocked baseballs through people's windows growing up," Foster continued. "It's an accident. Most people shooting a bow and arrow in their yard have a backstop, so if you do make a bad shot, it stops the arrow. Apparently this person does not have a backstop.
"I will build him one if it would help this situation. I do not think any reputable archer would want any harm to come to anyone."
Assistant Monroe Police Chief Herbert Otwell said the Monroe Police Department recommends the city council adopt the amended ordinance.
"Our position is from the aspect of public safety," Otwell said. "It can be very dangerous to people and we just think it would make the neighborhoods safer."
Monroe resident Jack Nolan said people have been shooting bows and arrows in Monroe for a number of years with almost no problems.
"This is the first complaint that we are aware of," Nolan said. "Most bow hunters have been educated about their equipment. They are taught the proper safety of it."
"If the public could become aware of how bow hunter education is conducted, they would be extremely impressed," Nolan said. "You are taught to respect others, respect their safety and respect their rights. This isolated incident is a very serious matter, but I also ask you to look at our position."