Subcommittee formed to study gunfire ordinance

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UPPER TOWNSHIP – Mayor Richard Palombo announced the formation of a subcommittee to study a proposed gunfire ordinance at Upper Township Committee’s last meeting, Monday, Sept. 24.

Palombo said five residents, all of them gun owners, were being appointed to the subcommittee. They would serve with Lt. Francis Donlan, commander of the New Jersey State Police Woodbine Barracks, and Committeeman Ed Barr, who oversees sports and recreation as part of his duties on township committee.

Palombo said Barr and Donlan would not be voting members of the subcommittee.

Officials have discussed enacting a gunfire ordinance that would prohibit firing a gun within a certain distance of neighboring properties. The issue was first raised at an Aug. 13 meeting after Committeeman Tony Inserra said a party thrown by residents living on Rt. 50 was disrupted by gunfire near the property line.

The township has no law setting minimum distances for gunfire from a neighboring property line or occupied residence. State law prohibits hunting within 450 feet of an occupied home, but there is no state regulation of target shooting.

The proposal raised the ire of some gun owners here who said new regulations could make gun ranges in Upper Township a thing of the past.

Palombo said there has been a misconception amongst some that the township wants to restrict gun ownership here. That is not the case, he said.

“We’re not talking about restricting the right to bear arms,” said Palombo. “We’re not trying to stop people from enjoying their sport. The fact is there are parts of the township that are a lot denser than they were and we have to consider that.”

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