Approximately 95 persons attended a standing-room-only meeting of the Pierce County Firearms Advisory Commission in the Whitmore Room at the KP Civic Center July 18.
A resolution to restrict or prohibit the discharge of firearms in a 123-acre area south of Carney Lake was reviewed by the commission at the request of the Pierce County Council. The public was invited to comment.
Complaints of frequent shooting in the area and safety concerns of local residents addressed to Councilman Derek Young (D-7th) lead him to propose the resolution under consideration, designated 2016-63.
The first eight speakers, all residents of the affected area, objected to the resolution. Many described their own skill, experience and safety records with firearms and said they trusted their neighbors’ abilities as well.
More than 20 KP residents who didn’t live in the affected area said there were already enough anti-shooting laws on the books and that better enforcement was needed. Some said the people doing the shooting were not local residents and suggested the complainers didn’t reside in the area. Some expressed concern that if the county started restricting shooting on private property, there would soon be no shooting allowed anywhere on the KP.
Councilman Young, Rep. Michelle Caldier (R-26th) and Rep. Jesse Young (R-26th) attended the hearing. Rep. Young also spoke against the resolution. No one spoke in favor of it.
Following the public testimony, the commission passed a unanimous recommendation to the council to reject the proposed ordinance.
In an email to the KP News following the meeting, peninsula resident Jerry Gibbs wrote, “Your Key Pen neighbors had a clear message to send, so I was glad Councilman Young was in attendance. I commend him for attending and staying to hear all the testimony and to see the commission’s 6-0 vote to send a ‘do not pass’ recommendation back to the county council.”