Town to hold public hearing on gun discharge zone March 13

Board will accept input on proposed expansion of area prohibiting firearm use
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Grafton Town Board will hold a public hearing on March 13 for a plan to expand the area where firearms can’t be discharged.

Last week, the board discussed including the far west side of the town, from the Hillcrest neighborhood from Highway C north to the village limits, in the no-discharge zone. 

The Riverview Gardens neighborhood in the middle of the proposed zone will not be included in the designated area because there are already stipulations that prohibit shooting on properties close to nearby structures. 

Officials said there have been no reported incidents of shooting in the Riverview Gardens neighborhood.    

About a dozen residents attended the board meeting Wednesday, Jan. 9, but no one made any comments about the issue.

At past meetings, there has been considerable public input on limiting the discharge of firearms in the town.

Supervisors have varied opinions about limiting gun use in the town, but the board unanimously approved moving forward with a proposed zoning amendment.

Town Chairman Lester Bartel said that as the town becomes more densely populated, more restrictions could be imposed on firing guns in problematic areas.   

“As the town becomes more populated ... the days when people would shoot 200 to 300 rounds in an afternoon next to residential areas are behind us now,” Bartel said last week.

“It just makes people nervous these days. People are different about firearms than they were 30 years ago.”

In the fall, a resident living in the High Forest Drive subdivision, which is in the no-discharge zone, set up a pistol range, alarming neighbors.

While the decision on expanding the zone will affect hunters, Bartel said they are not the cause of the concern.

“The things that have always caused the issues have not been hunters,” he said. “The issues have been people who buy high-powered rifles and want to shoot them, and the sound can travel for miles.”

The public hearing will be during the March 13 board meeting because it was too late for the town to publish a public notice for the February meeting.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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